Billed as a “one-stop shop” for residents, the center includes private offices and classrooms where unemployed people can come for assistance in their job search.
“Historically, [unemployed persons] had to shop around for these resources,” said James A. Rothrock, the Commissioner of the Department for Aging and Rehabilitation Services. ”[The center] is truly a one-stop shop.”
A special ceremony was held yesterday at the center, as Chris Johnson, the chair of the Crater Regional Workforce Development Board, addressed the crowd at the center. Johnson credited the state and local officials who worked to make the center possible.
Petersburg Mayor Samuel Parham also addressed the crowd, thanking McAuliffe. “It’s such an exciting day to have our jobs governor with us,” he said. “He’s helping us reset our future, and letting our citizens know they have support.”
William A. Robertson Jr., the chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Prince George County, credited the whole region for coming together on the project.
“Four cities and five counties, we all came together,” he said. “As the jobs change, we have to change.”
The officials got together for an official ribbon cutting after the speakers. Tours were then given to attendees, who were impressed with the amount of office space and resources the center has.
The center offers a wide range of resources, not just for unemployed citizens but for business owners as well. The owners can come in and request workers they need, and can also request workers with specific skill sets that are in line with their business.
“Business owners come in, they tell our staff exactly what they need, what skill sets they need, and they put a program here working with our community colleges so that employer will have workers,” said McAuliffe.
Persons with disabilities and veterans can also come into the center and receive assistance.
The unemployment rate in Petersburg is currently about 7.2 percent, which is above the state unemployment rate of 3.8 percent. Officials are hoping the center can help the unemployed find a steady job and provide resources that might have been hard to come by otherwise.
“We have many high-paying open jobs we cannot fill,” said McAuliffe as he addressed the crowd. “That’s why these offices are essential, for folks to get career advice and planning.”
The workforce center in Petersburg is the 63rd such center to be opened in Virginia, where unemployment is at the lowest it has been in nine years. McAuliffe said his administration has plans to open more.
“These centers have been a godsend for so many people to get them back into the workforce,” said McAuliffe. “If you want to work in Virginia, we have a job for you.”
Read Original Article Here: The Progress-Index