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Ribbon Cut For Workforce Center

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine helped cut the ribbon Monday on a new comprehensive Workforce Center in South Boston, bringing the number of comprehensive one-stop workforce centers in the state to five.

The centers will serve jobseekers and businesses in their respective regions from central locations and will house local and state government agencies and not-for-profit organizations, including area community colleges, Virginia Employment Commission and Department of Rehabilitative Services.

With double-digit unemployment currently plaguing Southside Virginia, the South Boston Workforce Center was sorely needed, Kaine said.
“It’s very badly needed.  Obviously, in a tough time we want to be at our best with folks who are seeking more skills and with those looking for skills for their employees,” the governor noted following the ribbon-cutting.

State officials describe the One-Stop is just that, a place where customers will have one point of contact for a majority of their
employment and training needs, including intake, preliminary assessment, training and education, case management and job matching.

“That’s what this does,” Kaine continued.  “This is one of six of what we call comprehensive One-Stops, and it’s the first built purely for that purpose.

“This stand alone center is something South Boston and Halifax County should be proud of.

“The goal is you’re treating the whole person, instead of just a little bit of the person.  Somebody who walks in here who has to file an unemployment claim can do it.

“If someone needs to write a resume and find some job skills, or someone who is a veteran and has entitlement disability benefits, that can happen here.

“We will have social security administration folks here, and whether they’re local, state or federal agencies who touch the needs of a worker, they will all be here,” Kaine noted.

“The same holds true for employers who face the challenge of where to go to find more training for their employees.

“This is the place, everybody knows it, and they know this is the place to get help.

South Boston Mayor Carroll Thackston and South Boston IDA Chairman Tommy Elliott agreed that the WIB 8 Workforce Center is a much-needed shot in the arm for the area.

“It’s especially sweet to us because number one, our community and region desperately need it, and number two, it seemed so hard to do and needed our help.

“South Boston Councilman Bill Snead championed our cause from the beginning, and his approach was Southside typical – we want it, you need it, we’ll make it happen by working together.

“All we need in Southside Virginia and the counties of Region 8 is the opportunity to show the Commonwealth and the nation what we can do,” Thackston continued.

“We have the smarts.  We have the desire.  We’ll come up with our share of the resources.  What we need help with are the opportunities,” he added, while thanking Town Manager Ted Daniel, Elliott and IDA members for their vision and support.

Councilman Snead got the ball rolling, but it was Daniel who picked up the ball and was off and running, Elliott remarked.

“He didn’t stop until he had a deal that was beneficial, not only to the citizens of Halifax County and South Boston but to the state of Virginia as well.

“The IDA is particularly proud of this project because it also served as a much needed economic stimulus to our area,” Elliott explained, citing the efforts of Carter National Bank in funding the project, as well as the efforts of general contractor McDannald Construction, B&B Consultants and a number of sub-contractors and vendors, all local, according to the IDA chairman.

“This $1 million project gave us a much needed shot in the arm…the South Boston IDA looks forward to a long and lasting relationship with the Workforce Center.”