Sam's Spotlight

I have several things to educate you on this week, all revolving on the important subject of our workforce. I want to spotlight things we are doing here locally to develop our workforce. 

Workforce and economic development are both equally important to a community; they both bring together offices of economic development, community colleges, workforce boards, labor market entities, employers, and other organizations to improve the prosperity of business, workers, and communities. 

I had the opportunity to visit the office of our local Workforce Development Board this past week and learn more about the work that they do for our community. Workforce Development Board 83 (WDB 83) funds employment training programs that empower job seekers to fulfill the current and future workforce needs of employers in northeast Louisiana. 

They are the local Workforce Development Board, designated by the Louisiana Workforce Commission. WDB 83 serves Franklin Parish, along with nine other parishes in our region. I want to talk about some of their programs that are excellent, and you need to know about! 

       •      On-The-Job Training Program: The OJT Program assists employers with the cost of hiring and training a new employee. This program, funded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and administered through the local Business and Career Solutions Center in our area, provides employers with a cost-effective way to hire and train prescreened new employees at their place of business. By reimbursing the employer a portion of the costs of training (equivalent to a percentage of the new employee’s salary for the duration of the training period) the OJT can thereby strengthen your business while strengthening the local workforce. 

       •      Summer Youth Work Experience Plus+:The Summer Youth program is an 8-week paid work experience where youth will undergo valuable soft skills training, gain assistance with postsecondary education and job searching. This program is for recent high school graduates who have not enrolled in postsecondary education yet. Eligibility requirements must be met. You can access an application at WDB83.com and click on the link “Summer Youth Registration” at the top of the page. 

You can learn so much by visiting WDB83.com or stopping by the WDB83 office located at 3290 Front Street in Winnsboro. Their office hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm (closed at 12:30 on Thursday) and the phone number is 318-435-5687. 

I enjoyed stopping by and visiting with Brian Kaufman, Business Service Team Lead, and learning about the many things that the WDB83 has to offer. I encourage you to do the same and reach out to Brian with any questions regarding any information I have mentioned. His email is kaufmanb@bayou.comand he can be reached at 318-435-5687 ext. 228. 

My goal in this spotlight each week is to educate you on things we have here locally in Franklin Parish that can help grow and better our community. 

I am encouraged to know that we have programs like this available to our businesses/employers, our community members seeking a job or career, and our youth figuring out their future. Now you know too, so be encouraged, and spread the word as we continue making this community awesome!

See you next week for Sam’s Spotlight! 

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