Gov. Justice’s Blue Ribbon Task Force reaffirms its mission to serve all West Virginians equally through state’s workforce and training services
CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aligning the Roles and Missions of the State Community and Technical College System and Workforce Development System today discussed progress toward creating greater efficiencies across state government that will better support West Virginians seeking services through education, training, and workforce programs. Gov. Justice’s Chief of Staff, Ann Urling, who serves as chair, underscored the Task Force’s fundamental mission.
“We all have room for improvement, and that’s the purpose of this Task Force – to serve all West Virginians equally,” Urling said. “The Governor knows that we have people falling through the cracks because we have systems that don’t talk to each other, so our focus is on how we can more efficiently help someone through the process of getting an education and a good job. When our formal recommendations come to the Governor by the end of the year, our intent is to have developed a plan for how to better serve our citizens.”
Toward that end, the various subcommittees charged with finding ways state systems and agencies can better align their work provided updates on their work.
- The Agency Integration Subcommittee, tasked with looking at the roles and missions of agencies involved with workforce initiatives, is exploring the possibility of a combined state plan for federal workforce funding, and looking at nine other states that have made similar changes for best practices.
- The Data Sharing Subcommittee, tasked with examining existing workforce reporting, and the Cross-Training Subcommittee, tasked with exploring ways agencies can gain expertise in other workforce areas, are exploring the possibility of a single-point web system that would allow West Virginians to access career, education, and social services in one location.
- The Co-Enrollment Subcommittee, tasked with determining how to best serve West Virginians co-enrolled in multiple programs, is focusing on connecting people either entering the workforce or already in the workforce with wraparound services.
- The Employer Engagement Subcommittee, tasked with exploring how businesses engage with the workforce system, emphasized the importance of the state adopting an integrated, sustained approach to working with employers at the community level.
Gov. Justice established the Blue Ribbon Task Force by Executive Order in June to open the door to better employment opportunities by more strongly aligning credentialed training programs at community and technical colleges with the state’s workforce development programs. The group, comprised of leaders from West Virginia businesses, two-year colleges, and various state agencies, plans to present final findings and recommendations to Gov. Justice by the end of the year.
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