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WESSON – Aligning members of the workforce to services needed to find employment is necessary for economic development to flourish, and it is an effort that requires collaboration from community stakeholders and state agencies. October marked the one-year anniversary of such a partnership between the Mississippi Department of Employment Services (MDES), Central Mississippi Planning and Development District (CMPDD), and Copiah-Lincoln Community College (Co-Lin), with the college as the designated operator of the Natchez WIN Job Center. This anniversary was celebrated October 23rd at the Center with a ribbon cutting and reception for the public. Agency representatives, community leaders, residents, and students attended the event.
“This unique partnership between the college and the Job Center has benefited our clients that we serve through the increased level of customer service, increased availability of interview preparation, and stronger relationships with our local businesses and industry here in Adams County and surrounding area,” explained Dr. Sandra Barnes, Co-Lin Natchez Campus Vice President.
Each agency brings critical resources, services, training and employment programs to the WIN Job Center, benefiting all members of the workforce.
MDES assists both job seekers and employers in an effort to match the right person to the right job. At times, there are obstacles for both parties that must be overcome in order to achieve the goals of both the job seeker and the employer. In response, the WIN Center provides personnel to facilitate job placements and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) services. Additionally, the Center delivers priority services for veterans, information on tax credit programs, and referrals to agencies such as vocational rehabilitation and the MS Department of Human Services. Job search resources are also available at the WIN Center including computer access, office equipment, resume preparation assistance, career planning, and training information. Employers have the opportunity to benefit from recruitment and screen of job applicants, on-the-job training programs, and resources in the form of tax credit and internship/apprenticeship programs.
CMPDD is the fiscal administrator of federally funded programs benefiting both job seekers and employers. Those programs offered at the Natchez WIN Center, include individual training accounts (ITAs); on-the-job training (OJT); internships and apprenticeships for out-of-school youth; and dislocated workers and adults.
CMPDD WIOA Performance Coordinator Angela Griffin explained the role that WIOA plays at WIN Centers across the state.
“This federal law, which enacted WIOA, is intended to assist job seekers with accessing employment, education, training, and support services they need to meet employers’ requirements and to succeed in our labor markets. The target sectors in this district are transportation, distribution and logistics, as well as healthcare and advanced manufacturing,” said Griffin. “WIOA is comprised of three hallmarks. First, are the needs of businesses and workers. Secondly, one-stop-centers provide excellent customer service to all clients and focus on continuous improvement. Thirdly, ensuring that the workforce system supports regional economies and plays an active role in community and workforce development.”
The theme of partnerships in community development continued through messages delivered by Co-Lin President Dr. Jane Hulon; Co-Lin Workforce Education Director Stephenie Sullivan; MDES Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Program State Coordinator Jennifer Boler; Natchez, Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ; and Natchez WIN Center Director Frederick Clark.
Co-Lin has served the Natchez community over four decades with training and education opportunities designed to prepare the workforce for career success. The college is committed to continue providing high quality education through academic, career, and technical programs and degrees. In addition, the Workforce Education department serves area business and industry with relevant, affordable and customized employee training. These components from MDES, CMPDD, and Co-Lin are joined with a common goal of strengthening and improving the public workforce system and promoting economic growth in the state of Mississippi.
For more information regarding services and resources offered at the Natchez WIN Job center, please contact the office at 601.442.0243, by email at email@example.com, or in person at the 107 Col John Pitchford Parkway.
Natchez commemorated the one-year anniversary of a new partnership and the naming of Copiah-Lincoln Community College as the operator of the Natchez WIN Job Center with a ribbon cutting and reception. Dr. Jane Hulon, President of Copiah-Lincoln Community College, cuts the ribbon as partnering agency representatives, community leaders, residents, and students look on.