Four-Week Workforce Development Initiative Designed To Connect Participants With Career Opportunities
FONDA — County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort announced on Tuesday that the county’s Job Readiness pilot program that recently concluded had strong results. The goal of this welfare to work initiative is to assist people in re-entering the workforce by tapping into the will and determination they have to turn their lives around and to provide them with the skills necessary to secure employment. This workforce development initiative is a team effort involving the county’s Social Services and Economic Development offices and Fulton- Montgomery Community College.
On Friday, Aug. 3, four individuals were recognized for completing the entire four-week course and received a certificate at a ceremony held at the county’s Social Services Satellite Office, in the Riverfront Center in Amsterdam. The program began on July 10, with 14 participants. Eight of those individuals have found employment by either securing a job during their participation in the program or will now begin working after completion of the course.
"I am encouraged by the results of this pilot program and see this as an effective way to assist residents in re-entering the workforce," Ossenfort said. "This is a win-win because we are helping to address employment needs for local businesses and providing opportunities for residents, which have a positive impact on the local economy and our community as a whole."
The genesis for this type of initiative came from the growing demand of human resources by local and regional employers. The pilot program was funded by the Montgomery County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), as a way to prepare and provide workers for local businesses that were in search of employees. A room was set up, adjacent to the Social Services satellite office, to provide a classroom for the participants to learn and gain these valuable skills.
This particular program, first mentioned by Ossenfort at his State of the County Address in March, is beneficial to the county and county residents in a number of different ways. By partnering with local employers and FMCC, the county is helping connect people with the jobs available by providing them with certain skills necessary to maintain employment. The goal is to favorably alter the lives of these individuals and their families by providing career opportunities, while also significantly reducing the burden on taxpayers.
"This is a potential way to end the reliance on services for the participants in this course and improve their quality of life," said Department of Social Services Commissioner Michael McMahon. "I am optimistic that we can build on this program moving forward."
If you would like more information on the program or have questions, please contact the Montgomery County Department of Social Services at (518) 853-4646.
Pictured above: Four participants who concluded the four-week course, along with two other individuals who successfully re-entered the workforce before the course ended and the two course instructors, Heather Loucks and Ellie Fosmire.