Notes from the NASWA Conference: Putting America Back to Work

While the entire nation continues to endure one of the most severe unemployment scenarios, the mood at the 74th annual conference of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) is quite upbeat. This conference is the largest gathering of state administrators of employment services, several other related programs provided through public funds. In a nutshell, it is the forum of ideas exchange and learning between the practitioners, and a platform for the development of private and public relationships to address the critical needs of the America’s workforce, and in particular, provide for the short term needs of potential and displaced workers needing immediate help to weather the recession.

In his speech, Governor Jim Doyle described the challenges associated with a change in focus from training people to meet business need in which supply was scarce, to an era where helping those out of work and re-employing them is the immediate need. Governor reiterated his belief that there is going to be demand for workforce growing again, and he encouraged everyone to continue to keep faith and move forward even at the time of such economic distress. He promised continued investments in workforce development and the need for working together. America’s Job Exchange was in attendance at the conference as a sponsor and shares the enthusiasm of the broader NASWA membership in support of the theme of the conference “Putting America Back to Work”. It was heartening to see the new attitude of openness toward public-private partnerships to be able overcome the challenges of this recession.

For more than a decade in our role in developing and maintaining the first and the largest job exchange, the America’s Job Bank, the professionals at AJE have demonstrated not only expertise and technical knowhow but also the conviction and care toward the workforce. AJE is truly the job site for the rest of us, not the highest paying executives, but hard-working normal Americans trying to earn a living, build a future for children and participate for the good of the community. The pundits can continue their debate if this has been a ‘W’ shaped or ‘L’ shaped recession but we know that the only way to help America to get back to work is to ensure that public and private sectors are working together to bring in all the new opportunities in front our workforce while helping them improve their skills and effectiveness in job search. At AJE, we are privileged to be part of the solution.

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