Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today accepted the Building A World-Class Workforce Award from the United States Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) at their annual conference in Seattle, Washington. The national customer service award annually honors outstanding achievements by state workforce agencies across the country.
The honorable mention award is a result of a partnership with DWD and the Department of Corrections to develop and deliver training for Wisconsin Job Center staff to better serve customers with an offender background. Thirty-three training events were held around the state with over 1,000 participants.
“This honor is a great example of collaboration of state agencies to address a difficult issue,” said DWD Secretary Roberta Gassman. “Employment is one of the key areas to prevent recidivism for offenders and our Wisconsin Job Centers play a key role to linking job seekers to employers. The training and follow-up prepare Job Center staff to serve those job seekers with additional barriers to employment.”
DWD and Corrections formed a 10-person task force to improve communications and to explore tools and strategies to serve offenders in the state’s 77 One Stop Job Center settings. The two departments then developed a training curriculum that could be customized to meet employer needs. The program proved to be so successful that, at the request of employer groups, the training was customized to meet the needs of the business community. The department was awarded a plaque and $5,000 for the Building A World-Class Workforce Award. The grant award from the recognition will be used to develop and deliver the next level of training for the Job Center staff.