Workforce center helps solve business problems

Filed under: One on One |

* Name: Peggy Herbertson

* Organization: Pikes Peak Workforce Center

* Position: Director

* Hometown: I was born in Louisville, Ky., but was raised in Richardson, Texas

* How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: Actually I live in Elisabeth but have been employed in Colorado Springs for seven years. My primary focus is the Pikes Peak region.

* Education: I received my bachelor’s degree from Northeast Louisiana University and did graduate work at Southwest Texas University.

* A few words about your company: The Pikes Peak Workforce Center helps businesses solve work force related business problems. We have a staff of six business consultants who focus on specific industries, such as manufacturing, healthcare, high tech, finance, and insurance to name a few. One of our goals is to help small businesses in the Pikes Peak Region be successful ensuring the economic vitality of the region.

* Recent accomplishments: One of the accomplishments I am most proud of is the recent launch of the Workforce Skills Certification program. Businesses often are unable to verify that applicants have the basic skills needed to be successful on the job. Our certification program measures an individual’s abilities in three areas: reading for information, locating information and applied math.

* Biggest career break: My biggest career break came when I worked for the Dallas Private Industry Council and a friend said, “How would you like to move to Colorado?” The Governor’s Job Training Office in Colorado was looking for someone with my skills and I was lucky to come to this beautiful state.

* The toughest part of your job: Facilitating communication between businesses and education to ensure our schools are preparing our youth to meet future business work force needs.

* Someone you admire: I admire the job seekers who continually reassess their skills and look beyond their current career fields to find other professions in which to apply their skills. I also admire my son.

* About your family: I am married and have one very precocious 9-year old son.

* Something else you’d like to accomplish: I’d like to help parents understand that they need to encourage their children to focus on math and science in K through 12 to better prepare them for the future world of work. Without skill sets in these two areas, choices of high-paying, high-demand occupations will be limited for their children.

* How your business will change in the next decade: In the next decade our Workforce Skills Certificate will be standard by which businesses make hiring decisions. In the Pikes Peak region we will have led the way for a highly-skilled, well-trained competitive work force. Businesses will be clamoring to move to Colorado Springs and we will work in collaboration with community leaders to determine those industries best suited to our vision of successful employment for all and maintaining our quality of life.

* What book are you currently reading? “The Rise of the Creative Class” by Richard Florida. Everyone concerned with our future economy should read it.

* What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs? I’d like to see Colorado Springs move closer to the creative community model espoused in “The Rise of the Creative Class” by Richard Florida – talent, technology and tolerance.