Valaryee Mitchell currently serves as One-Stop Services Coordinator for the Virginia Community College System. In her current position she provides leadership, guidance, and oversight to the Workforce Investment Act workforce centers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Hampton University and her Masters of Public Administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
Exceptional customer service, quality programming, and continuous improvement are all characteristics of an optimal workforce center. The Charlottesville Workforce Center, Peninsula Worklink, and South Boston Workforce Center have all proven they possess these qualities and more as evidenced by their achievement of Full One-Stop Certification or Level I (attained 100% of standards).
The One-Stop Certification was a rigorous process that included year-long preparation, self-assessment, and an intensive evidence based onsite peer review. The review standards included several baseline standards and six quality benchmarks. The quality benchmarks include partners agreeing on a shared vision, having an integrated physical layout, utilizing customer feedback in operational decisions, offering a high-performance workplace, adopting a common marketing strategy, and continually looking for ways to raise the bar.
While 18 workforce centers applied for certification, initially the three (Peninsula Worklink, South Boston Workforce Center, and Charlottesville Workforce Center) achieved Level I or Full One-Stop Certification. The remaining centers are currently working towards attaining Level I Certification.
Several promising practices were observed throughout the One-Stop Certification process. The South Boston Workforce Center is truly integrated by function and the local government has demonstrated strong support for the center. The integrated nature of the center is a benefit to partners and the community. The Peninsula Worklink utilizes integrated resource teams to collaborate and braid resources to meet the needs of shared customers. The Charlottesville Workforce Center’s ability to provide optimal services to business has resulted in businesses advocating for the workforce center and marketing business services to their peers.
Achievement of Full One-Stop Certification was no small feat and these three workforce centers’ accomplishment is a testament to their hard work, dedication and innovation. They are model programs and their job-seekers, businesses, and communities will benefit as a result of their triumph.
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