The Workforce Investment Board of the Susquehanna Workforce Network held its 30th anniversary meeting June 28 at Bulle Rock Golf Club in Havre de Grace.
The meeting highlighted the employment programs and initiatives operated by the Susquehanna Workforce Network during the past three decades. Originally called the Susquehanna Region Private Industry Council, the organization was started to bring together people looking for jobs in Harford and Cecil counties and prospective employers in the Upper Chesapeake Bay region.
The Susquehanna Workforce Network Inc. is a non-profit organization based in Havre de Grace that executes innovative work force solutions for the business community and job seekers and is charged with coordinating a work force development system for Cecil and Harford counties.
The network operates three work force centers for job seekers, provides support services to the business community and facilitates the delivery of job training and counseling services to young people in the region it serves. In 2010, according to statistics in the annual meeting program, the work force centers served a record 34,383 job seekers.
In 2008, the network opened a Maryland Transition Center at Fort Monmouth, N.J., to assist families in relocating to northeastern Maryland in connection with base realignment, or BRAC. The center closed in 2011 after assisting more than 16,000 customers, according to the statistics quoted in the meeting program.
Since 2000, according to the statistics, Susquehanna Workforce Centers have served more than 321,000 job-seeking customers and more than 22,000 young people through the organization's SWN Youth Activities and provided more than 17,500 business services.
During this year's annual meeting, Mary Ann Bogarty, president of the Susquehanna Workforce Investment Board, reflected on the formation of the Susquehanna Workforce Network in 1983 and the 30 years of advancing innovation to address the employment needs of the region.
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Bruce England, executive director of the Susquehanna Workforce Network, recognized Greg Szoka, a founding member of the board.
Two former program participants, Wendi Bowman and Melissa Warcynski, shared the impact the training they received funded through the Susquehanna Workforce Network has had on their careers.
Service awards were provided to Richard Luzetsky, a board member, and to Melanie Hamilton, a staff member, for their 10 years of service.
The Donald Thomey Workforce Leadership Award, given each year to a company in Cecil County and in Harford County that demonstrate a commitment to innovative work force practices and community leadership, was presented to Bayside Community Network Inc. and Kalman and Company Inc.
Bayside Community Network, the Cecil County recipient, provides vocational based job training and placement programs for adults with developmental disabilities through a continuum of vocational services.
Kalman and Company, the Harford County recipient, provides program management, acquisition, logistics, business and analytical services to both the government and commercial sectors.
The meeting's keynote speaker was Ron Painter, chief executive officer of the National Association of Workforce Boards. Painter was the founding CEO of the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board in Pittsburgh where, under his leadership, the organization focused on producing labor market information, working with public educators on improving student career information, supporting community leaders in the development of regional benchmarks and establishing the Regional Workforce Collaborative whose membership includes community colleges, employers, labor and economic development professionals.