County Opens New Workforce Development Center
State, county and local officials as well as business and community leaders joined government workers to recently celebrate the opening of the new Cumberland County Workforce and Economic Development Center on the campus of Cumberland County College. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the launching of the facility where services including job recruiting and placement, access to occupational training, skills assessment, job search assistance, career guidance and basic education are now provided.
The new 30,000 square-foot building project was financed and developed by the Cumberland County Improvement Authority (CCIA), which owns the facility. According to county officials, the project serves as a more centrally located resource to assist job seekers and employers. According to County Freeholder Director Joseph Derella, “This new Center for Workforce Development marks the completion of an integral component of what’s being hailed by local and state leaders as Cumberland County’s ‘Economic Development Triangle’ that will support the growth and expansion of existing and future businesses by ensuring a highly-skilled labor pool.”
In addition to a more cohesive and accessible County workforce development initiative, Allison Spinelli, Executive Director, the County’s Department of Workforce Development says that the new location will enable her department to realize an annual savings in leasing expenses. Spinelli explains, “Our location on the Cumberland County College campus is more convenient for area residents and employers to take advantage of the multiple resources we offer to help them reach their objectives.” She added, “We can now be easily accessed via NJ TRANSIT and are located adjacent to key workforce development partners including the College and the Cumberland County Technical Education Center scheduled opening next year.”
According to Spinelli, the Department offers the business community services including employee recruitment, pre-qualification and on-the-job training services along with business resources such as hiring events and customized training. She explained, “We also help company owners and managers qualify their businesses for tax credits.”
“The savings and efficiencies gained from the leasing of this facility will be returned to the County and eventually to taxpayers,” CCIA Executive Director Gerard Velazquez explained.
Also housed in the new building are the CCIA’s Economic Development Services, the New Jersey Small Business Development Center, the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development and the Cumberland County Office of Veterans Affairs.
Derella added that the project was initiated two years ago to locate the entire suite of the county’s workforce and economic development resources at the College to generate and attract more business to the area. The former location of the One Stop Center, at 275 North Delsea Drive in Vineland, was purchased by the Improvement Authority to provide leased space for the Board of Social Services and various state agencies. “This investment project will also provide a return to the CCIA and ultimately to the County,” he said.