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Pikes Peak Workforce Center

Workforce Center "Immersion Experience"

Community Challenge/Problem

Garnering support for the workforce system from political allies, post-secondary education, and the business community is a challenge if they don't recognize the value of the one-stop. Data collected through various partnerships revealed a low awareness of the Pikes Peak Workforce Center in the business community, which meant employers did not seek workforce center services. In a community that is vocal about its wariness of Federally-funded programs, this lack of recognition for the work done by PPWFC led to a lack of support by several public officials. PPWFC recognized the need to increase business awareness and ensure that WIB members and local elected officials understood and valued the work done by PPWFC.

Board Solution/Innovation

The Pikes Peak Workforce Center created the Immersion so that external partners could experience first-hand what job seeker customers go through on a daily basis. A strategy was developed in which WIB members, county commissioners, industry leaders, state officials, and post-secondary institution presidents undergo an intensive Immersion experience. The Immersion starts with the participant receiving a "layoff letter" and then he/she is walked through PPWFC services that are available to help job seekers find employment, upgrade their skills, or retrain for another career field. In addition, participants learn about business service available to local business to help them succeed.

Outcomes & Results

Since implementation of the Immersion program, awareness of the workforce system by area businesses, community leaders and local elected officials has increased. Board members are better able to articulate how the workforce center serves the community and champion the workforce center. Local elected officials better understand the value the center brings to the Pikes Peak Region and its residents.

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