By Lindsay Robins, O-N-E Contributor
With 1,584 job openings currently available in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties, one agency is working to bridge the gap between job seekers and potential employers using digital resources, social media, training, and creative solutions.
Western Piedmont Workforce Development, a division of Western Piedmont Council of Governments, provides an all-encompassing approach to workforce development for the four county area of service and improving the available services through relevant tools.
"We have been focused and intentional about creating social media outlets that are relevant for today's workforce so they can find and know what jobs are available, when recruitment events are being held, and how our industry sectors are prospering," shares Workforce Development Director Wendy Johnson. "We are on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@westernpiedmontworks)."
In utilizing social media, Western Piedmont Workforce Development is able to reach more of the available workforce in the four county service area. Social media postings include job fair dates and locations, recruitment events, training and educational opportunities, and information on services provided by NCWorks Career Center.
Each county in the service area has their own NCWorks Career Center. The career center in Catawba County is located in Conover at 403 Conover Station SE, in the same building as the Conover branch of the Catawba County Library System. The NCWorks Career Centers are responsible for providing job search, job placement, job getting workshops, resume prep, recruitment services, scholarships for training and many other employment services. "There have been so many positive changes for our workforce system in the past four years", Johnson elaborates. "The customer service level and the available job getting opportunities have improved and increased in our nCWorks Career Centers."
Along with improvements art the career centers and with their social media presence, Western Piedmont Workforce Development has made strides in understanding and meeting the needs of our current workforce.
"The challenge we will always have in the workforce is navigating the career pathways. Most people enjoy more than one job or one career during their lifetime," explains Johnson. "I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up, but the exciting thing is I can continue to have new career experiences and add to my toolbox of skills along the way. Our website, www.westernpiedmontworks.org, is a great place to explore what type of jobs are available in our local area. There is a hot jobs link on the home page that will open www.ncworks.gov to display the job openings in our surrounding four counties."
Job seekers in Catawba County are encouraged to visit the website, social media accounts, and the NCWorks Career Center in Conover to learn about available career opportunities.