by WJ on Sep 21, 2017 at 9:52 AM

As the country’s infrastructure gets rebuilt, it is the local workforce development system that ensures the maximum benefit of local hiring for our community.

The Construction industry already employs thousands of workers in Little Rock. Through partnerships in education and industry, the Little Rock Workforce Development Board (LRWDB) helps employers continue to find skilled workers for in-demand construction occupations like Construction Crafts (NCCER) and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers (HVAC).

Educational partners in central Arkansas – like the Little Rock School District, Arkansas Construction Education Foundation, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Job Corps, University of Arkansas Pulaski Tech (UA-PTC), Union & Employer Apprenticeships, and OSHA Certification Providers - provide training to help job seekers attain the required credentials.

Local employers – like Vratsinas Construction Company, CDI Contractors, a wide variety of construction sub-contractors, and local unions - provide employment opportunities for qualified candidates.

To learn more about local workforce development success stories, please visit http://workforcesuccessstories.com.

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by WJ on Sep 6, 2017 at 1:56 PM

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funded local workforce development boards are charged with engaging industry to develop career pathways and talent pipelines that ensure economic success for businesses and employees across the country.

Using Labor Market Information (LMI) and other data sources, the Little Rock Workforce Development Board (LRWDB) has identified three leading industries that offer high demand for skilled workers, high wages, and defined career pathways for employees with nationally recognized credentials:

  • The Healthcare industry includes in-demand occupations like: In-Home Assistant; Personal Care Aid; Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA); Emergency Medical Technician (EMT); Medical and Lab Technician; Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN); and Registered Nurse (RN).
  • In-demand occupations in the Advanced Manufacturing industry include: Production Technician (CPT); Logistics Technician (CLT); Machinist (NIMS); Welder (AWS/CW); Aviatronics Mechanic; and Aeronautics Cabinetry and Upholstery.
  • The Construction industry includes in-demand occupations like: Construction Crafts (NCCER) and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers (HVAC).

Engaged educational and employer partners in the local labor market provide training and potential employment opportunities for qualified candidates with the required credentials.

  • Local partners in the Healthcare sector include: the Little Rock School District; Medlinc; Baptist Health; CHI – St. Vincent; Arkansas Children’s Hospital; the Heart Hospital; and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
  • Partners in Advanced Manufacturing include: the Little Rock School District; Manufacturing Skill Standards Council; University of Arkansas Pulaski Tech (UA-PTC); Dassault Falcon Jet; Caterpillar; the Little Rock Port Authority; AFCO Steel; Lexicon; and Welspun Tubular.
  • Partners in the Construction industry include: the Little Rock School District; Arkansas Construction Education Foundation; University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Job Corps; University of Arkansas Pulaski Tech (UA-PTC); Union & Employer Apprenticeships; OSHA Certification Providers; Vratsinas Construction Company; CDI Contractors a wide variety of construction sub-contractors, and local unions.

To learn more about local workforce development success stories, please visit http://workforcesuccessstories.com.

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by WJ on Aug 30, 2017 at 12:45 PM

The Little Rock Workforce Center (LRWFC) uses a demand driven concept, leveraging strategies like a Business Advisory Team (BAT) to enhance partnerships with local employers.

Business owners and industry leaders direct the decisions of the local workforce development system funded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). BAT members make operational decisions regarding areas of focus in target industries and career pathways.

The members of the BAT also ensure that an Employer Toolbox is given to employers on initial contact.  This toolbox provides written information on all services available at the local Workforce Center through pamphlets, brochures, and business cards. The toolbox also educates employers on available incentives when hiring targeted populations through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program, Federal Bonding programs, and On-the-Job Training (OJT) programs.

BAT Ambassadors coordinate job fairs and industry-specific events where employers can recruit and conduct on-site interviews at no cost to employers and job seekers. BAT hosts work closely with the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and other economic and community development organizations to establish strong partnerships.  BAT members attend business after-hour networking events and stay connected with national and state Human Resource Associations.

The BAT was created in 2012, consisting of business service representatives from LRWFC partner agencies. Since then, the team has expanded its business outreach to serve the needs of local employers on a customized basis.

To learn more about local workforce development success stories, please visit http://workforcesuccessstories.com.

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by WJ on Aug 17, 2017 at 11:14 AM

On August 10, 2017 staff from the Little Rock Workforce Development Board (LRWDB) and Arbor E&T hosted youth participants at a PROMISE Grant program celebration at Dave and Buster’s. Presentation of the Diane Tucker Outstanding Youth Award to Isaiah Scott and PROMISE Outstanding Leadership Awards – to Tevon Wren and Alaya Lewis– served as highlights of the celebration.

Of the 57 participants placed in employment, 30 completed all of the 200 allowable work hours and another 9 participants are expected to compelte 200 hours by September 30.

