WEST PLAINS -- The South Central Workforce Investment Board is a non-profit organization that administers federal and state funding to deliver workforce development programs in a 12-county area. The office is located at 1105 Independence Drive in West Plains. In July an open house was held at their new office.
The board, which is chaired by Garland Barton of Alton, human resource director at Systems & Electronic Inc., is comprised of business representatives, agencies and educational professionals and is tasked by the governor with overseeing employment and training activities in the region. The board is a team of 12 presiding commissioners from the involved counties, including Leo Warren from Oregon County. They work together to assure that approximately $3 million of training funds coming into their region are used according to the provisions of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
Oregon County is well represented on the Workforce Investment Board. Besides Barton, Bill Reeves, co-owner of Warm Fork Woodlands in Thayer, is vice chairman, Warren is chairman of the council of chief local elected officials that oversees all WIB activities, and Tana Holder of Koshkonong is executive director of WIB.
Barton said he is pleased with the progress the WIB has made the last two years. "The board has incorporated for the purpose of being able to serve as their own administrator of funds, hired appropriate staffing, and opened the facility to all who need WIB services.
He said all costs associated with the opening of the WIB office were covered by a special grant obtained from the Missouri Division of Workforce Development.
"While I am proud of our new facility, my greatest pride is in the quality of staff and the work they have accomplished under the direction of Tan Holder. The rapport between the board, the community, the presiding commissioners and the state of Missouri is unquestionable. This teamwork will greatly benefit the local employers and the individuals who are seeking assistance with job training and employment opportunities," he said.