“The role of Workforce Development,” says Dr. Penny Jennings, Vice President for Strategic Programs at Yonkers, N.Y.-based Greyston Foundation, an organization that for years has housed a successful Workforce Development program, “is to assist bringing into the workforce and to provide training, upskilling, and contribute to the development of individuals before and after they enter the workforce.” Jennings knows of what she speaks, as Greyston Foundation has a solid track record when it comes to the kinds of workforce development training programs that contribute significantly to ensuring that job seekers can not only find good jobs, but stay in them after they’re hired.
What Is The Difference Between Job Training And Workforce Development?
Although the terms may sound similar, Jennings draws a distinction between job training and workforce developing by noting that “job training is just that, it could be occupational training that also encompasses employee development training. The goal of job training is to develop skills individuals need to further increase their skills over the long term.”
What Is Greyston’s Workforce Development Strategy?
First and foremost, Jennings says the goal of Greyston’s Workforce Development strategy is “to contribute skills to those who have been left out of the workforce. We want to provide upskilling to incumbent workers who may be underemployed. And we provide transitional services for those who are beginning new opportunities that may present, in some cases, difficult challenges to them.”
What Is Workforce Training And Development?
According to Jennings, “workforce training assists workers who have gone into the workforce. We want to ensure that when they arrive in the workforce, they’re able to complete the tasks that their employers assign to them.” Asked if Greyston identifies the types of work assignments many local employers advertise that they’re looking for, Jennings says that Greyston’s Workforce Training program “works with local businesses to find out what their needs are. We can then modify workforce training to incorporate the particular skill(s) required by that employer. For a lot of incumbent workers, mastering the assignments given initially will of course lead to promotions.”
What Is Greyston’s Long Term Workforce Development Vision?
Jennings likes to highlight the Greyston Economic Opportunity Center (GEOC), a center that she says “provides job search opportunities for people with barriers to employment. For example, when we recently worked with a construction company that had 14 openings, we were able to fill 10 of those – they were flagger positions, and we stepped in to provide the training those workers needed to fill those openings.”
In addition to the specified training local companies require, Jennings notes that Greyston also offers “social services support, that being referrals for day care, transportation and other wraparound support services. And we have proven apprenticeship programs that last between eight and 12 weeks.”
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