Thursday, October 1, 2009
WIN Center budget estimated
By SUE WATSON
The startup cost to put a WIN Job Center in Marshall County has been estimated by employees with the Three Rivers Planning and Development District and Northwest Community College to be close to $67,745 yearly.
The figures were crunched on what it would take to pay the annual salary of one staffer to run the WIN (Workforce Investment Network) Center and to supply an office and for travel.
Gary Golden, director of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult Program at Three Rivers, estimated an annual salary and fringe benefits for one employee would run about $46,895. Travel, supplies, equipment, and other office items would cost about $20,850.
“The proposed budget includes items and initial cost of locating a Northwest employee in Holly Springs to assist individuals with WIA employment/training services provided by the college,” according to Jennifer Casey, with the college.
The budget does not include facility rent, utilities, telephone service and Internet service, they said.
Golden said the budget proposed by Northwest will be distributed to proposed partners - the entities attending the first meeting to determine if a WIN Center is wanted for Marshall/Benton counties, and if it is wanted, how it would be paid for.
“They now need to assess their ability or desire to participate at a specific funding level and see if we can get this project accomplished,” Golden said.
Some of the participants at the meeting to discuss the need for a WIN Center included Sen. Bill Stone, Rep. Kelvin Buck, Mike Hamblin (alderman, Byhalia), Mayor Andre’ DeBerry (Holly Springs), George Zinn III, (Marshall County Board of Supervisors) Ricky Pipkin (Benton County Board of Supervisors), Bill Renick with Three Rivers PDD, IDA director Bill Mobley and representatives with Northeast Mississippi PDD and others.
Golden said Three Rivers does not have funds for start-up operations, but if the cities and counties come up with some of the budget, Three Rivers would bring money to the table as well.
“If they do not, it would be difficult for us to fund a full-time WIN Job Center,” he said.
Bill Renick, with Three Rivers, believes a partnership to bring the WIN Center to the two counties is needed and would lead to other important things.
“I don’t know if Three Rivers could fund half of the cost but we would certainly participate to the best of our funding ability,” he said. “I truly believe, if we could partner on this project, it could lead to more partnerships in the future on other issues.”
Senator Bill Stone hopes this initiative will lead to better things for the area.
“I was very happy with the outcome of the meeting at Annie’s. I hope we can grow that spirit of cooperation between our local governments into a permanent partnership to bring more than the just the WIN center to our area,” he said.
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