Chamber Chat - Triangle South Workforce Development Board

Dec 10

By Meg Moss


It’s the time of year for end-of-year parties, year-end reports, and awards recognitions. One recent Awards Banquet was this past Wednesday for the Triangle South Workforce Development Board, which covers Lee, Chatham, Harnett, and Sampson Counties.

The mission of the Triangle South Workforce Development Board (TSWDB) is to develop and utilize leadership and partnerships among business, labor, government, social services, local education agencies and other communities of interest to create and support an efficient workforce development system. Its mission includes working towards the ability of all citizens to obtain employment that provides a livable wage, develop a qualified and competent workforce in our quad-county area, and to sustain economic growth and in Chatham Lee, Harnett, Chatham and Sampson Counties. The TSWDB is a federally funded program that is administered through Central Carolina Community College (CCCC).

Lee County was well represented at the banquet Wednesday evening. Several awards went to participants excelling in Triangle South’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program, designed for workforce development and educational attainment for those who are unemployed or underemployed. The Honoree for Outstanding Youth is a Lee County resident who is currently enrolled in the Paralegal Technology program at Central Carolina Community College. Simone Ross ultimately plans to obtain a degree in law. As a part of the WIOA program, Ross was able to complete a 480-hour work experience program at the Phair Law Firm Office in order to obtain the hands on experience needed to advance in the field of law. As a teen mother, Ross is an excellent example to youth that it is possible to overcome adversities and reach your goals if you are willing to put in the work. In addition to attending CCCC, she is working part time as a student assistant on campus.

The Banquet also honored an NCWorks Career Center Staff member. NCWorks, also administered by Triangle South, helps companies find and develop a strong workforce.  They help people find work, improve their skills and connect them to resources to help them prepare for interviews and make a good impression on employers.

The Career Center Staff Award went to Kevin Hunt, who serves as the Disabled Veterans Outreach Specialist for Lee, Harnett, and Chatham Counties. His primary responsibility is to provide intensive services to disabled and other eligible veterans who are economically or educationally disadvantaged. This includes, but is not limited to, homeless veterans, veterans with barriers to employment, former offenders, those who are incarcerated and are preparing for release, and female veterans.

Last program year, Kevin served over 91 Veterans receiving Intensive Services via Case Management.  Of those Veterans, 20 were placed directly in employment, another 20 secured fulltime unsubsidized employment, and 7 homeless veterans were able to procure both employment and housing. Through targeted outreach, Hunt was able to enroll and serve 20 female Veterans, which is 12.6% higher than the national average of services usually provided to this population.  Hunt also volunteers at the Breadbasket here in Lee County.

Lee County was again highlighted at the banquet when Lidl was named Outstanding Employer.  Lidl opened its Sanford location during the summer of 2017. Prior to their opening, Lidl partnered with the NCWorks Career Center of Lee County to host hiring events to fill their positions.

Lidl was able to review over 900 candidates from the Sanford area, most of which were attendees of the hiring events held by the Career Center. They conducted over 455 interviews, extended job offers to 122 individuals, and hired a total of 90 people.

The Store Associates are paid $12 an hour with benefits and are given the opportunity for advancement. Several of the candidates hired were Dislocated Workers, Veterans, and Youth.

Triangle South works with both job seekers, and businesses to match employer’s needs, with the people who have the skills to meet those needs. Executive Director Rosalind Cross states that the Board and staff are fully committed to meeting the needs of job seekers and employers. This past fiscal year, the NCWorks Career Centers in the four-county area implemented over 250 hiring events and job fairs; and in Lee County alone, 129 individuals received job training and/or educational attainment assistance through the WIOA program.

If you are seeking employment or educational assistance, or know someone who is, call or visit the NCWorks Career Center on Lee Avenue in Sanford and ask for the WIOA program. There’s a great chance you can get assistance with obtaining that degree, job-specific training, or job you never thought possible.

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