Working with Economic Development

Working with Economic Development


Assistance technical and adult centers provide to local businesses develops mutually beneficial relationships that can result in members for advisory councils, sources of employment for graduates, donations of equipment and materials, and other positive outcomes, including the development of local economies.

For assistance in meeting all the training and education needs of local business and industry, your most important contact is the Executive Director of the Office of Adult Education and Workforce Development at 304-558-0280.

All local and adult administrators should work with, at minimum, these three economic entities:

Workforce Investment Act (WIA)

  • State and Federal Training Program, administered through WORKFORCE West Virginia
  • Chambers of Commerce

Workforce Investment Act

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 represented the first major reform and restructuring of federal job training programs in 16 years. It replaced the Job Training Partnership Act of 1982. The West Virginia Legislature passed Senate Bill 454, which changed the name of the Bureau of Employment Programs to Workforce West Virginia. It also renamed the Division of Job Training as the Division of Research and created a Division of Workforce Development. Workforce West Virginia now includes the Division of Unemployment Compensation, Division of Employment Service, Division of Workforce Development and Division of Research, Information and Analysis. In February 2002, the WV Legislature passed HB 4083, signed by Gov. Wise March 4, 2002, which created the West Virginia Workforce Investment Council (WVWIC.) The council is composed of civic and industry leaders from West Virginia. It is their responsibility to set the policies and procedures that Workforce West Virginia uses to administer WIA programs in the state.

WIA Services

WIA provides workforce development services to adults, dislocated workers, and youth and Rapid Response/Dislocated worker services to employers and individuals in businesses/industries that are closing or down-sizing. In FY 2006, a statewide total of 6,608 WIA registrants were served – 2,541adults, 2,501 displaced workers, 1,320 older youth (19-21) and 319 younger youth (14-18.)

Note: Information regarding the enrollment of WIA eligible students in career and technical programs using WIA Individual Training Accounts is covered in the section on Financial Aid for Adult Students.

Goals of WIA in West Virginia

1. To design and implement a comprehensive, fully integrated workforce development system that appropriately balances state and local roles, responsibilities and accountability and fosters “true local partnering and ownership” for regional workforce development.

2. To ensure every employee, job seeker and employer are aware of and have universal access and choice to the full continuum of available workforce development programs and services in West Virginia

3. To leverage collaboration, public and private, at all levels and among all stakeholders that builds system capacity, optimizes resources and sustains measurable high performance throughout the system.

4. To ensure connectivity between West Virginia economic development initiatives and goals and workforce development activities so as to match career opportunities and programs to well-defined and documented workforce needs that results in a truly skilled workforce.

5. To advance a system-wide customer-focused, quality culture that is continuously improved.

6. To demonstrate appropriate accountability of organizations, individuals and processes throughout the system.

WIA Regional System Structure

The state is divided into seven WIA regions, each governed by a Local Workforce Investment Board (WIB.) These local Boards are independent and locally controlled.

The Region 1 WIB Service Area includes 11 Counties: Fayette, Greenbrier.

McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Webster, Wyoming,


Contact Melissa Aguilar, Executive Director


The Region 2 WIB Service Area includes 7 Counties: Boone, Cabell, Lincoln,

Logan, Mingo, Putnam, Wayne

Contact Claude J. Hunt, Executive Director


The Region 3 WIB Service Area includes 1 County:Kanawha

Contact Curtis Hardman, Executive Director


The Region 4 WIB Service Area includes 9 Counties: Calhoun, Clay, Jackson,

Mason, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, Wood

Contact Joyce Okes. Program Director


The Region 5 WIB Service Area includes 6 Counties: Brooke, Hancock, Marshall,

Ohio, Tyler, Wetzel

Contact Rosemary Guida, Executive Director


The Region 6 WIB Service Area includes 13 Counties: Barbour, Braxton,

Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur

Contact Barbara DeMary, Executive Director


The Region 7 WIB Service Area includes 8 Counties: Berkeley, Grant,

Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan, Pendleton

Contact Donna Leighton, Executive Director


It is appropriate for local CTE representatives to make known their interest and willingness to serve on the regional Workforce Investment Boards covering their counties. Even if not a member, all local CTE administrators should attend Board meetings and make the WIB Directors and Board members aware of the services career and technical education can provide to promote economic development in their Workforce Investment Act (WIA) region.

