Manpower taking over for Job Service
Bob Borremans, executive director of the Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, said Wisconsin Job Service notified the board in January that it would no longer provide services under the Workforce Investment Act, created by federal legislation in 1998 to streamline workforce preparation and development programs.
The board is one of the state’s 11 regional boards established by the investment act. It oversees the workforce system in Rock, Green, Lafayette, Grant, Iowa and Richland counties.
For this year, the board will receive more than $2 million in WIA funds, about a third of its total budget.
The $240,000 contract with Manpower will cover Rock and Green counties only.
In addition to its downtown Janesville office, Manpower will open an office at the Rock County Job Center, 1900 Center Ave.
With headquarters in Milwaukee, Manpower has nearly 4,000 offices in 82 countries and serves 400,000 clients a year.
“Manpower will have two separate lines of business,” Borremans said. “They will have their regular business and then what they are doing with the WIA contract at the job center.”
Manpower has a seat on the group’s board of directors, but Borremans said the awarding of the contract does not create a conflict of interest.
He noted the board has more than 30 members from both the public and private sectors, and most of the representatives come from agencies or organizations that work with the board routinely.
“Many agencies have representation on our board, as does Southwest Technical College, which won the WIA contract for the four other counties,” Borremans said. “This was an open, competitive bidding, and Manpower offered the best product for Rock and Green counties.”
Manpower will now handle all WIA services, such as case management and working directly with clients seeking jobs or training. That also could include skills assessment, coordinating employment or education plans and ultimately job placement.
Borremans said there is a clear structure in place to ensure Manpower does not skim off the best potential employees and steer them into jobs with Manpower clients.
“They have a proven track record of effectively working to assist clients, and we know they will offer quality services to those they’ll be serving,” he said.
Cynthia Harrington, Manpower’s branch manager for Rock and Green counties, said her company expects a successful partnership.
“We both measure success by finding and securing employment for our clients and meeting expectations of local employers,” she said.
Wisconsin Job Service has provided services for a number of years. Borremans said it would continue to offer other services at the job center.