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Fauquier’s government to boost businesses with workforce ‘SWAT Team’

Friday, Jun. 13 | By Mark Grandstaff | Google+
Businesses that are looking for the right hires - or looking to move to Fauquier County - will soon find an ally in a coalition of business and education stakeholders assembled at the county's behest.

The Fauquier County Departments of Economic Development and Human Resources announced today that they're creating a joint “SWAT” Team to support employers in the community. Led by the two founding Departments, the County plans to assemble qualified players to meet with current and prospective employers to help them fill their workforce needs.

In addition to the Fauquier Economic Development and Human Resource departments, Fauquier County Public Schools, the county expects representatives from Lord Fairfax Community College, the Piedmont Workforce Network, the Virginia Employment Commission and "a network of regional specialists in workforce development issues" to join the team, according to a news release from Fauquier County spokeswoman Katie Heritage.

The teams will assemble each time an employer identifies a workforce challenge such as finding new hires, training or retraining employees, or taking advantage of state and federal support programs, she said.

The teams will be available to work with new business prospects who want to locate in Fauquier County and existing businesses that are trying to expand and desire assistance addressing their workforce needs. Moreover, the teams will be available to support each other in developing programs, seeking state and federal grants, and reaching employers and the workforce.

The idea behind this concept is to create a comprehensive, integrated approach to an issue that is near and dear to most employers and local governments. Employers often site the recruitment, training and retention of qualified workers as their biggest challenge, and also one of the key elements affecting expansion and relocation plans. This new program is the result of a six-month collaboration among County Departments, County Schools, Lord Fairfax Community College, the Piedmont Workforce Network and the Virginia Employment Commission, along with the Fauquier Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Warrenton Chamber of Commerce.

Janelle Downes, Human Resources Director for Fauquier County Government and Fauquier County Schools, the county's largest employers, said, “This new initiative will help us make sure that we are working together to match workforce skills to employer needs so that we can all find the qualified people we need.”

For further information, please contact Miles Friedman, 540-422-8270, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and/or Janelle Downes, 540-422-8301, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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