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Workforce W.Va. reports to Tyler County Commission

By Staff | Dec 18, 2013

The Tyler County Commission held their annual Christmas dinner at the Middlebourne Methodist Church fellowship hall following their meeting. The dinner was well attended with plenty of food available for all.

Commission President John Stender called the meeting to order at 9:06 a.m.

Clerk Mrs. Hamilton presented the Fiduciary report, there was a motion to accept, it was seconded and approved.

Rosemary Guida from Workforce West Virginia gave the Tyler County Commission an update during their Dec. 11 meeting.

She stated the agency had lost $378,000 in funding due to budget cuts. They are on a waiting list for funds but have recently received a second $100,000 in adjustment funding.

The NPWIB is in Region 5, serving the northern panhandle. She provided a graphic to the commissioners that showed the region is meeting all performance goals, with the exception of retention rate of dislocated workers. It is at 90 percent, but should be at 92. However, Guida said that level is close enough to simply be in the warning area, not failure.

Most of those clients coming through their doors are now a result of Ormet closing and many are still coming in from the job losses from Teletech.

She spoke of the increase in applications for training and schooling, most of which is coal miner training. She said regardless of what is in the news, it seems that coal mining is still the job of choice and there are still opportunities available.

Commissioner John Stender mentioned a lady calling his office and asking if he knew how she could get employment in the coal industry. She said she had been through the training classes and was certified but was finding it extremely difficult to get employed. Guida answered that there is a training school in Dillies Bottom, Ohio, and the gentleman who runs the school has contracts with Consol to get new miners started.

Discussion was held on the lack of hiring qualified truck drivers for the oil and gas industry. She stated it is not because of the lack of CDL drivers or even trained heavy equipment operators. “We hold training classes and within three weeks they have their CDL’s and by six weeks their heavy equipment training. All are also drug free,” said Guida.

She stated the oil and gas companies want people with no less than five years experience hauling their products. “So we can’t force them to hire our people, but they are available,” said Guida.

“New Martinsville has had 1,700 applications for training come through our doors this year for all kinds of training. We also have rapid response training for those most quickly in need,” continued Guida.

She also said that Workforce provides a program for kid’s 19-21 who desire to go back to school. She stated they provide funding up to $9,500 per person to get them back and through school. “We also provide work incentives during the summer months for children who would like to work,” said Guida. Sistersville General Hospital has been very co-operative and also Tyler Consolidated High School is very good to work with. These are pilot programs that are working well.

In another matter before the commission, Tom Cooper, director of the Office of Emergency Management, presented the commission with a list of names for approval for new membership to the Local Emergency Planning Commission (LEPC). It was approved.

Commissioner Charles “Pork” Smith reported on a problem the contractor has with the restoration work on the jail house. He said there is a water drain located inside the wall that is leaking and causing a problem. He is not sure if it is cast iron or not,but it would be very expensive to remove and replace. He said they plan on installing a two-inch copper drain on the exterior of the building and it would also be very attractive. The contractor is going to seal up all the window openings.

Commissioner Eric Vincent gave a report on the budget, saying there was only one thing to report and it was a revision to the budget of $50. The budget report was approved.

Stender reported on attending County Commissioners Association of West Virginia meetings in Charleston. He said most of the meetings were cancelled but he did get to talk to some people down there and the big thing is the same everywhere, money is tight. It’s very hard to get any kind of funding. The good thing he said is that Tyler County is doing well. “We are financially stable, we’re in the black. So that is a good thing,” said Stender.

He also mentioned the insurance agreement with AirEvac has been well received and a lot of folks have taken advantage of it. The cost to the county was $60,000, which is your money well spent. It allows you to spend $35 on the insurance and receive service from AirEvac for anywhere you may need to be taken for an emergency. He said he has had nothing but positive comments. He also mentioned the commissioners have the insurance and they pay their own premiums.

Following the regular scheduled meeting, the Tyler County Commission held their annual Christmas dinner at noon at the Middlebourne Methodist Church fellowship hall. The dinner was well attended with plenty of food available for all. It was very well organized. Commissioner Eric Vincent opened the dinner with a prayer and blessing on the food. Everyone enjoyed the time of delicious food and good conversation. It is noted that a guest from Senator Manchin’s office, Mary Jo Guidi, was in attendance.