Workforce Development Month highlights importance of responding to today’s job market needs

JFCS Career Services is part of statewide effort to adapt Minnesota’s workforce to fill thousands of open jobs

By Sheilah Howard • JFCS Career Services Director

September is Workforce Development Month, a time to honor workforce development leaders and staff across Minnesota, as well as draw attention to the resources available to those looking for work, wanting to prepare for in-demand employment or exploring their career options. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) stated that investment in the education, training and career advancement of Minnesota’s workforce is crucial to the ability of our state to compete in the global economy. DEED leads these efforts along with business and nonprofit partners throughout the state.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed Minnesota’s labor market in unprecedented ways, starting with the largest and fastest job loss in state history, followed by the swiftest employment recovery Minnesota has ever witnessed following a recession, according to DEED. Currently, there are tens of thousands of jobs available across the state and employers are struggling to find workers to fill them due to a variety of factors. In some cases, workers may need to gain new skills to find a job in their area that meets their family’s needs. Collaboration between the workforce system and business, education, and private-public partners is critical to align training and workforce needs. 

JFCS Career Services serves on average about 1,100 people per year, from entry level to executive. As part of a holistic approach at JFCS, we see quality, sustainable employment as an important part of what helps individuals and families achieve economic stability and connection to the community.

Our team of Employment Counselors are highly credentialed, including bachelor’s and master’s degrees, licensed counselors, licensed social workers, certified résumé writers, certified career development facilitators, and training specific to their specializations. We help people assess their skills and interests to create their employment plans and assist with job search, résumés, applications, interview preparation, and maintaining employment.

We have Employment Counselors who specialize in working with individuals with disabilities, with older workers, with people who have been unemployed for a long time, with those receiving public assistance, and with those beginning or continuing IT careers. Many people we work with face challenges to obtaining and maintaining employment, including transportation, child care, English language skills, and lack of training/credentials. We help address those challenges. 

Our work at JFCS is part of statewide effort to make sure Minnesota’s workforce is ready for today’s job market. “Never in recent memory have investments in our state’s workforce development and the need to innovate to adapt to rapid changes been more important,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “Thanks to bipartisan support in the state legislature last session, Minnesota has made significant additional investments to help Minnesotans who are underemployed or who have barriers to employment get the training they need to get hired in jobs that are in high demand and on a promising career path.”

For more information on JFCS Career Services call 952-417-2111 or fill out a Career Interest Form here