One-Stop Centers were developed to bring together employment and training services that work will all people in one locations and make it easier for job seekers and employers to use these services. One-Stop Centers first began in the early 1990's as demonstration projects, and have expanded so there are now One-Stop Centers opening in all areas of the country. Services available through the One-Stop system include, but are not limited to: information about job vacancies, career options, and relevant employment trends; instruction on how to conduct a job search, write a resume, or interview with an employer; and referral to training programs.
The One-Stop system is designed and required to meet the needs of all job seekers who want to use the system. This includes people with disabilities. The establishment of the One-Stop system across the country provides a wonderful opportunity for people with disabilties to receive services in new and different ways, right alongside everyone else.
Locally, the North Country Workforce Investment Area's OneWorkSource (OWS) Centers represent a system of organizations that provide career development services for youth and adults and support to employers in recruiting, staffing and training a viable workforce. Established under the Workforce Investment Act, the OWS Centers offer a variety of services to job seeker and employers under one roof.
The System is coordinated by the New York State Department of Labor's (NYSDOL) Division of Employment & Workforce Solutions (DEWS).
The OWS Centers serve different kinds of customers: job seekers, including adults, youth, individuals with disabilities, war veterans, and those in the military looking for employment; companies looking to fill positions; community-based organizations seeking to place their social service clients into gainful employment; community colleges and training providers looking for students; and local governments seeking new avenues for economic development and community vitality.
While services are coordinated centrailly, they are delivered through a network of organizations ranging from community-baded non-profits to governmental agencies to vocational schools and community colleges.
There are three levels of services available through the OneWorkSource Centers and customers typically move from one level of service to the next depending on their needs. Each level of service is described below. The first level of service is called Core Services and they are usually self-directed in nature. For individuals who try Core Services but have not become employed, Intensive Services may be available, if the OneWorkSource Center staff determines that Core Services are not sufficient to obtain employment. Training Services are available to individuals who meet eligibility criteria, and have used Core and Intensive Services, but still are not successfully employed. In additions, supportive services may be provided to customers received any services, so that the services an individual receives are effective.
Core Services are those services that are available at no cost to everyone. Invididual One-Stops determine how their Core Services are provided. An individual may receive Core Services as part of a large group, or service many be provided one-on-one.
The following is a sampling of the types of Core Services that may be available.
Sample Core Services:
- Intake and orientation;
- Work skills exploration;
- Resource library, which includes access to computers, telephones, fax and copy machines;
- Searches for jobs and training;
- Access to job banks or listings of available jobs;
- Internet access;
- Resume development;
- Job seach skills training;
- Networking skills workshop;
- Interview techniques workshops; and
- Referral to an employer with current job openings.
Intensive services are available to individuals who are unable to obtain employment by using core services, and who meet specific eligibility criteria. These services are free to individuals who meet eligibility criteria. OneWorkSource Centers may have projects or services that are targeted toward specific groups such as teenagers, veterans, people with disabilities and people with limited incomes.
Funding for intensive services and special projects comes from a wide variety of sources including state and federal funds, employers, unions and other sources.
Sample Intensive Services:
- Comprehensive assessments of skills and service needs;
- Development of an individual employment and career plan;
- Customized screening and assessment;
- Reference/background checks;
- Intensive career counseling;
- In-depth interviewing skills development;
- Computer workshops; and
- One-to-one assistance with updating a resume, cover letters, and thank you letters.
Referral for training accounts may be available to individuals who have used Core and Intensive Services and have not been successfully employed, and meet eligibility criteria. The type of training that is offered varies among the OneWorkSource Centers and is based on the employment needs of the local economy.
Individuals eligible for training services use what are known as Individual Training Accounts (ITAs). The ITA can be used to freely choose training services from any eligible organization that provides training.
The primary goal of the OneWorkSource Centers is to advance the skills of the region's workforce through workforce solutions using public and private partnerships. The OWS Centers are where the rubber meets the road for delivering the services at a single point of contact for our customers. Through the services they offer, the centers are instrumental in:
- Helping to reduce poverty and unemployment by helping low-income and other disadvantaged citizens to increase their earning power through improved skills;
- Increasing self-sufficiency and reducing dependency on government services;
- Increasing employment at livable wages;
- Reducing high school drop out rates;
- Increasing rates of educational attaintment;
- Supporting a healthy business climate by assisting local employers to find and train qualified workers; and
- Promoting economic development by assuring a skilled workforce.
In summary, businesses look to OneWorkSource Centers for skilled employees, expertise in job training and supportive services. Job seekers, both adult and youth, look to the OneWorkSource Centers for referral to and placement in high quality jobs, education, and training programs.