SIX NEW ECONOMIC BASE JOBS CREATED IN CIBOLA COUNTY BY SOLOWORKS
SoloWorks is a new economic development program being rolled out by Cibola Communities Economic Development Foundation
GRANTS, NEW MEXICO February 21, 2017 – Cibola Communities Economic Development Foundation (CCEDF) and the SoloWorks Consortium announce the creation of six new economic base jobs with more to come. This is the equivalent of 140 new economic base jobs in Bernalillo County.
“After running this program for 3 months, I believe it is the fastest, most economical and sustainable way of creating economic base jobs which is why five of my colleagues are lining up to put the program in their communities,” says Eileen Yarborough, President of CCEDF.
The first six placements are employed with three separate companies and are drawing paychecks. Five more are in the process of being placed and four are finishing training and will begin the placement process this coming week.
Shawna Austin, among the first to be placed, says “Soloworks is a life-saver. Outside of this program, there was virtually no chance of being able to find employment in Grants. I can provide for my family and contribute to the state economic base to boot.”
Applications are being accepted for the next round of classes starting in March and April. The SoloWorks Center is in the Joseph Fidel Center of NMSU Grants Branch Campus. Space is limited to ten candidates per class and are on a first come first serve basis.
This is the first program of its kind and demonstrates how a small community can create new economic base jobs by recruiting, training, placing and advancing local residents for quality jobs that can be performed remotely – from a home or the SoloWorks Center.
The program has three moving pieces: DigitalWorks training and placement program, FatPipe ABQ’s solopreneurship program, and Circles USA’s program for moving poor and hard to employ residents into the mainstream workforce. The program admits 5-10 candidates per month, puts them through rigorous screening, testing, and basic training process which takes 30 days to complete. They are then placed in employment with one of the 65+ employers who have current demand for remote workers in a full spectrum of W2 and 1099 jobs.
The SoloWorks program is the brainchild of a consortium of service providers based in New Mexico and Ohio. It has been championed by the NM Legislative Jobs Council and the select group of economic development professionals.
Senate President Pro Tem and Jobs Council Co-Chair, Mary Kay Papen says, “It’s gratifying to see some actual jobs get created. Solowork has been a Jobs Council priority for 4 years. We think this is a terrific program and Eileen Yarborough and her community should be congratulated for pioneering it. This is exactly what New Mexico needs to be doing!”
The program received rollout funding from Cibola Communities EDF, USDA, NM Finance Authority, NMEDD’s LEADS program and the NW New Mexico Council of Governments. With current funding, the program is scaled to create 10-20 new economic base jobs in the next few months. A permanent funding source is being sought for continued program operation and to establish programs in other communities across the state.
Harry Garcia, House Representative for Cibola County voiced the need for continuation, saying “I’d like to thank the Jobs Council and the state Economic Development Department for helping to launch this program. It is vital to the economic survival of many of our rural communities and we now need to find a permanent funding source to keep it going.”
Five more New Mexico communities are engaged in various stages of planning for their own SoloWorks Centers. The SoloWorks Consortium is comprised of four independent organizations:
- Community Economics Lab: Program architecture and administration, community liaison, metrics – firstname.lastname@example.org
- DigitalWorks: Job development, screening, training and placement – email@example.com
- FatPipe ABQ: Co-working system management and solopreneur development – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Circles USA: Pre-program preparation and support for the hard to employ – email@example.com
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