Center and chamber honored for work force work

The Mesa County Workforce Center and Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce have been honored for their collaborative efforts to promote work force development.

The center and chamber were among the organizations recognized at an event in Denver sponsored by members of the Business Experiential Learning Commission.

The Mesa County Workforce Center and Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce conducted discussions that resulted in the creation of a training center for the manufacturing industry.

Work force development funds were used to purchase equipment and tools, and a space was opened offering training for manufacturing jobs. Businesses use the space to train new hires and build the skills of employees.

The center and chamber also worked together to offer and promote a menu of work force development services available at the center and online. The effort, called Job Connects, helps employers pick and use the services they need, including customized hiring packages. Job Connects has been recognized as a best practice and shared with other workforce centers across the state.

The Denver event honored organizations championing apprenticeships, businesses offering apprenticeships and individuals excelling at apprenticeships.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper created the Business Experiential Learning Commission to align business needs with state agency strategies to develop the work force through work-based efforts. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment received $2.2 million in federal funding to develop and strengthen apprenticeship programs.