Thursday, December 1, 2011
Job center needs support
By SUE WATSON
A review of the Marshall/Benton County WIN Job Center in Holly Springs by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security shows the local WIN Center has not performed as needed.
More employers need to list job openings with the center, MDES has said in its audit report.
A meeting of local partners, a few employers and agencies was held recently at the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority to review the situation and to discuss strategies to get employers to list job openings at the center.
Bill Renick, with Three Rivers Planning and Development District, one of the agency partners that funnels state/federal dollars into community colleges and WIN Centers, advised the people attending to get out and ask any business, including small businesses, who have any employee slots, to think to list their job with WIN in Holly Springs first. He said more contact with Human Resource staffing at warehousing and manufacturing sites could help get their job listings online with the WIN Center in Holly Springs.
“Our partners (municipal and counties) are sending their dues,” said George Zinn III, one politician who worked hard to get the local WIN Center established at a time when centers were being closed.
“We fell short in job orders and MDES has had a tremendous cutback and is unable to staff the office full-time,” he said.
The center has cut back to two part-time workers, he said.
Renick said Three Rivers supports the center, which operates mostly on federal dollars over four work force areas in the state. MDES has lost about 30 WIN Center employees, three from Southaven, he said.
“When things are getting cut like that, the number who have come to the WIN Center is satisfactory, he said. “But they don’t have enough job listings in the local area.”
He called for local businesses to use the center to list jobs anytime they have an opening. The listing is free and can be done online.
The staff at WIN centers screen and test prospective employees and take applications for work.
There also has been a splintering or type of competition for job seekers and job listings in the local area with Northwest Community College at the Holly Springs Technology Center and the staffing agency BDC Consultants (250 Whaley Drive, Holly Springs).
“We can’t have a splintered operation,” Renick said. “We can’t have two locations for service. It is a local issue you have to take care of.
“The WIN Center is for anybody who has a job opening right down to Wendy’s, McDonald’s, to the City of Holly Springs, Byhalia and Benton County. If we could get anybody in Byhalia who wants to hire a person or Thomas & Betts, to list job openings, they will be listed statewide.
“The key to this whole thing is education (of employers). We need you to list the job for a cook or for a county worker. Holly Springs will get the numbers, if it is listed here.”
The job listings are put up on the worldwide web once they are listed at a local WIN Center, he said.
“As an employer, all you have to have is a job description,” he said. “The business can set its criteria for abilities (skill sets).”
Any club or civic organization that wishes to have someone speak about the urgency of keeping the WIN Center in Holly Springs can contact Renick, 662-489-2415.
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