Program (s): Wagner Peyser Program – Employer Services
Location: Laramie Workforce Center / Cheyenne Workforce Center
The Wyoming Colorado Regional Partnership (WyCo) had a very successful virtual job fair on October 25, 2022, drawing 272 job seekers and 99 employers between the two states, with a total of 7,437 employer booth visits. This was a very successful event, and the next hybrid virtual and in-person job fair is planned for May 10, 2023.
WyCo has been in place for more than a decade, successfully working together to match employers and job seekers in eight different counties across the two states. The partnership holds two job fairs each year in spring and fall. Prior to 2020, these were held as in-person events. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WyCo was forced into a virtual space, but was still able to successfully hold job fairs in order to keep our businesses and job seekers moving forward. WyCo meets on an ad hoc basis throughout the year, but as time gets closer to the planned fairs, meetings move to bi-weekly and then weekly. The partnership assigns members tasks based upon their skills and availability but shares duties across the board. The group allows members to share their experiences and best practices across workforce centers of varying sizes with a diverse customer base.
Participant: Steve Smith (pseudonym)
Program (s): TANF (POWER), Wagner Peyser (WP), & Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
Location: Casper Workforce Center
Steve applied for the POWER Work program as part of a two-parent household. He had been laid off from his previous employment and unemployed for almost a full year. Steve had received Unemployment Insurance but had exhausted his claim.
When Steve first met with his DWS Case Manager, he appeared frustrated and depressed about his inability to gain employment. Steve reported he had been applying for positions in and out of state.
The Wagner Peyser (WP) and POWER Work program, assisted Steve with:
- Labor Exchange Services
- Employability Skills Opportunities
- Support Services
- Job Shadows
- Referral to DVR
- Work Payment Incentive
The DWS Case Manager enrolled Steve into the WP Program and began providing Steve with basic career services. These services included: learning how to improve his wyomingatwork registration, completion of interest and skill assessments, and a review of available job searching tools. Steve also strengthened his understanding of how to apply for work, the importance of a strong resume, and guidance on the interview process. This learning was done individually with his case manager and in group settings through employability workshops.
Steve began having monthly appointments with his DWS Case Manager and appeared very committed to his success. It was through these meetings that Steve’s case manager referred him to DVR.
To reduce additional stress while Steve was focused on gaining employment, the POWER Work Program assisted Steve with support services (assisted with a car insurance payment and a phone bill). Steve became employed by the YMCA in Casper as the Facilities Director at $44,000/year. He also was eligible for a $300 incentive from the POWER Work Program and a one-month incentive payment from Department of Family Services (DFS).
Participant: Hallie Chase (Release of Information on File)
Program (s): WIOA Title I, Youth Program and Wagner Peyser (WP) Program
Location: Gillette Workforce Center
Hallie met with a DWS Case Manager and completed a WIOA orientation and was later enrolled into the WIOA Youth Program. Hallie started to receive the following WIOA services from the required 14-Program Youth Elements:
- Drop Out Recovery/Tutoring
- Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance
- Support Services
- Financial Literacy
- Leadership Development Opportunities
- Labor Market Information
- Work Experience Learning
During this journey, Hallie continued to deal with her health issues, and then her father passed away unexpectedly in work accident. This tragedy required Adult Education and DWS to modify Hallie’s Individual Service Strategy and realign the timeline of her goals.
Hallie leaned into her supports, developed a mentor relationship, and successfully earned her HiSet. To strengthen Hallie’s work skills, DWS enrolled Hallie into a work experience opportunity through the Gillette Workforce Center as an administrative assistant in the resource room. Hallie is currently still engaged in this work experience, is learning valuable job skills and has developed a great support system.
The DWS Case Manager has continued to provide intensive career services through additional career and interest assessments and discussion on labor market information. Hallie is now enrolled at Gillette College and will begin working toward her nursing degree in May. Hallie remains enrolled in the WIOA Youth Program and the Wagner Peyser Program.