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Building Talent Together

March 27, 2013

Our region is often noted as a beautiful place to experience the outdoors, a great area to sample local chefs’ creations at a quaint eatery, attend a country fair on a warm summer day, and even a superior place to raise a family. But some of our areas most valuable assets are often overlooked—and that is our workforce. Our workforce is hailed for its work ethic and dedication. Those two attributes alone though are not enough for us to jump the next hurdle and be prepared for future endeavors—whether that is in expanding our existing industry base or growing new industries in the region.

In order to prepare our workforce, we must first be prepared to embrace lifelong learning. With new technologies, new processes and advanced production methods becoming a part of normal industry growth, we as a community must be willing to learn and adapt to these opportunities. This can be accomplished in many ways—first, basic skills enhancement must be ongoing. This can range from expanding your basic computer knowledge, customer service skills, middle-level management leadership skills, workplace communication, or Microsoft Office programming knowledge. Advances in technology and new working practices demand flexible, multi-skilled employees—a workforce knowledgeable in math, communication and computer skills.

Currently basic skills enhancement training is available through your local Job Training offices, CareerLink and the higher education institutions that are present in the region. Another way to accomplish adding value to our workforce is to offer new and creative ways to conduct this training. Workforce Wayne has been working towards this goal since 2008. In 2010 we opened The Wayne/Pike Technology Training Lab located in Hawley. Our goal with this facility is to provide a consortium training space for use by training providers, higher education institutions and businesses. We see this lab as a shared learning space that would allow training providers/higher education institutions in the Commonwealth to expand their offerings to our workforce community—whether physically in the classroom or remotely via video conferencing. Workforce Wayne continues to work on expanding these relationships to bring about opportunity.