WorkForce Central’s Business Solutions team offers a proactive approach to serving Pierce County’s business community.
Like everyone else during the pandemic, our organization's team had to pivot and reexamine what kind of services were needed and how best to provide them.
“Normal business services delivery went out the door as soon as the stay-at-Home order was initiated,” said Teresa Delicino, senior director of Business Solutions. “The phone lines and email went all but silent from employers.”
The team strategized and started proactively reaching out to businesses to identify needs. From this came the evolution of the robust delivery system in effect today.
Business Solutions offers a variety of services to help employers connect with job seekers as well as retain and retrain their workforce.
They offer quarterly virtual job fairs through the Hire Pierce County virtual platform, a great way to connect with the current job seeker market. They can also help employers connect with the workforce through online job boards, personalized hiring events, connection through the state unemployment system, and place-based recruitment events.
Business Solutions is actively working to facilitate sector-specific training programs based on industry need in Pierce County. So far in 2022, there have been two sessions offering training for participants to prepare for the state Certified Nursing Assistant test and gain access to employment through the Introduction to Healthcare Employment and Apprenticeship Program.
There is also industry training offered by RAIN Incubator to build a workforce pipeline for water system operators through a program called Waterversity. An estimated one in five of the field’s current workforce is heading into retirement, creating a projected shortage of these essential workers. These high-paying job opportunities will be available to graduates of the Waterversity Program. So far, there have been two cohorts through this program. A third started Oct. 3.
This month, Business Solutions is offering a Manufacturing Academy in partnership with AJAC, which will help build foundational career pathways into aerospace and advanced manufacturing employment and apprenticeship opportunities.
Business Solutions also connects employers to workplace training resources. These include programs offering fully paid internships, on-the-job training wage reimbursements, and reimbursement-based employee retraining grants.
A recent training grant assisted the owner of a small minority-owned business in Tacoma with obtaining his CDL (Certified Driving License). This helped the business not be reliant on contractors to move materials to job sites and freed up funding to be able to hire an additional employee.
As we come out of the pandemic, the Business Solutions team can assist in helping an employer customize a plan to identify and meet their workforce goals.
If need be, the team offers services to employers to help prevent and/or minimize layoffs, and they can coordinate resource sessions to assist employees in navigating next steps if a layoff occurs.
For more information about the Business Solutions team and a consultation, visit here.