Thursday, July 29, 2010
Last week staff writer Sue Watson appropriately termed the location of the new job center in Holly Springs – “the result of a win-WIN situation.”
The editor could not have written it better himself.
A common quote coming from the ribbon-cutting and open house on Monday of last week was, “This is a great day.”
It’s indeed great for several reasons.
First and foremost, it’s about putting more Marshall and Benton countians to work.
As Ricky Pipkin, president of the Benton County Board of Supervisors said, “This is not about unemployment; this is about employment.”
The Workforce Investment Network (WIN) in Mississippi is an innovative strategy designed to provide convenient, one-stop employment and training services to employers and job seekers. Combining federal, state and community workforce programs and services into physical locations and electronic sites, WIN in Mississippi creates a system that is both convenient and user-friendly.
It’s great to have those vital services available through a first-class, full-time WIN Job Center facility here at home, on the campus of Rust College adjacent to the Beckley Conference Center.
It’s a feather in our cap when it comes to economic growth. One immediate opportunity is the new Toyota plant coming to Blue Springs – either by our people getting jobs there or Marshall or Benton landing a supplier.
For the job seekers, WIN Job Centers offer job search and placement assistance, resume software, interview tips, access to office equipment like computers and fax machines, Internet access for job searches and resume posting, labor market information, career and aptitude assessment and much more.
For businesses, WIN Job Centers offer recruiting and screening of job seekers, posting of job openings, job fairs, office space for interviewing and more. The Holly Springs center will also have a computer training lab available for computer classes and pre-employment testing.
Bill Renick with Three Rivers told me back in June one of the reasons the state decided to put a full-time WIN Job Center in this area is “because of the future economic development opportunities.”
“You have a very strong economic development organization going – something to be proud of,” he said. “Marshall County is positioned to have a bright future.”
Most likely, that “bright future” will come about through an all-important trait exemplified in the landing of the WIN Job Center.
That trait is teamwork.
Every speaker during the grand opening ceremony July 19 mentioned the importance of working together – particularly in this instance the counties of Benton and Marshall and the municipalities in the two adjoining counties.
And as George Zinn, Marshall County supervisor emphasized, “We have established something that can be built on as a unit.”
The days of economic development pitting one county versus another in the same “neck of the woods” are history. The walls are down, and they must stay down.
What’s good for Ashland is good for Holly Springs. What’s good for Byhalia is good for Hickory Flat.
The WIN Job Center, hopefully, is just the first big step.
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