WIB looks to workforce problems, solutions
By Matt Echelberry
The Richland-Crawford Workforce Investment Board held a meeting Nov. 20 at Lowe Volk Nature Center. Representatives from Jobs and Family Services in Crawford and Richland Counties, the Richland County Chamber of Commerce, and associated organizations, as well as Crawford County Commissioners, were in attendance.
A new video from Workforce Partnerships was shown. It addressed the educational and developmental issues specific to the workforce of North Central Ohio. In general, workers need more advanced skills now and workers are lacking those skills to fill the literally thousands of vacant jobs in the area.
There is a skills gap between employer needs and what the workforce has to offer, which is what WP is focused on skill training for the workforce with employer help and on-site training. There is community collaboration through resources like Pioneer Career and Technology Center, North Central State College and Madison Adult Career Center.
To view the video, visit www.workforcepartnerships.org.
After the video, the Workforce Investment Board discussed workforce problems: lack of qualifications, employee reliability and drug testing. A local taskforce is currently in the works to focus on creating solutions to such problems.
One Board member asked if there is a role for the WIB to help. Several members agreed that they could work with other organizations to coordinate efforts.
Another suggested targeting recreational drug users (rather than addicts), to assist them in getting clean to then be incorporated back into the workforce, because current unemployment rates are considered full employment for the most part. A growing majority of the unemployed are those who cannot pass drug tests.