Office of Workforce Development Empowers Howard Businesses

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The HCEDA has a powerful partner in strengthening local businesses: the Howard County Office of Workforce Development. Under the leadership of Director Francine Trout, this office plays a crucial role in supporting job seekers at all stages and helping employers find the perfect candidates to join their teams.

With a wide range of programs tailored for businesses and potential employees, the Office of Workforce Development actively engages with businesses of all sizes, offering recruitment, retention, training, and employment services for youth and adults.

Trout explains that by implementing a “demand-driven model,” their organization is able to offer services specifically catered to the requirements of businesses in Howard County. Leveraging their extensive database and partnerships with local organizations, they bridge the gap between employers searching for workers and individuals actively seeking employment opportunities.

According to Trout, “We can extend our support to businesses in need by providing that extra helping hand. Often overlooked as a resource for hiring, we have the capacity to offer substantial assistance. By closely collaborating with local and regional partners, we strive to facilitate access to a wider pool of prospective workers for these businesses.”

Trout emphasizes the Office of Workforce Development’s strong network of local and regional partnerships, enabling them to support those in need effectively. Their affiliations include collaborations with Anne Arundel County, Fort Meade, Howard Community College, the Howard County Library’s Project Literacy, the Autism Society, the Howard County Department of Corrections, the Maryland Department of Labor, and many others. Additionally, they have a representative stationed at the North Laurel Community Center.

Among the notable services provided by the Office of Workforce Development is a robust summer youth employment program that will offer jobs to nearly 200 students at approximately 65 worksites across the county. Many will work in county government, while others will work at private businesses that pay the youth but receive reimbursement from the county. They also frequently host job fairs and recruitment events from their office and assist businesses interested in establishing apprenticeship programs.

“Apprenticeships provide participants with the necessary skills and training for a successful career transition,” says Trout. “They serve as alternative talent development pipelines, attracting eager individuals to learn and acquire the required skills. Apprenticeships allow businesses to train skilled workers according to their specific needs. Moreover, these programs boast high retention rates and aid businesses in nurturing the next generation of their workforce. Incentives for hiring apprentices are also available, making it an excellent solution for addressing staffing requirements.”

The Office of Workforce Development also assists job seekers in enrolling in training programs that enhance their career prospects. Their on-the-job training program allows individuals to develop valuable skills while being employed, with a portion of the training costs covered.

Trout encourages businesses and those seeking employment to contact the Office of Workforce Development. “We will always do everything in our power to assist businesses and workers who seek our services,” says Trout.

“We take great pride in having the Office of Workforce Development as a resource for Howard County business owners and job seekers,” says Chris Moyer, Managing Director of Business Development and Marketing for HCEDA. “Our missions seamlessly align, benefiting the county’s economy. It is a privilege to collaborate with them to ensure Howard County’s continuous growth and success.”

Call 410-313-1060 or visit the Office of Workforce Development website to learn more.

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