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Drew Mahoney is the face of Adirondack Teleworks as its full-time program director. (Photo/Pete Klein)


Workforce council hitting its stride

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - Updated: 8:47 AM


Express News Staff

LAKE PLEASANT -- Hamilton County Workforce Investment Council Chairman Bill Murphy says the past year saw great improvements in the council's operations.

"While enduring three changes in the North Country Workforce Investment Board's leadership and a federal government shutdown, we have managed to realign our operations and put in place a One Worksource Center," Murphy said. "We have created better working relationships and communications among other county departments and the HCWIC. Our future looks very bright."

The North Country WIB is the umbrella organization under which the HCWIC operates.

As part of his annual report, delivered when the WIC met Tuesday, Aug. 12, Murphy said he expects federal changes that could be good news for Hamilton County.

"Good news was recently received from Washington, D.C.," he said. "The United States Congress has passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. This act reworks and replaces the former Workforce Investment Act (WIA).

"The WIA was passed 16 years ago and had not been reaffirmed in 11 years. Not only did the new act pass, but did so with a huge majority in both houses."

While details of the new act are still emerging, Murphy said, "It is intended to put decisions closer to the towns and villages where their impact will be felt."


Murphy reported Hamilton County now has a representative on the Regional Youth Program Committee in Plattsburgh, Danielle Shaw. The WIB committee oversees the use of more than $300,000 in funds each year.

"In addition, Shaw will head up a youth committee here in Hamilton County," Murphy said. "District Attorney Marsha Purdue and Kellie Mitchell have agreed to serve on the committee.

"The goal is to bring some of the $300,000 to youth programs here in Hamilton County."


Adirondack Teleworks now has a full-time program director, thanks to a $100,000 grant awarded by Empire State Development in December 2013.

Drew Mahoney is working on building the telework jobs database, contacting new companies that employee teleworkers, and creating a 12-week digital literacy course with assistance from Indian Lake Librarian Nancy Berkowitz.

The course is designed to help job seekers qualify for telework positions. The first is scheduled to start in September at Indian Lake Library.

Mahoney said Berkowitz is also helping him learn how to write grant applications.

"We currently have about 900 users and some have reported finding jobs on the website. I recently added 115 job listings," Mahoney said. "Once we get the teleworking classes running in Indian Lake, we hope to make them available at Lake Pleasant Library."


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