Even before the scissors sliced through the ribbon, the One Stop Center at the Effingham County annex was in use.
The Coastal Workforce Investment Board opened its One Stop Center on Wednesday, giving Effingham residents a place to prepare themselves for possible new careers.
Opening such a center has been a goal for a few years, said Coastal Workforce Investment Board vice president Mark Corrigan. Before, it was “a closet with a PC,” he said.
“We’ve graduated from that,” Corrigan said. “We have a full center. We’ve worked diligently to get this to fruition.”
The center will be staffed by personnel from the Statesboro and Savannah offices and will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays. Corrigan said they hope to expand the Effingham office soon.
The One Stop Center, the sixth of its kind for the nine counties covered by the Coastal Workforce Investment Board, has information on labor market, technical careers, job interview techniques, job listings and job training programs. It also has information on child care resources.
“I think it’s a resource a lot of people in this area are unfamiliar with,” Effingham Industrial Development Authority CEO John Henry said.
At the One-Stop Center, its customers can assess what their training needs are. For workers who have lost jobs to layoffs or other workforce reductions, the One-Stop Center can get them started on preparing for a new career.
“People who have been laid off and are in need of training can find out what’s available,” Henry said.
Effingham County Commission Chairman Dusty Zeigler said the new center is a great use of the Workforce Investment Act.
“We hope to provide another great tool and resource for our residents to be trained and get a good resume to capture those jobs they are seeking.”
Henry worked for Coastal Workforce Services for a year prior to coming to the Effingham IDA. Workforce development in the South used to be lightly regarded, but that’s not the case anymore — and that’s attractive to potential businesses and industries.
“It’s another tool in our tool kit,” Henry said. “Our focus in workforce development in the past 10 years has been tremendous.
“This is very important in fostering that,” he said.