image

2019: Reflecting on Our Biggest Year Yet

From summer grant youth programs to a Job Center move to the first-ever Convening, WSM had a lot going on in 2019. In total, we hosted 127 employment events throughout 2019 and engaged more than 500 employers. This is in addition to the over 600 workshops we offered throughout the year in our Wheaton, Germantown, and East County locations.

Here’s a recap of the many strides we’ve taken as an organization over the last year and Montgomery County residents who’ve benefitted from our services.

reflection-blog
East County Job Fair

Serving Everyone

In 2019, WSM served more of the state defined  hardest to serve individuals in Maryland than any county in the state—including more vulnerable individuals than neighboring workforce development entities in Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, and Frederick Counties. The Maryland Department of Labor defines “hardest to serve” as individuals with multiple barriers to employment. Each quarter, WSM consistently served over 600 individuals under this definition throughout the last year. We are committed to providing services to all of our unemployed and underemployed.

H.I.R.E. Program Expansion

We introduced the concept of H.I.R.E. (Helping Individuals Reach Employment) in 2018 with pop-up services at the East County Regional Services Center. Individuals were able to access our services within their own community without having to go to one of our American Job Centers in Wheaton or Germantown. The model was so successful, we decided to expand H.I.R.E. to other parts of Montgomery County. We now offer the program at five additional locations including Rockville, White Oak, Burtonsville, Takoma Park, and Germantown. Read more about the H.I.R.E. program, location, and hours here.

Summer Grants

This year, we awarded grants in support of 90 students and youth, ages 16 to 24, who participated in summer programs with one of three programs: Arts on the Block, Latin American Youth Center (LAYC)/Identity, Inc., and CASA de Maryland.

At Arts on the Block, 40 students took part in a 6-week intensive program working in teams on an art project for clients. This summer, the teams designed, selected, and hand-made mosaics for transit centers in Montgomery County. The art they created is breathtaking and the students gained experience working with professional artists within a creative studio setting. Thirty disenfranchised and high-risk youth participated in LAYC’s Summer Career Connector program, in partnership with Identity, Inc. The career-focused program provided job training, paid work experience, and support to transition successfully into employment or prepare participants for post-secondary education. Listening to their stories at the closing ceremony and seeing how they’ve progressed by carving out a successful path for their future was nothing short of inspiring. For CASA de Maryland’s Escalera Workforce Readiness Initiative, 20 youth were provided support for post-secondary education, career exploration, workforce readiness, and a paid six-week internship with CASA Welcome Centers.

reflectionblog-2
Arts on the Block

Convening the Workforce System

In October, WorkSource Montgomery hosted the first Workforce Convening by bringing together more than 100 workforce experts to discuss talent development and partnership opportunities in Montgomery County. Panels of elected officials, including Councilmembers At-large Hans Riemer and Gabe Albornoz, community-based organizations and business leaders shared their perspectives on policies, programs and market trends that impact how we work together as a system to meet the needs of job seekers and our business community. This was a major step in the right direction when it comes to a systematic approach to workforce development and we look forward to continuing the discussion and implementing solutions in 2020.

The Big Move

FINALLY. We took on the massive task of moving the Wheaton American Job Center from Westfield South to a new and improved location at 11510 Georgia Avenue. We began interior construction on the new space in August and completed the move by the end of October. The new space provides better customer flow and offers a brand new reception area, new furniture, computer lab, training and huddle rooms–all custom-built with job seekers in mind. Shortly after we moved the Job Center, the Young Adult Opportunity Program was next. After being located at 801 Roeder Road in Silver Spring for years, we moved our Youth Program into the new Wheaton Job Center so staff could be centrally located and our youth customers could take advantage of the new space and amenities.

reflectionblog-3
New Wheaton American Job Center Location

It’s been quite a year. We have more excitement planned for 2020 and we can’t wait to get started! Keep up with our progress via the Montgomery County Grant Reporting Scorecard here.

Stay informed on the latest workforce development trends, insights, and our local partnerships in Montgomery County.
For both the individual job seeker and the community organizations that support them, this newsletter provides job search resources and information on job fairs, hiring events, and workshops available in our community.

Contact Us

American Job Center Locations

Germantown

Upcounty Regional Services Center 12900 Middlebrook Road, First Floor
Germantown, MD 20874, USA
Phone: 240.406.5485
Fax: 301.685.5569

HOURS OF OPERATION

Monday – Thursday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Wheaton

11510 Georgia Avenue
Wheaton, MD 20902
Phone: 301.929.6880
TTY: 301.962.4083

HOURS OF OPERATION

Monday – Thursday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm

X