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Carroll County commissioners approve request to rebrand workforce development agency

The Board of Carroll County Commissioners approved a request Tuesday to rebrand the county’s Business Employment Resource Center as the Workforce Development Center.

Heather Powell, manager of the office formerly known as the Business Employment Resource Center, told commissioners BERC has been the workforce provider for Carroll County for more than 20 years.

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“Most people know us as BERC … It’s an acronym but some people don’t realize that,” she said. “It’s missing the important part of the name.”

Now named the Workforce Development Center after Tuesday’s vote, the agency is under the newly formed Carroll Workforce Development Board and the Carroll County Department of Economic Development. The center administers the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in Carroll County and is dedicated to employment, training and workforce development.

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According to Powell, the center is often mistaken as a temporary employment agency or the unemployment office. There are also several other agencies identified as workforce providers in the county, causing confusion, she said

“This is an opportunity to really establish ourselves as the Workforce Development Center,” she said. “Under this new board … we have the ability to do outreach with our grants through the Recovery Act, the Relief Act and the [American Rescue Plan].”

A rebranding with the designation of Carroll County Workforce Development Center is “clear and concise,” Powell said, as it identifies the agency as the place for job seekers and businesses to address their employment and workforce needs.

With outreach funding becoming available through a Relief Act grant, “this is a prime opportunity to rebrand,” she said.

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She added the Carroll Workforce Development Board, which provides guidance and oversight to the local workforce development system, unanimously agreed to bring the motion to the floor at their inaugural meeting in September.

“Why would we not do this?” Commissioner President Ed Rothstein, R-District 5, asked.

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