Workforce center manager sees potential in new building
Phil Castle, The Business Times
When Suzie Miller looks around the newly constructed building that soon will house the Mesa County Workforce Center, all she sees is potential.
The expansive lobby and nearby resource room and classrooms will offer ample space to help people find jobs. And bringing various facilties and services under one roof will enable employees to more efficiently serve those clients, Miller said.
Miller is especially excited about the more than 4,400 square feet in the new building allocated to a business center that will offer a large new venue for everything from hiring events and job fairs to meetings and seminars.
“We look at this as a real opportunity to play an even bigger role, a more vital role, in economic development,” said Miller, business services manager at the center.
The Mesa County Workforce Center is scheduled to close Feb. 13 at its current location at North Avenue and 29 Road and reopen Feb. 18 at its new location on 29 1/2 Road, Miller said.
An open house at the new building is set for 2 to 6 p.m. Feb. 11. The event will include speakers and tours.
At nearly 32,000 square feet, the new building isn’t much larger than the combined space offered by the six buildings that housed the Mesa County Workforce Center on North Avenue.
But the completion of a project budgeted at $7.3 million will bring all of those facilities, services and 85 employees under one roof, making for a more convenient and efficient operation for clients and employees, Miller said. Several technological advances have been incorporated into the new building, including wireless Internet access.
Moreover, a lot of planning went into the layout of the new building to offer easier access, she added. The lobby is located near a large room offering computers, printers and other resources to people searching for jobs and updating resumes. An office area just off the lobby will house the various counselors and other staff. Other rooms will offer space for everything from group classes to individual interviews.
During 2013, the center served more than 24,000 people, Miller said.
The business center can be used as one room large enough to accomodate up to 250 people or partitioned by sliding walls into two, three or four smaller rooms, Miller said. The business center comes equipped with two projectors and screens as well as large flat-screen televisions that can all show the same presentation or different presentations simultaneously.
The business center will offer ample space for job fairs and other hiring events, but also meetings, seminars or forums hosted by businesses or business organizations, Miller said. “It’s going to be a tremendous asset for them as well.”
The new location of the center next to the building that houses the Mesa County Department of Human Services also will offer convenience to people using services offered in both buildings. “It’s one less hoop to jump through.”
Miller said the buildings on North Avenue that housed the workforce center served clients and businesses well, and she’s grateful for a partnership with Hilltop Community Resources to use those buildings.
But Miller said the new building offers the potential to serve clients, businesses and the community even better. “I am excited about all the possibilities these doors open to us and the community.”