Mayor Don Wesely today announced that a Business Service Unit is being developed for the One Stop Employment Solutions Center, the new job training and employment system mandated by the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA). The unit, an effort to link employers and job seekers, is a project of the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development (LPED), a joint public-private venture with the Chamber of Commerce.
As of July 1, 2000, the WIA replaced the Job Training Partnership Act, which had coordinated job training services nationwide since the early 1980s. Mayor Wesely is responsible for the workforce system in Lancaster and Saunders Counties and the city of Lincoln.
"Sometimes when new legislation takes effect, it doesn’t seem like much changes," Wesely said. "But with the WIA, employment and training agencies ARE changing the way they do business. They are developing a one-stop delivery system for job seekers and employers, and that means people no longer have to go from agency to agency to get help in finding a job or to learning more about opportunities for training."
Paul McCue, President of the Chamber of Commerce and LPED, said assistance provided through the Business Services Unit could include information and referral, links to services provided by other partners, and coordinated, customized workforce development initiatives.
"Through a collaborative partnership, we can make the connection between employers looking for quality workers and citizens looking for quality jobs," McCue said. "Employers could be linked to job training providers, neighborhood organizations, community-based groups and educational institutions."
The Workforce Investment Board, appointed by Wesely and chaired by Jim Linderholm of HWS Consulting Group, developed the local implementation plan for WIA. The plan was approved by the Nebraska Department of Labor, which cleared the way for Lancaster and Saunders Counties to receive $400,000.
The One Stop Employment Solutions Center at Gold’s Galleria, 1010 'N' Street, currently houses staff from the state employment services, unemployment insurance, veterans employment services, Job Corps, Welfare to Work and the city’s WIA adult and dislocated worker programs.
Also in the Gold’s Galleria/ Energy Square complex are Southeast Community College and Health and Human Services. Before the end of the year, staff from the Lincoln Action Program, Operation ABLE and the Nebraska Association of Farmworkers are expected to locate at the center.
"As more agencies continue to come together here at the one-stop, they will begin identifying and implementing ways to coordinate services for the benefit of the customers," Wesely said. "The result in the integration of services into a more seamless delivery system, which is the goal of the Workforce Investment Act."