A contract for delivery of workforce services by ResCare Workforce Services was approved by the Merced County Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting.
Michael Vu, vice president of operations for ResCare, spoke briefly during the meeting, announcing that his company successfully serves 31 states.
He explained that part of its model is delivering workforce services at public library branches, including the software for job searches, online training, GED preparation, and resume writing.
“We’ll train library staff to access our software,” Vu said.
During an interview with the Times, Mike North, a management analyst for the county, said: “The contract with ResCare will improve our service delivery from a workforce point of view. … Ten County employees in Work Net Merced County and three vacant positions were impacted by the approval of the contract. Those employees will have an opportunity to apply for work with the new provider. Human Resources is also working to place them in other positions within the County where possible.”
Explaining how ResCare’s contract came about, North said the Merced County Workforce Development Board recommended that Merced County should move forward with a new provider.
By law, the Workforce Development Board is the body responsible for assisting the governor in the development, oversight, and continuous improvement of California’s workforce investment system and its alignment to the needs of the 21st century economy and workforce.
A Request for Proposals for the new service provider was issued, and Res Care was selected because it has a lot of knowledge and could provide expanded and improved services at an economical rate throughout the county.
Describing the advantages of selecting ResCare, North said, “Merced County’s unemployment rate is about 8 percent, which is well below the 20 percent we saw during the recession. However, we’re still about double the state and national average, so there’s work to be done. With this new provider, I think it’s going to help further drive that number down and help give the businesses qualified people who have the ability to go the extra mile. It will greatly help individuals by identifying their job skill set and moving them forward with job placement. It will get people working. It is actions like this that will go a long way to finding people in the county work opportunities.”
Merced County Workforce Development Director David Mirrione added, “ResCare will implement a proven model of using community access points to provide access to service. This model will allow our department to begin offering services throughout the County in addition to maintaining services in our Merced and Los Banos locations.”
In other news…
Leaders add support
to office of the CEO
North said, “In recent years, there has been increased demand for constituent services and major broad-scope projects related to Board priorities. In order to provide optimal service to the public and serve the Board members’ needs, the Board approved an item Tuesday to add more structure to the County Executive Office. The CEO’s Office is still down eight positions compared to pre-recession levels. This action will add one Human Resources position while shifting others around to provide more upper-level management. This restructuring will add resources to the CEO’s Office and improve the way we operate. Most of the cost is offset through vacancies and other means.”
During the meeting, Supervisor Lloyd Pareira read a resolution recognizing UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland for her outstanding accomplishments and service to the university from 2011, when she was appointed as its third Chancellor, to August 15, her effective date of retirement from this position.
Pareira praised Leland for leading the $1.3 billion 2020 Project, doubling the size of the Merced campus by adding new classrooms, laboratories, housing and athletic facilities and paving the way for the enrollment of 10,000 students.
She used an innovative approach, the development of a public/private partnership, which was a first in the nation for higher public education.
Pareira added that during Leland’s tenure, enrollment increased by 4,000 students, there was a 73 percent increase in graduate students, four new majors were added, and 134 new faculty members were employed.
Leland spoke at the meeting, exclaiming, “Without the will of the people in the county, UC Merced would never have been here!”
She thanked the county administrators for their friendship, and promised, “I will stay involved. I will be chairing the Oversight Board of the 2020 project.”