By Tim Leeds
The new Havre Area Workforce System is holding an open house at different locations Thursday to introduce itself to the people in the area.
The system, which connects 12 agencies in the area that provide services to people looking for jobs, will be highlighted from noon to 4 p.m. at the Havre Job Service, District IV HRDC (Human Resources and Development Council,) the OPA (Office of Public Assistance) and at the Adult Learning Center from 1-4 p.m.
Scheduled presentations are planned at the job service at 160 First St. from noon to 12:45 p.m. with a lunch; from 1-1:45 p.m. at HRDC at 111 W. 11th St. with cookies, from 2-2:45 p.m. at OPA at the courthouse annex at 302 Fourth Ave. with cookies and at the Adult Learning Center in the Robins School administration building at 425 Sixth St. with cookies. There will be door prizes at each location, with a grand prize drawing for a one-night stay at the TownHouse Inns of Havre Honeymoon Suite.
The system, known under the "JobLINC" logo, operates under the federal Workforce Investment Act. It formally links different agencies providing different services to anyone seeking help finding employment. The different agencies in the system will refer people to all of the agencies and services appropriate to their needs.
The programs in the Havre Area Workforce System are District IV HRDC; Montana Vocational Rehabilitation; Green Thumb, Inc.; EOC (Educational Opportunity Center;) Job Corps; Project Challenge; SBDC (Small Business Development Center;) OPA; Adult Basic Education; STC (School to Career;) the Havre Job Service Workforce Center, and REO (Rural Employment Opportunities, Inc.)
HRDC provides a variety of services to people with low incomes in Hill, Blaine and Liberty counties. They include employment and training services, child care resource and referral programs and housing assistance.
Montana Vocational Rehabilitation provides a variety of training, counseling and medical services for people with disabilities to help them prepare for and to enter the work force.
Green Thumb, a non-profit organization, provides several skill training and job search training programs to help people age 65 or older enter or re-enter the work force.
EOC, located at Montana State University-Northern, is funded by Title IV grants from the U.S. Department of Education. It provides information and assistance on areas including colleges, financial information and career exploration.
Job Corps, a U.S. Department of Labor program located at the job service, provides career training, education completion and placement opportunities for people age 16-24.
Project Challenge is a federally funded program providing help for people unemployed because of business closure or permanent layoff.
SBDC, located in Bear Paw Development Corporation of North Montana at 48 Second St., is funded jointly through the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Montana Department of Commerce and local financial institutions. It provides group training and free and confidential counseling to assist small businesses increase profits and create jobs.
OPA, at 302 Fourth Ave. in Havre, the Courthouse Annex in Chinook and 1020 13th St. in Chester, can provide money for support systems, including child care, for people trying to find work who qualify. The money would be provided through the three federal programs it administers: food stamps, Medicaid and FAIM Cash Assistance, formerly AFDC.
Adult Basic Education provides training in basic literacy, including a receiving a high school diploma or its equivalent. It also provides services for adults with little or no English skills.
STC works to give K-12 students workplace skills and career exploration with classroom and field work to better prepare students for career opportunities.
The Havre Job Service Workforce Center provides a variety of employment and referral services at no cost. It serves Hill, Liberty and Blaine counties with job placement and employer services and Hill, Blaine and Liberty counties for training programs. Its services include job placement, resources, veterans services and job training.
REO, at 1818 10th Ave. S. in Great Falls, is a non-profit corporation operating programs and services for qualifying migrant and seasonal farm workers and dependents prepare for permanent, full time careers.