Thursday, January 24, 2008

Westhoff joins LWIB and WIRED/NSAI

In January, James Westhoff joined the Workforce Investment Board as the new Industry Liaison for the North Star Alliance. Previously, James worked at Bowdoin College's Career Planning Center, where he was the school's assistant director of planning.

The State of Maine received a Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant. According to the U.S. DOL website, "WIRED is a groundbreaking approach to workforce and economic development. Through the WIRED model regions integrate economic and workforce development activities and demonstrate that talent development can drive economic transformation in regional economies across the United States."

Under the WIRED model, the North Star Alliance Initiative (NSAI) is a revolutionary industry-led collaborative, synthesizing business, R&D, education, workforce, and economic development resources to re-skill a workforce and launch a new regional economy in Maine. The targeted industry sectors are the boat building, marine trades, and companies that use advanced composite materials and the goal is to allow the industry to tell us what they need around workforce issues. This initiative provides funding to companies for training new and existing workers through classes, on the job training, apprenticeships, and any other needs that companies might have. We partner with several organizations and bring them to the table to see if they can help with any issues if ours cannot be used.
FMI, please contact Westhoff at 753-9035, particularly if you think your business may benefit from these innovative programs. Additional information can be found at the NSAI website.

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