2009 Workforce Summit
Lancaster: On Thursday, December 10, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board sponsored its Tenth Annual Workforce Summit at a morning meeting at the Eden Resort Inn in Lancaster. The Summit offered a report to the community on the efforts of the Board and its partners at the Re-Entry Management Organization, the Lancaster County Adult Probation and Parole Services, the Lancaster County Prison, and the PA CareerLink of Lancaster County to provide more employment opportunities to persons who have been involved with the criminal justice system. Click here for a downloadable program.
Commissioner Scott Martin welcomed the attendees. Martin Wubbolt, Manager of the Ready2Work program of the PA Career Link of Lancaster County; Charlies Byers, an Instructor at the Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology; Nick Russo, an Instructor at the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center; and Todd Blankenstein, a Probation Officer from Job Court, talked about programs that work for ex-offenders. Three program participants - DeVon Wright, Derrick Lewis, and Angel Matthews - who have been or are being successful in making the transition from prison to work shared their experiences. A panel moderated by Scott Sheely, Executive Director of the Board and Chair of the Lancaster County Re-Entry Management Organization, with Lori Rank, Adminstrator of the PA CareerLink of Lancaster County; James Laughman, County Human Services Lead; Vincent Guarini, Warden of the Lancaster County Prison; Mark Wilson, Director of Lancaster County Adult Probation and Parole Services; and Judge David Workman who presides over Job Court provided their insights and reaction.
All of those involved agreed that finding employers who are willing to work with ex-offenders is the most important component to getting people back to work. Sheely announced that the Workforce Investment Board, The Lancaster Chamber, the County of Lancaster, and the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County will be holding a Job Summit in spring 2010 to further address the issue of job growth.
In addition, Sheely presented the annual State of the Workforce report which this year used data through the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009 to document the beginning of the recent recession. He predicted stronger hiring in the first and second quarter of 2010 with job growth continuing to be slow for the next 24 months. Click here to download the report.
Also, the Board honored its Friend of Workforce recipients. Mayor Rick Gray; Christine Hertnecky and William Montani as well as the RR Donnelley Foundation; Mark Moosic and the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square; Charles Byers from Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology; and Lisa Touchton from Arbor Education were recognized as Friends of Workforce and thanked for their contribution to the workforce system in Lancaster County.