March 5, 2020

The Center of Workforce Innovations (CWI) and the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board (NWIWB) welcomed leaders affiliated with Midwest Urban Strategies (MUS) to the region on February 18-19, in order to share their process of moving dislocated workers, in particular, those unemployment insurance (UI) claimants back into the workforce. MUS is a collaboration and coordinated effort on behalf of 13 urban workforce development boards to marry traditional workforce development practices with economic development.

“Having several of the MUS partners visit and want to learn and experience Northwest Indiana’s Re-Employment Services is something for our region to be proud of,” said Deb Baughman, Chair of the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board and VP Branch Training Director for Horizon Bank in La Porte. “Our local WorkOne staff have designed an effective system to ensure that those individuals currently on unemployment are being engaged, while being taken through the proper steps to ensure that they are back into the workforce as soon as possible,” said Baughman.

Tracey Carey, Executive Director of MUS felt the two days spent in Northwest Indiana, learning about their RESEA program process, and seeing first-hand how clients at the Gary WorkOne system go through the process, was extremely beneficial for all those who attended. “MUS is about taking the micro-successes and strengths of each workforce development board and seeing how they can be replicated on a regional scale,” said Carey. Mike Barnes, Chief Workforce Officer with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development joined the group in Gary to observe the work that was occurring.

The 13 workforce development boards representing MUS are the City of Minneapolis Employment & Training, Partner4Work-Pittsburgh, EmployIndy, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, Central Ohio Workforce Development Board, Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, Northwest Indiana Workforce Board, Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Investment Board, Full Employment Council of Kansas City, Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board, Employ Milwaukee, St. Louis Agency on Training & Employment (SLATE), and Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas.

Those interested in learning more about RESEA in Northwest Indiana can contact Shelley Bishop, Regional WorkOne Manager for Northwest Indiana at 219-462-2940, ext. 1045 or at sbishop@gotoworkonenw.com. For further information about Midwest Urban Strategies, visit www.midwesturbanstrategies.com.