By Ron VandenBoom
Her ability to build community partnerships, and her willingness to speak to community groups and provide staff support for Job Service Employers Committee (JSEC) seminars were among the many reasons Havre Job Service Manager Pam Harada was honored as the Outstanding Local Job Service Center Manager recently.
The honor was also awarded for her ability to involve her JSEC members and seek their input in plans for the new Havre Job Service Center building that will soon be erected on the corner of First Avenue and Second Street in Havre.
Basically, its for your work with your employer community in helping them try and achieve goals they have, Harada said in thanking the local JSEC member for the award.
I did get misty-eyed, Harada said. I was pleased to receive the award because I feel our employer committees are the most important tie we have to the employer community. I just really admire how much our employers give us that these folks can take their time to donate to us.
JSEC is an organization of employers that work closely with Job Service offices around the state to provide knowledge to the Job Service on how better it can serve the needs of employers, but also so it can serve as a pipeline to government and legislators.
We talk about issues affecting employers taxes and legal issues, said Mike Hamilton, chairman of the local JSEC. We can discuss (these) around the table with Job Service and they can pass them on up the line to people that have influence.
A more immediate and direct link between the needs of employers and the Job Service is provided by the most obvious addition to the Job Service Office in Havre The Employer Resource Area.
Crowded into a small corner office, the Resource Area waits for local managers and business owners to tap its wealth of information. Started more than a year ago with the encouragement of JSEC, its tapes, books, and videos can provide ready information on a wide variety of subjects in a straight forward and even entertaining manner.
Subjects range from issues like conflict resolution to how to motivate employees. Legal issues such as current wage and hour laws, how to write job descriptions and the Americans with Disabilities Act are all covered.
If theres a topic the employer is having a concern about, Harada said, I think they should just check with us and see if maybe we have something.
Hill County Commissioner Kathy Bessette is a member of JSEC who first became involved with the committee when the county was required to establish a hiring procedure.
They were so very helpful, Bessette said. We keep advised on labor laws, on ADA, on dealing with conflict, on hiring, hopefully not firing, but working with the employee also on customer relationships.
Customer relations is important in Hill County, Bessette said, because every taxpayer is a customer.
JSEC also tries to let the employers in the area know what the Job Service can do for them, Hamilton said.
This is done partly through the use of a monthly newsletter that informs employers of new laws or issues that might affect them.
Hamilton also said the local JSEC, in conjunction with the Job Service, will sponsor a quarterly seminar covering topics employers have told them are of concern.
The Havre JSEC covers the three county area of Hill, Blaine and Chouteau and Kim Kenney, chairperson of the membership committee said any employer can join, but usually the committee will seek out a diversity of employers. They can be diverse in type and in the number of employees, Kenney said.
JSEC meets every third Wednesday from 11:30 to 1 p.m. at the Job Service Office in Havre. Anyone interested in joining JSEC can call the Havre Job Service or contact any JSEC member.