Report highlights workforce center services

Lee Wheeler-Berliner

The Mesa County Workforce Center in Grand Junction created a virtual call center, hosted customized hiring events and offered other services to those looking for jobs and new hires, according to an annual report on workforce development activities in Colorado.

The Colorado Workforce Development Council submitted the report on activities funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The council produced the report in partnership with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and Colorado Department of Education.

“In 2014, WIOA set forth a bold vision for an aligned public work force system built on partnerships that delivers excellent customer service to both job seekers and businesses,” said Lee Wheeler-Berliner, managing director of the Colorado Workforce Development Council. “Throughout our implementation of the first combined state plan, we have executed on that vision to strengthen our business-led system and enhance connectivity and partnership across programs.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic increased demand, partnerships and infrastructure enabled the workforce system to respond in meeting challenges and assisting people and businesses, Wheeler-Berliner said.

The Mesa County Workforce Center created a virtual call center to answer questions related to jobs and unemployment. The center fielded 4,933 inbound calls and made 4,377 outbound calls.

The workforce center also hosted 30 customized hiring events for employers.

According to the report, services offered at the center led to 1,660 new jobs obtained and more than $2.1 million  in savings to employers. In addition, 5,924 national career readiness certificates were earned.

The Colorado Workforce Development Council collaborated with several state agencies and organizations to provide free and streamlined career advising training for more than 2,500 people through the Colorado Career Conversations Training Project.

The council supported two local workforce area innovation pilot programs that tested new models for virtual service delivery and partnership across programs to support adult learners.