Workforce development is often viewed through the lens of creating jobs and training new employees, but keeping the knowledge and abilities of existing employees in step with fast-moving technologies and work skills is an equally important goal. Programs administered by the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board provide businesses and workers in the Shenandoah Valley a variety of options for maintaining a highly-skilled workforce.
Throughout 2015, SVWIB is highlighting the availability of workforce opportunities through outreach to employers, strong partnerships with economic development agencies and educational institutions and in increased online and print visibility. In the often overlooked area of skill enhancement for existing workers, businesses are being encouraged to become aware of area workforce services and explore partnering with SVWIB to retain workers by facilitating the necessary training. Businesses may be eligible for funding to assist with the costs of enhanced training for specific workers at risk of layoff without the additional skills. To that end, SVWIB has $100,000 available for training employed workers.
“Assisting existing workers in consistently developing new or higher level skills is important for employees, businesses and the economic development of the entire Shenandoah Valley region. Why? Because developing workers that are already on the job increases productivity, averts layoffs and provides for potential company growth. We want to spread the word that a wide range of services are available to eligible companies and employed workers to keep their workforce in step with the changing business environment,” said Sharon Johnson, SVWIB’s Chief Executive Officer.
The Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board is an incorporated, non-profit organization serving 16 localities in Northwestern Virginia. The SVWIB 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.