Frederick County, Maryland, features a diverse makeup of over 9,000 businesses, ranging anywhere from small businesses to biotech. With over 100,000 workers in the county, the connection between job seekers and employers can sometimes be as laborious as the job itself.
In cases where job seekers struggle to find the opportunities they seek and employers incur difficulty finding a qualified candidate, Frederick County Workforce Services is available to assist the two sides of the job search process.
“It’s kind of a two-fold attack,” said Wesley Leatherman, Frederick County Workforce Services Business and Employment Consultant. “We have people on the front end working with job seekers. Then we have somebody on the back end really engaged with the business and trying to find their needs.”
Located in downtown Frederick, Workforce Services has anywhere from 20 to 100 people coming through their door on a daily basis as they seek assistance in the job search process. Services available to these job seekers include resume reviews, mock interviews, skills trainings, targeted job searches and priority notification of jobs, recruitment events and hiring events.
Working with Frederick County Workforce Services during the job search process has proven to be a valuable venture for those who commit to the program. In 2017, the majority of job seekers who utilized the individualized career services offered were able to find jobs.
In the digital age the contemporary society currently lives in, many people begin and end their job search on a search engine. However, Frederick County Workforce Services has built a strong network in the Frederick community, enabling an individual to become an attractive candidate for a job that they can thrive in.
That strong network of employers in Frederick County that utilize Workforce Services furnish the necessary avenues of opportunity, both for those in need of employment and for the employers themselves.
When Workforce Services becomes connected with a business, the first item of business is to assess what their needs are. An employer’s need could be anything from posting an opportunity to a job board, all the way to developing classes to address specific skill needs for a given industry.
Working with both big and small businesses in the county, the team at Frederick County Workforce Services will then craft an appropriate course of action to meet the needs set forward by employers.
With the county’s unemployment rate sitting at 3.5 percent (as of May 2018), employers selection from the available labor pool is among the lowest in the state of Maryland. With that scarcity, a difficulty finding the right candidate has the potential to arise.
“It can be tough on businesses, but that’s why [Workforce Services] looks to different avenues,” Leatherman said. “Not just your everyday job posting in the newspaper or online, we’re really trying to work with businesses to find talent or promote talent within.”
In the cases of more skill-specific needs, grant-funded skills training options such as target industry training, on-the-job training and internships can help close any skills gap to ensure that the individual will be successful in that field.
Currently, about seven percent of businesses in Frederick County collaborate with the program, a number that sits above the usual three to four percent figures with similar programs in other Maryland counties. As Workforce Services continues to build their network, they hope to attract businesses with their all-encompassing ability to help a business succeed.
“Ultimately, our ability to connect businesses to resources, whether it be human capital, funding, industry partnerships, educational partnerships or apprenticeships, makes us valuable to businesses,” Leatherman said.