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Alliance Worknet: Focusing on finding and filling jobs. 

February_Cover_HeaderThe Stanislaus Alliance Worknet is all about jobs – helping residents find them, businesses fill them and, our our community to attract more of them.

But many people don’t realize the extent of services that Alliance Worknet offers, according to Jeff Rowe, director of Alliance Worknet and chief workforce development officer of the Stanislaus Business Alliance.

“Alliance Worknet is dedicated to developing a skilled workforce that strengthens business and contributes toward the economic success of the community,” Rowe said. “We are a one-stop employment shop for both job seekers and businesses.”

Job hunters can make use of the Career Resource Center at no cost. There, they can conduct a job search online, get help writing a resume, take typing tests, and attend job search workshops. Potential employees can also find the job training they need, as well as information about the local labor market and job referrals.

As the job market changes, Alliance Worknet is always evolving to meet the needs of job seekers and businesses. A planned partnership with the local manufacturers and educational institutions may develop a training facility that will allow workers to train in operating and maintaining the latest high-tech equipment.

A whopping 11,387 job seekers used Alliance Worknet services in 2014.And Alliance Worknet’s programs help employers as well, connecting 144 businesses with the skilled workers they were looking for last year.

“We have four business development managers who not only help businesses with referrals to job openings, but also conduct entire recruitments, including outreach, screening resumes, and providing a location for conducting interviews,” Rowe says.

If the right person just isn’t out there – and a business is willing to take on in-house training – Alliance Worknet offers an on-the-job training program. That initiative provides a 50 percent wage reimbursement to employers who are willing to hire and train individuals who lack the skills necessary to do a job.

When businesses are in danger of closing down or laying off employees, Alliance Worknet is there too. In partnership with the Alliance Small Business Development Center, Alliance Worknet offers the help businesses need to stay afloat.

“We have worked together to help existing businesses hire the employees they need to grow, and we have also provided funding for the Alliance Small Business Development Center to provide expert consulting to businesses that were at risk of downsizing or closing, thus saving hundreds of jobs in the community,” Rowe says. “The great thing about helping employers succeed is that everyone wins – businesses prosper and Stanislaus County residents gain employment.”

More than just an employment agency, Alliance Worknet also helps businesses establish business plans, find locations for expansion, and quash ongoing issues.

“Our business development managers also conduct surveys of local businesses to determine if there are any issues standing in the way of their success,” Rowe says. “They then work with the staff of the Stanislaus Business Alliance and the Alliance Small Business Development Center to help businesses overcome the obstacles that stand in their way or hinder their abilities to succeed and grow.”

Alliance Worknet doesn’t do it all alone. The program is funded through the Workforce Investment Act, a federal program designed to help individuals find employment by providing them with the necessary business skills. And Alliance Worknet also operates a Welfare to Work program under a contract with the Stanislaus County Community Services Agency.

Subcontracted community-based organizations work with Alliance Worknet to run programs that help public assistance recipients find jobs. Job readiness workshops and GED, vocational, and English as a Second Language programs prepare clients to work. Job placements at public, non-profit, and private businesses help achieve the ultimate goal of self-sufficiency for workers.

Alliance Worknet also provides programs for low-income youth, age 17 to 21.February_Cover_Footer

“The youth served are either in school or out, and most need assistance in obtaining a high school diploma or GED and then go on to higher education, job training, and/or employment,” Rowe explains. “Our CareerQuest program, along with contractors Ceres Unified School District, Central Valley Opportunity Center, and Computer Tutor, provides these services to youth in our community.”

Alliance Worknet benefits the entire community by developing a workforce that meets the needs of local businesses so that those businesses can thrive and create jobs. The end goal is to reduce the county’s unemployment rate while creating a more vibrant and prosperous community.

“Alliance Worknet partners with many community-based organizations, school districts, and training providers to provide services to job seekers and businesses in the community,” Rowe notes. “We have a long-standing partnership with Modesto Junior College which has helped us train individuals for jobs in many industries. Other partners include Learning Quest, Central Valley Opportunity Center, Ceres Unified School District and Friends Outside, to name a few.”

The clients who walk through Alliance Worknet’s doors are generally down on their luck, jobless and in desparate need of a second chance. Rowe speaks fondly of the “great, caring people” who work at Alliance Worknet, giving their all to help.

“Our team provides them with hope and helps them get back on their feet, re-employed and providing for their families,” Rowe said. “There is no better feeling than this for our staff. We share our clients’ success stories with each other and that really keeps us fired up about the work that we do.”

For more information about Alliance Worknet services and locations, visit www.allianceworknet.com, call the information line for job seekers at 209.558.WORK (9675), or contact the information line for businesses at 209.558.HIRE (4473).

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