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As chairman of the Southern Maryland Workforce Investment Board, I strive to ensure our community is fully aware of the resources available to workers and job seekers and to businesses through our workforce delivery system, the Southern Maryland JobSource. The mission of JobSource is to expand economic opportunity for our citizens and to enhance the competitiveness of local businesses. Our highly trained professional staff at the JobSource Career Centers located in Prince Frederick, Leonardtown and Waldorf endeavor every day to advance this mission.

For citizens, JobSource provides employment planning and career assessment services as well as job search assistance. Workers and job seekers are offered opportunities to gain the skills needed to excel in a rewarding career. With a finger on the pulse of our community, our staff offers insights into local and regional employment trends and equips citizens with the skills and resources necessary to identify and secure employment opportunities. Through a comprehensive employability assessment, our professional consultants can aid in skill, interest and aptitude identification in order to find the career that is the right fit for each individual. We also provide assistance in the development of a productive job search strategy or training agenda that will help individuals land a position in their career of choice.

Resume development assistance includes tips and guidance from professional resume writers on how to create, update and target effective resumes. Numerous workshops provide training in other job acquisition areas, such as interviewing skills, basic computer use and the federal job search and application process, to name a few. Job placement assistance provides all the tools needed to locate a desired job, and we also offer referrals to job openings.

For businesses, recruiting can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor. Many businesses find they spend too much time screening resumes and applications, often from applicants that are not well qualified for their job openings. The cost of advertising for open positions is increasing, and managerial time could be better spent on more productive activities. JobSource offers our local businesses assistance in recruiting, and there are no fees for our services.

Our skilled Business Services professionals can: list job openings on the Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE) jobs portal, which allows a broad base of applicants to review them; pre-screen applicants; assist with any size recruitment effort from 1 to 5,000; hold customized recruitments at our facilities; assist with recruitment of veterans, minorities, and/or disabled individuals to help meet EEO and affirmative action requirements; assist in the development of job descriptions; provide information regarding employment and labor law compliance; provide labor market statistics and trends; and help with incentive tax credits for qualifying employees.

In addition, JobSource offers assistance with business downsizing. Reduction of workforce is an unfortunate situation for everyone involved. Because of our role as a key partner on the Maryland Dislocated Worker Unit Rapid Response Team, we can provide employees an excellent resource for transition, training and re-employment services.

I encourage Southern Maryland citizens and businesses to visit our JobSource Career Centers and explore the many ways we can assist with all workforce needs. In Calvert, we are located at 200 Duke St., Prince Frederick.

I wish you all a joyous holiday season and a healthy and prosperous new year.

Eric Franklin, Owings

The writer is the chairman of the Southern Maryland Workforce Investment Board.