Council's Strategic Action Team Presents Unemployment Report
Finding a job and getting the right training in Charlottesville can be a difficult task these days. But it could soon become easier thanks to a group trying to break down some barriers.
The Strategic Action Team, formed by City Council in September 2012, is taking a close look at employment in the city, trying to resolve some workforce development challenges facing the community. Thursday night, council decided to move forward with their recommendations.
Currently, 1,000 people are unemployed in the city of Charlottesville. The Strategic Action Team gave council a breakdown of specific barriers holding back the city's workforce, such as basic literacy, transportation, housing and affordable child care.
Because the team believes providing help in those areas will allow people to grow in their careers, it has three recommendations: creating an advisory council, partnering with the workforce center and fostering a peer-to-peer network.
The team says it's crucial for the community and local government to step in.
"We're all better off if everyone is actively engaged in employment. Folks become less of a burden on either the local, state or federal government. Local governments are starting to have to bare more weight so to speak when federal programs are lessened," said Chris Engel, director of economic development for the city of Charlottesville.
The Strategic Action Team has been meeting monthly for the past year to develop the report, and council will hear from the team again in a few months with a follow-up report.
Read complete descriptions of all three recommendations below.
Recommendations from the Strategic Action Team:
Recommendation #1: Form a community council that will serve in an advisory capacity to the city when developing and implementing its workforce development efforts and strategies.
Recommendation #2: Develop a formal partnership with the Workforce Center--Charlottesville by establishing a downtown satellite workforce center to ensure that city residents have access to training opportunities and resources that will help them meet local employers' workforce needs.
Recommendation #3: Explore the possibility of establishing a peer-to-peer network within Charlottesville's low-income neighborhoods that will provide city residents with the workplace training, basic skills training, support services, and job placement services necessary to meet employers' workforce needs.
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