WORKFORCE West Virginia One-Stop Network

The State has a mission to create a network of WorkForce West Virginia One-Stop Centers. There are currently 19 comprehensive One-Stop centers and 21 satellite One-Stop locations in the State.

According to the WIA, Adult Basic Education is a mandated partner in the development and operation of WorkForce West Virginia Centers. Local eligible recipients of Carl Perkins funds are also named as partners but do not have the financial obligations Adult Basic Education has in providing resources for the Centers’ operation. Participation as a member on the local WorkForce West Virginia Center Board will provide technical and adult administrators opportunities to make the employers and job seekers who are the customers of the Centers aware of the services and training opportunities available at the local CTE centers.

State Training Awards through WORKFORCE West Virginia

Governor’s Guaranteed Workforce Program

The purpose of this State funded program is to improve the quality of West Virginia’s work force. The program targets private “for-profit” companies designated as targeted industries through the West Virginia Development Office.

Retail, construction and service organizations (such as retail, construction firms, hotels/motels, restaurants and other non-manufacturers) make their business decisions because of existing business activity in an area. Training support in these industry sectors is not an economic development factor. Consequently, these types of businesses/organizations can not be considered for funding by the GGWFP.

Funding decisions are based on a variety of factors including need and wages paid vs. median per capita income of region. The program primarily provides funding for businesses utilizing external trainers. However, internal training is an allowable activity, providing the trainer is employed in another capacity (i.e., team leader, mature worker, and supervisor) or if the trainer is training outside their current scope of duties. In that event, the GGWFP can pay internal trainer wages. (Note: The program does not pay trainee wages.)

The major priority for application of this program is in the manufacturing sector for entry-level positions, positions resulting from expansion and necessary upgrades for retention purposes.

New and ExpandingProject Types: Businesses must be creating a minimum of 10 net new jobs within a twelve-month period to qualify and, in these instances, no cash match is required.

Existing/Incumbent Project Types: To qualify, a company must be in business in West Virginia at least one year. A 50/50 cash match is required and the training must provide a portable credential, wage upgrade with backfill and/or address some type of new technology.

Competitive Improvement Program(Federal Dollars)

This program is federally funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). It assists either small (fewer than 50 employees) and/or medium-sized businesses (50 - 500 employees) listed on the targeted industry list from the West Virginia Development Office that have been in business in West Virginia for a minimum of one year.

The program cannot assist “Fortune 500” companies. The program requires a 50/50 cash match and an in-kind contribution (employee wages.) It does not support internal training costs. New job creation is not a requirement. Companies must demonstrate the need for work-force training to support a competitive improvement activity. A variety of training providers are utilized. Typical training areas include safety, computer skills, Quality System Development, Lean Manufacturing, CNC programming, and basic electrical motor controls.

Small Business Workforce Program

The Small Business WorkForce (SBWF) training grant gives small businesses a competitive edge by providing access to quality workforce training and raises the skill level of West Virginia’s small business workforce.

SBWF reimburses pre-approvedtechnology, technical, and regulatory compliance training for small businesses. Most small businesses are eligible for up to $5,000. Award decisions are made monthly and, in most cases, SBWF can give businesses an answer to their request within 30 days.

Small businesses choose the trainer, the location, and the date for training. SBWF then reimburses businesses for these pre-approved training expenses. Most businesses receive their reimbursement within 35 days from the date the reimbursement is requested. SBWF also works with local business organizations to underwrite low-cost group training for an area’s small business community. Seminars in customer service, marketing, or other specialized topics can be delivered locally.

SBWF can fund up to 100% of actual training costs. Small businesses match this amount in-kind with the payment of wages, travel expenses, and lost revenues.

If you have questions about the Small Business Work Force program, contact Kimberly Donahue at 1-888-WVA-SBDC or .


Technical and adult administrators should maintain close relationships with their local Chambers of Commerce. Even though Chambers support political activity, the West Virginia Ethics Commission has ruled that it is not unethical for CTE centers to join; however, there is no statutory basis for a school to pay for membership in any organization other than the School Boards Association. Chambers may make CTE centers honorary members. Whether you are a member or not, your local Chamber will welcome your participation in Chamber activities and will want to feature quality CTE programs in their local promotional campaigns. Chamber activities provide excellent opportunities to network with local business communities. Chambers also provide information on and contacts with other economic development entities.


