In the News

ASTORINO STRENGTHENS STRATEGIC WORKFORCE TRAINING INITIATIVE
WITH SELECTION OF WHITE PLAINS FIRM

December 18, 2012

With the enormous demand for a workforce with the right skills to meet business needs,  a White Plains firm has been tapped by the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Investment Board (WPWIB) to manage the employment and training needs of local businesses and help them obtain grant money.

The hiring of Hospitality Resource Group Inc. is part of the county’s strategy of focusing on different sectors, since each has a different need, said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. The firm, which will manage all six sectors, will be paid $42,500 for the year, with the option to renew the contract for two more years.

“My administration is committed to helping employers find qualified, trained people to fill their jobs,” said Astorino. “However, each sector has different needs. By focusing on each one separately, we maximize results.”

The sectors are health care, manufacturing, green jobs, life sciences, business services and hospitality.

To date, more than 1,000 Westchester residents have been part of specialized training programs from the WPWIB, and local business have received more than $640,000 in state and federal aid to off-set the costs of employee training.

With the hiring of HRG, it is expected that these numbers will grow, as the firm helps business access available local, state and federal funding to help them train new and current workers. The WPWIB may also subsidize some of the job-training costs.

HRG will build on the sector strategy already underway, under the leadership of the following sector leaders: John Schandler, president of White Plains Hospital; Lisa Corcoran, president, Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association;  Charlie DiComo, formerly chief compliance officer of Aureon Biosciences; Diane Wilhelm, vice president of  Key Bank; Len Vallender, president of Fen Bar Precision; Harold King, president, of Hudson Valley Council of Industries; Robert Sanders, president of HRG; Natasha Caputo, director, Westchester County Office of Tourism and Film; David Singer, president of  Robison Oil; and Dani Glazer, Neil Cutler and Scott Fernqvist, Westchester Green Business Challenge.

Singer, who is also chairman of the WPWIB, said of the selection of HRG: “I think we can do even more to help local business owners to train their workers. HRG has been involved in the sector partnerships from the start and understands our vision, so I expect great things for this program under their direction.”

Laurence Gottlieb, director of Westchester County’s Office of Economic Development, endorsed the sector approach, saying, “Government should never dictate training needs, but rather talk directly with those firms that are hiring and simply ask, ‘How can we help you train the employees you have and provide the right skill sets to the future workers you need?’”

HRG has been a leader in providing innovative, high quality training solutions, event programs and marketing services to area corporations, not for profits and the higher education market since 1997.

For more information, contact Walter Recher at (914) 761-7111 x 324 or by email at walter@hrginc.net; or Donnovan Beckford, director of the Westchester-Putnam WIB at (914) 995-3707 or by email at dpb2@westchestergov.com . Other information is available at the Web site of the Westchester One-Stop Employment Center:  www.westchesterputnamonestop.com.


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