The Tale of Four Offices
WorkSource Montgomery has grown exponentially in its first year, and we are happy to have new staff, a new address to our corporate headquarters and the opportunity to serve our businesses and talent each day. To celebrate a year of accomplishments, let’s take a look back at where we started.
Our first office space is one of my favorites: a table at a local Starbucks. Surrounded by the aroma of coffee, I learned, through many kind and informative leaders, how to innovatively implement WorkSource Montgomery’s mission. From the onset it was evident that the focus was to support career creators and pair them with qualified talent, and in turn enhance our economy and quality of life. With each meeting, my enthusiasm grew and my creativity took life. While fiscal supports were in transition, I robustly pursued capacity building resources.
When I moved into our second office space, provided by the kindness of Montgomery College – Germantown, we were the lead or active partner on six exciting grant programs. Here, we updated our website and expanded our industry sector approach. There was a lot to learn about the changing Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and updating policies and procedures. Both the Wheaton and Germantown Job Center had new contractors and I was excited about the great work at the Correction Institute to support re-entry job seekers. I studied best practices to enhance a talent development system that incorporated collaborative partnerships with all the organizations that were actively contributing to our workforce. WSM’s structure was still being developed and much of this work was done through support of the Board. Our goal: to change the conversation about talent development in Montgomery County. Aptly, I learned a lot while in my Montgomery College office. My biggest discovery was the Montgomery County culture of incredible compassion and motivation to make a difference.
So, I packed up my policies and moved on to beautiful office number 3 at Executive Blvd in Rockville. Once again, generosity abounded as the office space was provided in-kind by Ron Paul and our office furniture was donated by Donohoe Construction. Revenues were now more consistent and WSM could begin to build a team. The operations began to come together and the office sparked with creativity and new partnerships. We focused on data-based decisions and addressing programs that would best support targeted industries and provide diverse options for career seekers. New programs such as the WSM Ticket to Work program, WSM “pop-up” job centers and Summer RISE began to thrive. Our capacity continued to grow and we continued to convene key stakeholders to redefine the talent development system.
Our mission is employer focused, aimed at economic growth, and we are thrilled that our fourth office space is shared with Visit Montgomery and the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. Immediately the synergy among the organizations began. As we launch our second year we have built a strong leadership team and continue to create value- add to talent development. We are so grateful to all those who provided supports, guidance, and resources to ensure our successful first year. Big things are coming. We are remodeling the Wheaton Job Center, developing new integrated customer services, creating a Montgomery County Jobs Portal, making labor market data accessible, enhancing our presence across the County, and much more. Stay tuned.