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Wilcox County Board members attend workforce development

Staff Reports

Cordele Dispatch

ABBEVILLE — Wilcox County Workforce Development Board Members, Mayor Michael Estes and David Brown, attended the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Workforce Development Board Training Retreat, August 11, 2016 – August 13, 2017, on St. Simon’s Island. The event is held annually to allow the Workforce Development Board members to identify key issues, develop detailed work plans, and establish goals to improve the quality of our workforce.

The Workforce Development Board (WDB) is composed of private business representatives, workforce representatives, education and training representatives, and government and economic development representatives.

The majority of the WDB’s membership must come from private businesses, and all the members are appointed to serve on the board as unpaid voluntary members.

The WDB oversees and makes decisions regarding how Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds are allocated over a seventeen county region.

WIOA offers many services through various programs such as On-the-Job Training, Individual Training Accounts, Year-Round Youth Programs, and the One-Stop system.

The mission of the WDB is to provide services and resources to new, existing and potential business and industry to supply a globally competitive sustainable workforce.

This will be accomplished by addressing the staffing and training needs of businesses and individuals by partnering with educational, economic development and other agencies. These services and resources will be provided to our businesses and individuals in an effective and efficient manner through a One-Stop delivery system in our seventeen counties.

Guest speaker for this event was Ms. Angie Brown, Human Resources Manager for Valmiera Glass in Dublin, Georgia.

Ms. Brown spoke about the partnership between Valmiera Glass and WIOA, and how it has saved their company valuable resources.

Many of which they can put back into their employees. The need for Valmiera Glass to have Mechatronics Technicians, a mix of electronics, maintenance, and robotics, helped bring recognition of the need for this type of skilled worker in other industries. This partnership opened the pathway for a credited program at Oconee Fall Line Technical College for future Valmiera Glass employees, as well as other industries.

Ben Hames, Deputy Commissioner with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Workforce Division was the keynote speaker on Friday evening. Mr. Hames discussed the positive impacts that the WIOA programs and partnerships have in our region and across the state.

The event was hosted by the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission, the grant recipient, and Job Training Unlimited, Inc., the administrative entity for WIOA funds for the seventeen counties within Region 9. Both agencies work in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Economic Development Workforce Division.