Jinny Rietmann: A growing business
Posted at 15:55 Tuesday, January 10, 2023
Is your company looking for a way to develop itself, solve capital solutions and build/retain talent? Workforce Development, Inc. and the Southeast Minnesota Workforce Development Board have a few solutions for you!
First, we provide an opportunity for companies to participate in the Inclusive Workforce Employer (I/WE) Designation for Southeast Minnesota. This designation is the first of its kind in our area to provide employers with the resources they need to build/improve/maintain an equitable workforce.
The second Inclusive Workforce Employer (I/WE) Designation Cohort started at the end of June 2022, in which 13 employers participated. Participating employers come from a variety of industries, are of different sizes, are located across the region and have entered this business at different points on their Diversity/Equality/Inclusion (DEI) journeys. Employers in this cohort include Amesbury Truth, City of Northfield, Spherion Staffing, Faribault Education Center, Viracon, Gemini Inc., South Country Health Alliance, Workforce Development Inc., Northfield Hospitals and Clinics, Healthy Community Initiative, City of Rochester, Carpenter’s Union and Ventura Foods. 10 out of 13 companies reported that they met the “first” component of I/WE by integrating diversity, equity and inclusion into their mission, values and policies. 5 companies have completed or are about to start their organizational assessments, and several others will also start soon as they make final decisions about which assessment to use.
All employers in the group are invited to I/WE educational sessions organized specifically for the group, organized by the Workforce Development Committee’s Employment and Equity Working Group. These educational sessions follow the 4 primary components of I/WE:
• Express a commitment to an inclusive workplace in your stated values, mission or policy.
• Assess how diversity, equality and inclusion affect their work and culture.
• Provide diversity, equity and inclusion education for staff and leadership.
• Allocate resources to support and maintain an inclusive and equitable workplace.
Another solution is Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) — a business training plan with funding assistance for qualified employers to upskill their workforce with new or upgraded work skills. Workforce Development Inc. provides an opportunity for Southeast Minnesota employers to help train employees and bring them to a new title, salary or benefit they did not have prior to the new training through the Existing Worker Training Program. This training can also help fill leadership gaps with employees who have remained loyal to the employer, create entry-level positions, and hopefully prevent layoffs.
Existing Worker Training (IWT) provides both workers and employers with the opportunity to build and maintain a quality workforce. Workforce Development, Inc. (WDI) IWT is a business program designed to meet the needs of an employer or group of employers to retain a skilled workforce or prevent layoffs. These are two different goals, although not mutually exclusive, and may result in different IWT strategies and the types of employees selected for training. In both cases, there is an expectation that the employee will be promoted or retained by the company after undergoing the training. Ideally, this would also create additional fill-in opportunities for other workers. IWT can be used for:
• Help in preventing possible layoffs of employees, or
• Acquire the skills necessary to retain employment, such as increasing the skill level of employees so they can be promoted within the company and create fill opportunities for less qualified employees.
The program is intended to compensate part, through reimbursement, of business costs for training and improving the skills of employed workers. WDI provides this to all businesses and employees in SE MN; however, the application process is competitive.
If you would like to learn more about any of these opportunities, please contact us! Happy New Year and WDI wishes you prosperity and a strong workforce in 2023!
Jinny Rietmann is the CEO of Workforce Development, Inc.