Warren County board approves $523,000 to fund new workforce initiatives
WARREN COUNTY, NY – The Warren County Board of Supervisors has approved $523,000 in new workforce initiatives, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act, to aid Warren County's businesses and the county's workers.
The money, stemming from the stimulus allocation Warren County has received for economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, will go to 6 different programs steered by Warren County Employment & Training Administration that will help businesses fill job openings, improve workforce skills through more training and help the community retain younger workers.
The programs were proposed by Warren County Employment & Training Administration, supported by the Warren County Board of Supervisors ARPA Advisory Committee and then approved by the Board of Supervisors.
Kevin Geraghty, Chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, said: "Our region is far from alone in dealing with workforce challenges that began during the early weeks of the pandemic, and members of the Warren County Board of Supervisors are committed to doing whatever we can to alleviate the issues we are seeing today while preparing our local workforce for the years to come.”
Liza Ochsendorf, Warren County Director of Employment & Training, said: “The low unemployment rate of 3 percent does not reflect the short and long-term needs of our local business community and residents seeking meaningful opportunities and good paying jobs. Most importantly, we need to retain the workers that we do have and engage young people with opportunities to learn about local industry jobs and build pathways for them to succeed in those jobs. The ARPA funding will provide more of those career exploration opportunities while also breaking down some barriers to employment such as training fees, transportation and technology needs.”
The funding breaks down as follows:
- $250,000 to cover the salary and benefits of a Warren County Employment & Training staff member to work over the next four years with the school districts, Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES and local in-demand industries to enhance career exploration programs and engage students for local career opportunities.
- $120,000 for flexible spending to adjust to workforce needs as they change over the next four years.
- $85,000 for training to help cover costs for individuals and businesses, including sponsoring job seekers and incumbent workers through training programs that help them obtain and retain their positions and help businesses become better employers.
- $30,000 to help address technology gaps for workers. Laptops and iPads will be available for use at the Warren County Career Center and Crandall Library. The tech devices are for educational or vocational purposes only and are temporarily loaned to Warren County residents who agree to written terms. New televisions for classes and workshops as well as Wi-Fi printers for the Career Center will support job seekers using their phones to print out job applications or resumes.
- $30,000 for a Job Coach to support the Warren County Summer Youth Employment Program. “Many of the youth workers this year need additional assistance at their worksites and the Job Coach supports their individualized needs,” Ochsendorf explained.
- $8,000 for workforce transportation. Bus and bike passes will be distributed to local businesses on the Greater Glens Falls Transit bus route and near CDPHP bikeshare hubs to help local workers commute to work at no cost. Businesses that would like to avail themselves of these passes should contact Ochsendorf at 518-824-8865 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that these passes are for Warren County residents who use public transportation to get to and from work.
The Warren County Board of Supervisors continues to discuss future allocations of Warren County’s $12.4 million in ARPA funding, with its next ARPA Advisory Committee meeting scheduled for Wednesday, July 20 at 3 p.m. To keep up with this process, go to warrencountyny.gov/arpa.