Young female architect working on blueprintLast month’s Future Workforce Committee meeting proved how valuable it is to have a collaborative group of individuals representing various sectors come together regularly to address workforce issues.  Many members are aware that the Future Workforce Committee helped launch the YEA! program and the Hire Me First program for middle and high school students.
At this meeting a local manufacturing firm representative came forth with a more immediate need regarding workforce training.  The company is in need of machine operators and has been training internally but that is a drain on their resources and they have heard that other companies were also in need of this skill set in potential new hires.  And, they simply cannot find qualified candidates to interview and hire.

What they discovered is that the resources are here.  Western Colorado Community College has programs needed for this often entry level position including blueprint reading and applied mathematics.  The course normally takes 16 weeks but they could do it in four if needed.  The Mesa County Workforce Center has the ability to seek the funding to pay for the training for those interested in the job but lacking the proper skills…and the company is willing to hire them.  In the course of one hour a framework for working together was established and method for recruiting potential workers was determined.

There have been subsequent meetings and if all goes well up to 30 people currently looking for work will find employment over the next couple of months in our manufacturing sector.  It happened because of the partnerships and regular collaboration that has developed in the Future Workforce Committee.

If you are seeing a particular need for training consider utilizing the resources of WCC by contacting Brigitte Sundermann, ( or by contacting Diane at the Chamber (

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