The PROMISE summer program resulted in many youth success stories, including:

Isaiah Scott, Little Rock, AR

Isaiah Scott epitomizes the type of determination that made him the first PROMISE participant to complete 200 hours during his summer work experience. He never missed a day of work and was always on time at the Ronald L. Davis Law Firm, where he gained valuable knowledge of the legal system. Isaiah's dedication to hard work helped him win the Diane Tucker Outstanding Youth Award for 2017.

Tevon Wren, 18, Little Rock, AR

Tevon completed his hours at the Little Rock Wastewater, where he was able to experience different aspects of the Wastewater business. Tevon really enjoyed his summer work experience  and has potential to be hired if a position that fits his interests becomes available. He is currently planning to attend Pulaski Technical College.

M’Ashunti Hood, 15, Little Rock, AR

Even though she started slightly after the start date, M’Ashunti was one of the first to have completed 200 hours of employment. Feedback from co-workers at the Family Development Center at Catherine’s House indicated that she was a pleasure to have at the work site. M’Ashunti has a strong work ethic and is heading in the right direction to be successful.

Alaya Lewis, 17, Little Rock, AR

Although shy at first, Alaya is a young lady with enthusiasm and compassion. She is a 17-year-old upcoming senior at Little Rock Central High School and cannot wait to enjoy chemistry…. books and boys alike. This year Alaya displayed her hard work and dedication during her work experience with the Sammie Gail Sanders Children’s Learning Center in North Little Rock. Her direct supervisor was very impressed with the work Alaya accomplished. Her goals this year are to: attain good grades, learn how to draft a resume, and apply for her first job.

Rodney Cooper, 178 Little Rock, AR

Rodney is no stranger to hard work. During the summer he not only participated in the PROMISE Work Experience but was already employed. Rodney unfortunately did not win one of the top awards but was recognized for a separate accomplishment. Rodney was employed with Big Rock Mini Golf and Fun Park this summer and was offered a position. Rodney is a graduate of Parkview High school and is currently enrolled at Pulaski Technical College. He is definitely A+mazing! 

The LRWDB began its partnership with the Arkansas PROMISE Grant consortium in January 2015 to operate a summer youth work experience program to run in concert with the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).

PROMISE—Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income—is a joint initiative of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services, and Labor. Arkansas was selected as one of six programs nationally to promote positive changes in education and employment outcomes for the target population. AR PROMISE provided innovative educational, vocational, and other services to youth SSI recipients, age 14 to 16, and their families.


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by WJ on Aug 4, 2017 at 8:13 AM

On Tuesday, June 27th, the U.S. Department of Labor announced over $72M to enhance employment opportunities for justice-involved individuals. $32M was awarded to 23 community based organizations across the United States, including the Little Rock Workforce Development Board, which was awarded $1.2M to develop the “Rock City Reentry Project.” 

Mayor Mark Stodola highlighted the Rock City Reentry Project as part of the City’s Little Rock for Life campaign that was announced during a press conference on July 20, 2017.

Arkansas has one of the fastest growing prison populations in the country, largely due to its high rate of recidivism. The Rock City Reentry Project represents a significant response to this problem in our state: the creation of a dynamic, robust, and tightly coordinated network of services and training sites to equip 150 adults with the skills, resources, and confidence to obtain long-term, meaningful employment and gain stability in the free world.

Service hubs will be located at the Our House Career Center, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas, and the Little Rock Workforce Center.

For more information contact:

W.J. Monagle

Executive Director, Little Rock Workforce Development Board

501-683-3843

w.j.monagle@arkansas.gov

 

 

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by WJ on Jul 7, 2017 at 12:36 PM

The Little Rock Workforce Development Board (LRWDB) and Human Resource Management Association (HRMA) invite employers in Arkansas to attend an exciting upcoming workforce development event:


WORKFORCE READINESS:

Advanced Manufacturing For employers

Thursday, July 27, 2017

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

 $45 each

(Lunch is included)


Little Rock Port Authority

10600 Industrial Harbor Road

Little Rock, AR 72206

 

AGENDA

9:30 - 10:00           REGISTRATION

10:00 - 10:15           Welcome

                                Bryan Day

                                Little Rock Port Authority

10:15 -10:30            What the MSSC Program Will Do for Arkanas’ Economy

                                W.J. Monagle

                               Workforce Centers

10:30 - 11:00          Implementation & Success of the MSSC Program

                               Chris Clark

                               Georgia Pacific

11:00 - 11:30           Dick Burchett

                               UA Pulaski Tech

11:30 -  12:00          LUNCH                                                        

12:00 -    2:00          Roundtable Discussion

2:00                         Adjoun

 

The event is sponsored by:

For more information and registration form, please click here:  

Questions?  Call the HRMA Office at (501) 372-0929.

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by WJ on Jun 23, 2017 at 11:11 AM

On May 31, the Little Rock Workforce Development Board  (LRWDB) hosted a three-day Workplace Skills Orientation for participants in Little Rock’s Arkansas Promise work readiness initiative and their job coaches. Key topics in the Be Successful at Work workshop included: dress for success, workplace communication, conflict resolution, and  bullying and sexual harassment. Volunteer instructors from organizations like the Human Resource Management Association of Arkansas (HRMA) contributed their time and  expertise to provide information in these critical areas.

