PLATTE COUNTY – Need a job? Need to hire? The people at the Workforce Center in Wheatland are ready to help.
The center, located at 1958 W. Mariposa Parkway, is one of 20 Department of Workforce Services locations in the state offering services to Wyoming employers and job seekers.
Those services include: personalized applicant search, applicant pre-screening, employer interviewing assistance, employee retention, rapid response services for layoffs, job search assistance, resume/application assistance, applicant interview assistance, career interest testing, skills testing, job fairs, Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act training and Wyoming workers compensation.
Services also include Alison Online training, employment workshops, job retention, labor market information, POWER program, Wyoming Preference Program/Experience Works, Job Corps, meeting and interviewing rooms, unemployment insurance information, veterans programs and vocation rehabilitation.
The center services all communities in Platte County – Wheatland, Chugwater, Glendo and Guernsey.
At the center, said Employment Services Specialist Tamara Stenson, the focus is employment.
“Anyone who walks through our door – our job is to help them find work,” Stenson said. “Everything here is free to the community.”
Referrals and case management
In some cases, the center will refer clients to other organizations.
“We may get someone who might say they are having issues with their employer of their employer did something and they didn’t agree with it,” she said. “At that point we do referrals. We refer to unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation and the Labor Standards Board.”
The center might also refer clients to other services in the community.
“We also do community resources referrals,” she said. “Somebody may call here and ask where to go for a certain type of service. We also try to be familiar with the business and resources in our county.”
The center also performs case management services such as the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act programs, also known as WIOA.
The program provides employment and training services for adults, dislocated workers and out-of-school youth. Through WIOA, the center offers incentive programs for out-of-school youth ages 16 through 24 to help them get a GED or High School Equivalency Certificate.
“A lot of those individuals (youths) are not in high school,” she said. “The focus there would be to get a GED and then figure out what you’re going to do afterwards. We’ll help them get their GED and we work with other organizations to help them too.”
Under specific guidelines, the center can also provide some financial resources.
“The goal ultimately has to be employment,” she said. “That is our focus, that what we get state and federal funds for. We can pay a certain amount of dollars towards a degree or certificate or training. We can help someone in need, if they meet the financial guidelines, with purchasing clothes or tools. We can help with CDL training, but they have to meet the guidelines.”
The center is also looking for local business interested in participating in the Work Experience Program, or WEX.
The program allows an under-employed participant to gain work experience, training and knowledge under close supervision of the employer. In return, the employer receives additional help and reimbursement of the participant’s wages for a determined amount of time.
The agency’s Vocational Rehabilitation Division works with more than 4,000 of Wyoming residents with disabilities annually. On average, about 700 of those residents successfully complete a rehabilitation program and enter the workforce.
Veteran Service officers are also available to assist with veterans and their employment needs. Veterans should call the Workforce Center to find out when those officers visit Platte County.
The center currently is tracking around 70 job openings in Platte County, according to Stenson.
Labor and service industry positions make up about 23 percent of the available job openings, followed by skilled trades at 14 percent.
Professional and retail jobs are both at 11 percent and laborer, clerical, driver, education and healthcare positions are each running between 5 to 8 percent.
Agriculture, automotive and maintenance positions make up about 5 percent of open positions collectively.
And the center’s staff can help job seekers obtain information about those job openings.
“Our goal is whatever we need to do to help someone be successful with employment,” she said.
For more information about Wheatland Workforce Center programs, call (307) 322-4741 or visit wyomingworkforce.org.
The center also encourages job seekers to register online at wyomingatwork.com.