11/29/04 — Job program honored

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Job program honored

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on November 29, 2004 1:58 PM

A program to help laid-off workers find jobs in Wayne County has received a high rating and a $6,000 bonus from a regional agency.

For the second year in a row, the local Workforce Investment Act Adult and Dislocated Worker Program exceeded all of the performance measures.

Richard Darden, the program's director for Wayne Community College, has a staff of four, including two full-time certified career development counselors. They are based in the Goldsboro office of the Employment Security Commission at 309 N. William St. and serve around 300 people looking for work.

The dislocated worker program has gotten many more participants after Wayne County lost several manufacturing companies over the last few years, like Americal Corp. and R.G. Barry.

Those who have been laid off and who need assistance can come to the office, which houses the JobLink Center. Darden and his staff determine what skills the workers have and help place them in jobs.

The program is offered in addition to a rapid response team that goes to plants planning to close. The team discusses unemployment benefits, training and job placement, said Bill Pate, ESC manager in Goldsboro.

The adult program is for people with low incomes, who have a less than perfect work history and whose skills do not fit positions available in the county, said Darden. At the office they can find out what their options are and what training they need. The JobLink Center has a network with employers and a list of training providers, he said.

Pate said the jobs of the future will be related to health care, and the office will be helping people get the credentials for a career as a nurse's assistant, registered nurse and other health care professions.

The Goldsboro JobLink was the first chartered center of its kind in the region. It was re-chartered in October.

Darden said the goal is to serve as many people as possible with limited resources. "We are proud of what we've done here."