The LRWDB began its partnership with the Arkansas PROMISE Grant consortium in January 2015 to operate a summer youth work experience program to run in concert with the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP.) The majority of participants and employers reported have reported positive experiences with this effort. As one employer stated:

“We have been a part of the work program for over two years and love it.  It's a wonderful program for any business to be a part of!  The worker gains knowledge and experience and the business is able to have additional help.  It's a great program and we're fortunate to be a part of it!” – Angela Bennett, All About Staffing, Inc.

PROMISE—Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income—is a joint initiative of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services, and Labor. Arkansas was selected as one of six programs nationally to promote positive changes in education and employment outcomes for the target population. Arkansas PROMISE provides innovative educational, vocational, and other services to youth SSI recipients, age 14 to 16, and their families.

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by WJ on Jun 23, 2017 at 10:19 AM

On May 31, the Little Rock Workforce Development Board  (LRWDB) hosted a three-day Workplace Skills Orientation for participants in Little Rock’s Arkansas Promise work readiness initiative and their job coaches. Key topics in the Be Successful at Work workshop included: dress for success, workplace communication, conflict resolution, and  bullying and sexual harassment. Volunteer instructors from organizations like the Human Resource Management Association of Arkansas (HRMA) contributed their time and  expertise to provide information in these critical areas.

The LRWDB began its partnership with the Arkansas PROMISE Grant consortium in January 2015 to operate a summer youth work experience program to run in concert with the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP.) The majority of participants and employers reported have reported positive experiences with this effort. As one employer stated:

“We have been a part of the work program for over two years and love it.  It's a wonderful program for any business to be a part of!  The worker gains knowledge and experience and the business is able to have additional help.  It's a great program and we're fortunate to be a part of it!” – Angela Bennett, All About Staffing, Inc.

PROMISE—Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income—is a joint initiative of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services, and Labor. Arkansas was selected as one of six programs nationally to promote positive changes in education and employment outcomes for the target population. Arkansas PROMISE provides innovative educational, vocational, and other services to youth SSI recipients, age 14 to 16, and their families.

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by WJ on Jun 19, 2017 at 4:35 PM

The host of Speak Up Arkansas, Paul Kelly, recently highlighted the topic of workforce development as part of his regular broadcast on  KABF 88.3 FM, “The Voice of the People.” Speak Up Arkansas is underwritten by Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. The talk radio show is dedicated to covering issues like health care, education, juvenile justice, the state budget, and family and economic security.

The Executive Director of the Little Rock Workforce Development Board, W. J. Monagle, participated in a panel discussion  with three other local workforce development leaders: Randy Zook, President and CEO of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce; Roger Rich, Superintendent of Southside Schools; and Cindy Varner, Vice President of Workforce Development with Goodwill of Arkansas.

Panel members discussed economic trends that affect workforce development, programs that address the needs of job seekers and employers, and community partnerships that drive success in vocational training and sustainable employment.

Economic Trends

Less than 40 years ago, nearly 75% of jobs in the United States could be filled by workers with no more than a high school education in industries like manufacturing, farming, mining, transportation, and construction. By 2022, the U. S. will lack 11 million workers with postsecondary degrees, certificates, or credentials to meet job demands. Arkansas has significant workforce development needs to assist adults over 25 with no college degree, especially as aging workers retire.

Program “Success Stories”

The Little Rock Workforce Development Board coordinates programs for adults, youth and dislocated workers through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as well grant-funded programs like YouthBuild, which helps at risk youth obtain a G. E. D. and vocation training. Southside Schools sponsors Project Future Story, which exposes students to career possibilities that match their interests from “pre-K through career.” Goodwill of Arkansas is launching a charter school for adults without a high school diploma in addition to regular career center offerings like resume writing and interview preparation.

Community Partnerships

Partnerships across local communities are required to help individuals overcome barriers to find and sustain employment. A viable network of employment and job-driven training programs includes roles for business, government, non-profits, and other community entities to promote economic sustainability.

To listen to the radio broadcast in its entirety, you may download the mp3 file by clicking here:  Speak Up Arkansas.mp3

 

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by WJ on Jun 6, 2017 at 3:13 PM
Filed in History | News

Using a procurement process approved by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Little Rock Workforce Development (LRWDB) has selected Rescare Workforce Services as its One-Stop  Operator and program services provider. Rescare’s impressive record in Little Rock - achieving 9 of 9 performance measures for the past three years - gave its RFP submission a competitive advantage over other One-Stop Operator organizations.

ResCare Workforce Services is the nation’s most comprehensive provider of services and solutions designed to help put people to work. The organization’s combination of career center operations, Job Corps centers, schools, business services and family support functions are the largest for-profit collection of workforce solutions in the United States. With more than 350 ResCare-managed operations throughout the nation, a team of more 2,000 workforce professionals use the industry’s best practices to assist approximately 1 million job seekers and thousands of employers annually to help reduce poverty, crime and unemployment in the communities Rescare serves.

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