January 10, 2008

Providing Business Services: A How-To Manual

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This is a how-to guide for chambers of commerce and other employer organizations. It shows, step by step, how, in partnership with local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) and One-Stop Career Centers, they can provide their members with services that support business growth and economic stability. It shows how employer organizations can work hand in hand with the public workforce development system to offer employer-focused, effective, and efficient business services, addressing the core needs of business: hiring, training, and retaining workers.

Business-driven workforce services start with job placement, but many employer organizations go further based on their regions’ business climates. These additional services can include facilitating training for incumbent workers, assisting in the development and implementation of effective human resources practices (e.g., job descriptions, personnel policies, interviewing), and providing access to hiring-related tax credits, seminars on human resources topics, and referrals for training and worker compensation. These services help to strengthen the public workforce system by emphasizing direct job placement and training services for incumbent workers. Employer organizations, with strong relationships to local businesses, are well positioned to offer workforce-related business services like these. And the potential for impact is significant:  the Workforce Investment Act allocates billions of dollars each year for serving job seekers and employers. These funds are disbursed mainly through local Workforce Investment Boards, which have a majority of
business members.