2017 annual meetingWestchester/Putnam This year’s Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board (WPWDB) annual meeting held on June 29 at Dunwoodie Golf Course in Yonkers, was unique and interactive. The theme, “You’re Invited Aboard,” capitalized on the visibility campaign initiated by the WPWDB at the beginning of the year, a fun twist on the term ‘on-boarding’ signifying the hiring and training of employees, the main focus of the board’s efforts.

Using the cruise ship theme, each of the 180 people in attendance received a boarding pass which designated which three of the 16 round tables they would visit during the 45-minute workshop portion of the meeting. These smaller breakout sessions enabled participants to learn more about three different initiatives run by the WPWDB and partner agencies.

“We wanted people to really get involved and learn about the various programs, services and activities that we offer all year round for both job seekers and employer” stated Donnovan Beckford, Executive Director of WPWDB. “The ‘You’re Invited on Board’ theme perfectly mirrored our goal to get everyone on board and taking advantage of all we offer. The mini expo highlighted our partnerships and collaborative efforts to run all of the ambitious and innovative programs that get our local workforce trained and working, ultimately building a stronger local economy.”

The small group discussions made for a memorable and educational meeting, with everyone feeling better informed and connected and attendees left with a better understanding of at least three programs provided by the Board and agency partners.

Some of the highlighted programs included:

Jobs Waiting:  A federally-funded regional job training program that aims to prepare long- and short-term unemployed individuals for jobs in the Hudson Valley’s fastest-growing sectors – healthcare, advanced manufacturing, biotech and information technology.

Career Pathways: A two-year program offered by the WPWDB that helps eligible candidates identify suitable career growth opportunities and pursue the required credentials necessary to attain higher-paying employment.

Just Add One:  A 12-week business academy held at the Westchester Community College Entrepreneurial Gateway Center focusing on enhancing small business infrastructure through targeted trainings to help them to grow by adding at least one new employee to their payroll.

Youth Workforce Programs: Three year-round programs that support education and employment for eligible youth ages 16 – 24 including Westchester Development Academy for Youth (WDAY), Strive Forward and YouthBuild.

“This past year has been very successful for our Board. We have effectively implemented our business-focused marketing and promotion strategy, enhanced our interactive website, and launched several workforce initiatives,” stated David Singer, Chair of the WPWDB. “These efforts have increased local business awareness and access to our services and resources and have increased participation in our Sector Partnerships.”


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