Business liaisons coming

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Businesses in the counties will be getting a helping hand to point the way to available resources.

Department of Job and Family Services Director Dwayne Pielech and Mike McGlumphy, representing the Workforce Investment Act Area 16, appeared before Belmont County Commissioners Wednesday and reported on the Business Resource Network. Pielech announced that the county had been awarded about $790,000 running through June 30, 2015 to act as a liaison to better serve business.

The liaison will be hired in Belmont County to perform services such as working with small businesses to connect with resources to resolve issues such as unemployment or workers compensation.

Pielech added that the position must be operated through a contractor. Jefferson County will act as contractor, with the Belmont DJFS and fiscal agent.

McGlumphy noted this is the first such project for Area 16, which covers Belmont, Harrison, Jefferson and Carroll counties. The grant, issued from the Department of Labor, covers six workforce investment areas in 16 counties.

“We are just one of the areas involved with the grant,” he said. “It helps the smaller businesses.”

He added that by keeping in contact with businesses the WIA will identify demands from the businesses, future hiring requirements, and workforce training needs. He added that small businesses will benefit from being put in touch with agencies and resources with help available.

“This is their liaison to other agencies to get help,” he said. “It’s a win-win proposition for our area and its funded by the Department of Labor.”

He noted funding includes a manager, administrative assistant, and four liaisons to work the area in four counties.

The eight-member Workforce Investment Board includes members from each of the four counties selected a committee to interview and hire people.

Repeated bidding resulted in the Jefferson County CIC housing the employees. They have advertised for the administrator and secretarial positions. The next step is to advertise for the liaisons.

Commissioners approved the contract between DJFS and Jefferson County CIC Jan. 30, 2013-June 30, 2014 for an amount not to exceed $790,425 for the housing of the manager and administrative assistant on a full-time basis. The employee will be housed in the Connections building in Martins Ferry.

DeFrank can be reached at