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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: CANDICE RUUD, 253.213.2960

From left: Wilford Yeager (ResCare), Kim Pontsler (Employment Security Department), Suzi LeVine (Employment Security Department) and Cheryl Keating (Career Path Services) on stage at the 76th Annual Awards Ceremony for the Washington state chapter of the International Association of Workforce Professionals.

TACOMA, WA – Pierce County’s WorkSource sites won three significant awards at the Washington state chapter of the International Association of Workforce Professionals’ 76th Annual Awards Ceremony on Friday.

The WorkSource affiliate site at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), the Pierce County WorkSource system’s culture of continuous quality improvement, and the new WorkSource center in central Tacoma all won the WorkForce Group Innovation Award and were recognized for their achievements.

The WorkForce Group Innovation Award recognizes individuals, groups, and organizations for extraordinary innovation that directly or indirectly impacts the system, customers, or professionals within the workforce development system.

“WorkForce Central on behalf of the Workforce Development Council extends our congratulations to the partnership at WorkSource JBLM and to our partners at the new WorkSource center,” said WorkForce Central CEO Linda Nguyen.

Speaking about the first-of-its-kind WorkSource site at JBLM, Nguyen said: “This WDC-certified WorkSource site demonstrates true collaboration that is needed to provide exceptional and comprehensive services to our military community.”

Here’s a little more about why each site was chosen:

WorkSource JBLM One-Stop: In 2018 the WorkSource Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) WorkSource Affiliate launched an innovative pilot and became the first fully integrated in-the-gate American Job Center in the Department of Defense and Department of the Army. … Since its implementation, WorkSource JBLM has helped 1,200 transitioning service members find formidable employment opportunities, supported by a collaborative business services model focused on veteran employment and supportive services.

“WorkSource JBLM has provided career readiness assistance to over 2,000 service members, spouses and veterans, including individual employment plans, industry specific training, counseling and mentoring, career planning, internships, work experience opportunities, out-of-area job search assistance and relocation assistance. These services are instrumental in providing career ready individuals to the local labor market, and leveraging military experience, leadership capabilities and technical proficiency to make them top performers in their chosen industries.”

Pierce County One-Stop: “Employers need to hire the right workers, and workers need to build the right skill sets to get hired. When partners work side by side with businesses, community leaders and other groups, it closes the gap between job seekers, training and programs.

Two WorkSource locations that included Employment Security Department, ResCare, and Career Path Services and other partners (L&I, DVR, and the local colleges) moved into a new office in December 2018. Career Team joined us in January 2019. We now have seven agencies working together in one location.

This process focused on the teamwork of all partners, which allows the state to reach even more customers. The continuous quality improvement (CQI) process and integrating all partners into one system and one building provides a rich experience for our customers to get all their needs met in one location.

The process was launched several years ago, which began with securing a location that would be easily accessible to our customers. … This was a collaboration of all and a labor of love that resulted in a beautiful place to work and a wonderful view of Mt. Rainier!”

Malcolm Baldrige Certification: “Pierce County WorkSource achieved their certification because they demonstrated a commitment to performance excellence. They made significant efforts to create and sustain a continuous quality improvement culture. They demonstrated a commitment to a customer-focused approach and to ongoing improvements to the initial processes customers interact with. Both WorkSource staff and their partners have created an inviting environment for their customers.”

WorkForce Central strengthens the Pierce County economy by identifying skill gaps between jobseekers and employment opportunities, fostering data-driven decision making, and connecting workforce development partners into a cohesive, collaborative and effective network.

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