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Job Growers Incorporated

Mid-Willamette Valley Staffing Association

Community Challenge/Problem

Staffing agencies are providing a larger share of area employment than ever in the region 3 area, particularly in Marion County. From 2001 to 2009 the percentage of private sector employment provided by staffing agencies in the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area (Marion and Polk counties combined) increased from five percent to five and one half percent.

There was a general recognition that it was important to formally include the staffing agencies in the area as part of the workforce system. The agencies themselves were supportive of a forum in which they could collaborate rather than be competitive. The association with the local workforce investment board also gave the staffing agencies a more direct connection with the economic development agencies, and the community college system, and access to training resources.

Board Solution/Innovation

Job Growers Incorporated, the local workforce investment board, provides staff and support via workforce funds to the Mid-Willamette Valley Staffing Association, a consortium that has been in existence since 2002. Currently eight staffing agencies (of a total of 15) located in Salem and Marion Counties belong to the association. It is a forum for sharing best practices, networking, collaborating, and promoting the value of the association as a workforce partner. The association meets quarterly. At their last meeting there was a presentation about a county-sponsored re-entry program for ex-felons.

Outcomes & Results

Staffing agencies collaborate when a new business comes to the area, and training needs and employment assistance are provided by a partnership with Job Growers, a win-win situation for everyone.

Sanyo, a manufacturer of solar cells, came to Salem in fall of 2009 and began building a manufacturing facility. All eight staffing agencies belonging to the association, with help from Job Growers staff and the resources of the Salem one-stop, cooperated in the outreach, recruitment and assessment of job applicants for the Sanyo positions (approximately 150 positions).

When one of the staffing agencies belonging to the association filled a number of positions to work in the area’s food processing industry, Job Growers Incorporated provided training to the new employees in food processing safety standards.

The overall benefit is that, with the investment of staff time (paid for by Workforce Investment Act funds), the staffing agencies of the area have been brought into the workforce system and are working as a part of it.

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