McAuliffe cuts ribbon on new One Stop Career Center in Winchester
Governor Terry McAuliffe celebrated the opening of a new One Stop Career Center in Winchester during a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The new Valley Workforce Center will focus exclusively on providing career services, job search support, basic adult education, workforce training, and job placement services to citizens in the Winchester region, and joins a network of 62 One Stop Career Centers across the Commonwealth. The Center is part of a campus of 25 community service providers, the first of its kind in Virginia.
“For underemployed or unemployed Virginians, workforce centers are the front door to the job and life skills, career planning and training needed to fill good jobs that are open in the region,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at the event. “One Stop Centers, like this one in Winchester, are a community effort, and I am pleased to be here today to celebrate this innovative new ‘campus’ approach to workforce development. This center is well positioned to serve the needs of employers and job seekers in Winchester and the northern Shenandoah Valley for years to come.”
“The northern Shenandoah Valley’s economic success is due, in part, to its exceptional workforce,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “For businesses and individuals to continue to enjoy this success, we have to expand that talent pipeline and provide opportunities for Virginians to get the support and skills they need to fill the jobs in the community. Without a doubt, workforce development is key to further corporate investment and job creation, and I congratulate everyone involved in the establishment of our newest workforce development asset.”
Governor McAuliffe has made improving the workforce service delivery system in Virginia a priority of his administration. Multiple state agencies have collaborated to improve service access for job seekers and employers. The Virginia Employment Commission, a significant leader in this endeavor, has realized more than $1 million in cost savings by executing a collocation strategy that makes the agency an anchor tenant in One Stop Careers Centers across the Commonwealth. Critical partners in the effort to establish the new One Stop Career Center in Winchester include: the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board, the Virginia Employment Commission, One Health, Inc., and Lord Fairfax Community College.
“The inclusion of multiple partners in the workforce system significantly increases the availability of services to our shared customers and allows greater collaboration among all agencies’ staff to provide a cohesive approach to our client’s needs,” said Charles Peacock, Center Manager, Winchester One Stop Career Center. “In addition, housing Business Services in the same location provides a better pipeline for the local labor force to connect with employers. This center truly embodies the goal and intent of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
“The SVWDB is excited to have greater capacity for expanding services and support for workers and businesses of the Northern Shenandoah Valley,” said Sharon Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board, Inc. “The new and expanded Workforce Center emphasizes additional partnerships with key stakeholders to strengthen our workforce. The Center will meet a range of workforce needs including those of unemployed workers, individuals seeking preparation for advanced positions, and employers who want qualified workers to maintain and expand their businesses.”
“The Board and staff of Our Health, Inc. are thrilled to have the services provided by the Winchester Valley Workforce Center on our campus,” said Sharen Gromling, Director, Our Health, Inc. “With this addition, we now have 25 nonprofit and public services providers located on the campus providing wrap-around services and case management to our most vulnerable population. The work done at the Center is life-changing, as they help their clients train for and find employment that will provide a sustainable income for themselves and their families.”
About the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board
The Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board (SVWDB) is an incorporated, non-profit organization serving 16 localities in Northwestern Virginia. The SVWDB operates five Valley Workforce Centers and directs numerous workforce initiatives. They partner with business, education, economic development, and other community and faith-based organizations to thoroughly understand the current labor market and develop innovative solutions to address broad regional workforce issues.
About Our Health, Inc.
Our Health is a non-profit community resource, affiliated with Valley Health, which supports community agencies in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Our Health strives to develop collaborative partnerships that encourage community involvement and commitments to meeting the health and human service needs of our region. In addition to being the campus owner and manager, Our Health provides its partners with administrative support, training and technical assistance, and grant writing and administration. Its Volunteer Action Center provides viable services to connect volunteers to area needs and nonprofit partners with opportunities to enhance their programs.