Kansas WorkforceONE presented their services to connect employers to potential employees at a meeting at the Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce.

Getting businesses and potential employees together can be difficult especially in low unemployment markets or low population areas. Making that connection is what Kansas WorkforceONE specializes in and they can help with a variety of services.

For the new employee that needs training, WorkforceONE can reimburse up to $3,000 of the new employees salary during on-the-job training, said Tucky Allen, business service director and rapid response coordinator for Kansas WorkforceONE during a visit to the Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce on July 19.

While WorkforceONE handles the reimbursement, its the companies training plan used for on-the-job training. They can also create a customized training plan specifically for that company.

If a company is finding it difficult to find employees, WorkforceONE offers recruiting assistance for any number needed to fill the vacancies.

In the event of layoffs or closure, WorkforceONE can have a rapid response team visit the site and provide information on training, insurance and educational opportunities.

WorkforceONE needs to know about a layoffs or closures as soon as possible so they can help employees get back on their feet as soon as possible.

“If there’s any downsizing, we need to know,” Allen said.

Finding employees can be a real challenge. The biggest unemployed group is among the 16-24 year olds. WorkforceONE is working with high school students to teach them about available certificate programs.

Job shadowing is also available where students can go to actual businesses and shadow current employees to find out if they really want to work in that business. A lot of questions get answered during job shadowing.

Job shadowing is an important part of working success. Suzan Patton, USD 382, said their eighth graders have to do a job shadowing. They also have a job data base to help students find jobs.

WorkforceONE also partners with economic development to help businesses find employees. The partnership can help with initiatives and provides workshops, seminars, round tables and individual consultants the help with all aspects of getting new employees.

They also can help identify what work force is available when a business is seeking a town for a new location.

An employer has to know the capabilities of a potential employee. WorkforceONE helps with Kansas WORKReady! Certificate, a state wide program that certifies workers abilities. The certificate is powered by WorkKeys, a product of ACT, and is nationally recognized to assess basic skills of reading and math that are necessary to succeed in the work place. Each person is rated on a level from platinum, gold, silver and bronze and then matched with the employers needs, Allen said.

Most high schools will fall in the silver category. Patton said its good for employers to know that USD 382 students have WorkKeys information.

WorkforceONE provides employment information that students and schools may not be aware is available. About two percent of students are not going to college and they are unaware of what they can get right now. There are good paying jobs available that don’t require a full college education.

“Too many parents and kids don’t know what’s out there,” Allen said.

They can build bridges between businesses and schools to help match students with jobs, a vital link to success.

“Let’s get serious about building bridges this year,” Allen said.

Sometimes a new employee is having trouble being successful. WorkforceONE has workshops available to help those employees with soft skills they need to succeed. Just learning about being on time, not skipping work and other soft skill work ethics can help that employee succeed, said WorkforceOne employment specialist Maria Vela.

Helping an existing employee succeed can save a company money. It costs about $4,500 to hire a new person.

For more information on WorkforceONE, contact Allen at 316-303-2906 or Vela at 620-227-2149.

@GaleR_Tribune