If you do not have a relationship with your local Economic Development Authority, your contacts at the local Chamber of Commerce can direct you to them. These entities have access to funding for economic development activities.


You may be asked to assist a new or existing business through your relationships with the three economic development entities described above. Or you may be approached directly by a business that has had previous positive experience with CTE centers. Either way, there are tools you can use to provide the assistance they need.

Qualified Applicants

You may be able to refer students in your existing programs to employers to fill current job openings. If your center has a reputation for quality programs and works with the business to find the right student for the job, the business will benefit by hiring individuals who have shown a commitment to their career area through completion of a concentration, who have been trained, and whose grades and attendance records show a strong work ethic.

Placement in Existing Full or Part-time Occupational Training Programs

Many businesses need training for new or existing employees that can be provided by enrolling them in your existing full or part-time occupational programs. The key to the success of this approach is to coordinate the training schedule with the employees work schedule and to customize the training within the existing program so it provides the skills the employee needs (and only those skills) in the shortest time available. Quick response time, while providing quality training, is the key to successfully working with businesses.

Customized Training

If businesses need training for current employees that does not match your existing programs, you can design and offer a customized program for them using your adult part-time funding with tuition being paid by the company. In order to do that for small numbers of employees, you can, with the company’s permission, allow other students to enroll in the class or you can require the company to pay tuition for a minimum number of students regardless of the actual number attending.

It often works well to hire an experienced employee of the company as an instructor for the class. Remember that the schedule as well as the curriculum for the class should be developed to meet the needs of the employer.

Customized training directly related to the needs of a particular company or a group of companies may qualify for state or federal training dollars. Contact the GGWFP for additional information at 304-558-7027.

Adult Basic Education

Your adult basic education program has a great deal to offer to local businesses. One, of course, is the improvement of the basic academic skills of the business’s current employees. In order to identify the gap between what academic skills employees need to perform their jobs safely and efficiently and what their academic skills levels are, the ABE program can administer the nationally recognized WorkKeys assessment.

The ABE department also has an excellent system for delivering workplace readiness skill training and assessing the readiness skills of job applicants.

Financial Assistance for Training Activities

Local technical and adult administrators can also serve businesses by identifying the sources of funding described in this section or offered by the Office of Adult Education and Workforce Development of the West Virginia Department of Education.

Good Neighbor Assistance

Sometimes, the most helpful thing you can do for a local business is as simple as providing them with space for a meeting or training activity. Be open to requests for this type of assistance.

Designing and Pricing Training for Business and Industry

You can use the worksheet on the following page as a checklist to make sure you have taken into consideration all the aspects of planning a training program for businesses/industries/organizations and to determine what your costs will be and how much you will charge. Then you can use the sample agreements that follow to develop your own template for the form you will use to confirm what you will provide, what the business will provide and how much they will pay you.



Here is a worksheet you can use to develop a contract for a customized training program for a local business or industry.

Name of Business: ______


Contact Person:______

Contact’s Phone______E-Mail ______

Type of Training:______

# of Trainees:______Pre- or Post-Hire ______

Clock Hours:______Start Date: ______End Date:______

Day(s) of Week:______Start Time: ______End Time: ______

Location:______If School, Fee*:______


Instructor Address:______

Instructor Phone:______E-Mail:______

Certification Status: ______

Salary (fringes):Per hour: ______Total:______

Equipment Needed:______

Who Provides: ______If School, Fee: ______

Supplies: ______

Who Provides: ______If School, Fee: ______

Instructional Materials: ______

Who Provides: ______If School, Fee: ______

Test Fees:______

*This should include your customary fee for the use of the room during regular school hours plus the additional costs to you if you have to provide custodial or building supervision for use outside regular school hours.

Determine your instructor cost per hour, including salary and, if a school system employee, fringe benefits. If your county has a set tuition for part-time instructors, determine the number of students you would need, at that rate, to meet this cost. This is the break-even point on teacher salary/fringes and you should charge this even if there are fewer students. For example, if your breakeven point is ten students, you will charge for ten even if there are only five. On the other hand, if there are 15 students, you will charge for 15. To this, add all other fees and costs to determine the final set amount you will charge the company. Don’t make this too low. You will apply money left over after all costs are paid to purchase replacement equipment and to otherwise maintain the school. You can use the sample contracts on the following pages to design your own.