Workforce Development Board

What is the Workforce Development Board (WDB)?

The WDB is a private sector led board jointly appointed by Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties. The board was initially established in July 2000 as a result of federal job training legislation (the Workforce Investment Act) and more recently redesigned under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The majority of the board and the leadership is comprised of local businesses. There are also representatives of other workforce related entities such as economic development, chambers of commerce, literacy programs, education, vocational rehabilitation and others.

What is the role of the WDB?

Connect with businesses, business organizations and other workforce service providers to:

  • Identify the workforce development needs of businesses
  • Develop resources to address identified workforce development needs
  • Implement or facilitate training designed to develop a more skilled workforce

What are the two primary functions of the WDB?

  • Develop linkages with businesses and promote the participation of businesses in the local workforce system with the goal of addressing the hiring and workforce needs of those businesses
  • Provide guidance, administrative oversight and policy making for the federal workforce funding provided to the three county area in a manner that will best assist local businesses and jobseekers. This includes oversight of the local Career Centers which provide workforce services to both business and jobseeker as well as development of a collaborative system of service provision between area workforce agencies.

How can the WDB assist the business community?

  • The WDB has established a strategic plan that will focus on addressing the needs of business.
  • The WDB will work with businesses to help facilitate area resources and initiatives to assist with hiring, training and other workforce needs
  • The WDB participates in the development/promotion of grant funded opportunities as available to assist businesses directly or to assist with preparing skilled workers in the region
  • The WDB has a youth committee to address youth workforce needs and provide oversight of specific training funds to help develop the workplace skills of eligible youth through basic skills acquisition, work experience opportunities, employment counseling and work readiness training
  • The WDB has and will continue to develop initiatives to promote awareness of occupational opportunities and skills needed by local businesses to both job seekers and other local workforce agencies
  • The WDB will continue to strive to enhance the level of collaborative and creative efforts between area workforce agencies to benefit both businesses and jobseekers

Specific services offered through the WDB's Career Centers

The WDB’s Career Centers are located in each county targeting both businesses and job seekers (subject to eligibility and available funding):

  • On the job training for eligible adults to assist local companies with the cost of training a new employee
  • Recruitment assistance for businesses and business networking opportunities for businesses and job seekers
  • Job skill training for job seekers through E-learning opportunities and tuition assistance to acquire new, in-demand occupational skills to help create a better prepared workforce for local businesses
  • Referral of applicants for available job opportunities, and more

This is our board chair, Mike Perez in action at Career Jam.

We are a private sector led board comprised of workforce related entities dedicated to helping business and individual employment needs.

Specific Roles Include…

Writing & Approving the Local Plan & Regional Plans

There will be an expanded regional planning role with other workforce boards and will include more interaction with REDCs.

Workforce Research & Regional Labor Market Analysis

  • An expectation that we will be developing more local labor market information and intelligence and using existing data to the greatest extent for service provision and planning
  • Can address information related to skills needed, industry career paths and opportunities, etc.
  • Great opportunity here for our needs committee and our sector approach to address awareness activities with job seekers and youth to benefit businesses

Employer Engagement in Local System & Develop Sector Strategies

  • Developing a strategy to create business sector clusters of like employers to address awareness, recruitment and training needs for businesses with all local workforce and educational agencies involved to address needs and areas they can assist with

Career Pathways Development

  • A continuum of training activities to support the career progression of less skilled individuals with supportive services/education and skill development woven together

Technology Improvements for Local System Operations

  • Using our new website when developed as more of a tool and resource
  • Expanded use of E-learning and new pathways portal with NY Wired

Ensure Appropriate Use and Management of Program Funds

  • Stronger role for board especially given the center selection and periodic re-certification requirements
  • Customer satisfaction

Convening, Brokering and Leveraging - Workforce System Partners & Business Organizations

  • The board will be convening business sectors in partnership with educational and local business organizations to identify business workforce needs and specific strategies to address needs.
  • The board will continue to convene partner organizations to develop opportunities for collaboration and enhanced service provision for job seeker and business customers.

Selection of Center Operators and Service Providers

  • The workforce board selects career center operators, provides oversight and promotes continuous improvement.

Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities

  • Enhanced emphasis on services to specific populations especially individuals with disabilities
  • Will work with local related agencies and ACCES-VR to review and plan activities