WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD ANNOUNCES WORKFORCE TRAINING FUND OPPORTUNITES AT QUARTERLY MEETING
The WIB’s busy summer schedule called for a packed agenda of reports and upcoming opportunities in workforce development. Among the highlighted opportunities was a presentation from WIB Chair and Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Southcoast Hospitals Group, David DeJesus, on the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund.
Employers finance the Workforce Training Fund through their unemployment insurance tax. Through a grant process, they can obtain financial support for training current employees and new hires. The Fund was established in 1998 in response to employer concerns about the lack of support in the state for worker training and job readiness. In recent years, the Workforce Training Fund has been tapped to fill gaps in the state budget. Representative Robert Koczera stated "the Workforce Training Fund should be used exclusively for training grants to employers and not diverted to workforce agencies to offset budget cuts." Representative Koczera stated, “I proposed a budget amendment to make the Workforce Training Fund a trust fund so the employer assessment would be used solely for training grants to industry in perpetuity without the need of a budget appropriation or legislation extending the fund. Unfortunately we were not successful in making the Workforce Training Fund a trust fund." Representative Koczera stated he will file legislation to this effect for the next legislative session and was pleased the legislature extended the Workforce Training Fund to 2015.
With funding cuts during the last two years, businesses faced greater competition applying for the Workforce Training funds. Currently, there are a number of employers who are unaware of the programs available to them through the Fund. “We are working in partnership with the state and the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce to renew interest in this training opportunity in the Greater New Bedford Region” said Len Coriaty, WIB Executive Director/CEO.
“Let us take advantage of the full funding of the Workforce Training Fund by urging the area employers to partner with the Greater New Bedford Workforce Board to create effective training programs for their incumbent workers”, stated special guest speaker, Michael Taylor, MA Director of Workforce Development (DWD). “This fund can and should be a critical tool to enhance the skills of employees thereby enabling them to advance themselves and positioning companies to grow and prosper here in the Greater New Bedford Region.”
With hopes of increasing the region’s participation, the WIB is offering interested area companies technical assistance including: providing access to necessary information and materials and assistance with training needs assessment, selecting training providers, developing training objectives and plans, budgeting, curriculum planning, and defining solid goals for the overall training that are linked to business goals.
If interested in learning more about the Workforce Training Fund and how it can help your business train workers, please contact Mary Ellen DeFrias at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at the WIB,
508-979-1504 x 15.
Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board
The Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board
Connecting Employers and Job Seekers
employment - education - training
The Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board is a business-led, policy-setting board that oversees workforce development initiatives in the ten-community region stretching from Dartmouth to Wareham, MA. Appointed by New Bedford Mayor Scott W. Lang, the Board is composed of business, civic, education, labor, and community leaders.
Established under federal law, the Board's Chairman is a member of the private sector. The current Chairman is Charles R. Simpson, President and CEO, First Citizens' Federal Credit Union in Fairhaven. Vice-Chairman is David DeJesus, Jr., VP Human Resources, Southcoast Hospitals Group, St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford.
The Board employs a staff of full-time professionals and maintains offices in New Bedford. The Board itself consists entirely of volunteers.
All of the Board's meetings are open to the public.
227 Union Street, Suite 206, New Bedford, MA 02740-5946
PH 508.979.1504 • FAX 508.979.5680
Visit us on the web at: http://www.gnbwib.org