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What the Press is Saying About Geographic Solutions and Our Clients' Sites

The Pima Works website will let people click their way to a dream job in Tucson once the Virtual One Stop is in place in about a month.

The object is to match a jobseeker's skills with ideal job openings and allow the person to apply for the job - all with a single visit to Virtual One Stop.

Virtual One Stop will allow jobseekers and businesses to enter dozens of job-related traits in categories such as communication, math, computer and managerial skills. The site will then match that person to Tucson jobs most closely seeking those traits.

Virtual One Stop will make a soft launch likely in mid-June with a few dozen selected businesses listing job openings. The formal launch will likely come in late summer or early fall with the hopes of having as many local jobs listed as possible.

The Virtual One Stop is a pet project of the Pima County Workforce Investment Board and is jointly funded by the county, city, the state Commerce Department and industry cluster grant funding. The site will be a compendium of job-related resources gathered from those government entities plus the education and private sectors.

As such, Virtual One Stop will be much more than just an on-line classified ads service, said Steven Juliver, chairman of the Workforce Investment Board.

Say a jobseeker wants a particular job but his or her qualifications fall short. Virtual One Stop will inform jobseekers of classes that could fill those qualification gaps and where in Tucson such classes are offered.

"Virtual One Stop is truly taking us to a level where I can go to one place and no matter my needs I can find it at that one place," Juliver said. "When this project is unveiled, it will be truly testing how the private, public and education sectors can work together to achieve a common goal."

If a jobseeker finds an attractive job opening, he may even submit a résumé via Virtual One Stop.

The Virtual One Stop concept is one emerging around the country following passage of the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, which funds the Pima County Workforce Investment Board.

A Tucson contingent attended a conference in Albuquerque a year ago where 30 one-stop systems from around the country were displayed. The Tucsonans were most impressed with Louisiana's online job service.

Louisiana had hired Geographic Solutions in Florida to design the Louisiana Works website. Tucson hired the same firm.

"We were going to write our own program, and then we found Geographic Solutions," said Mike Lupien, technical adviser for Tucson's Virtual One Stop. "They have the original design. They have the engine. I'm building the rest of the car. I'm customizing it for Tucson."

Lupien, chief operations officer at Broadband Laboratories in Tucson, has worked closely with Workforce Investment Board members to determine the skill set profile details that would best serve the Tucson market.

The profiles will have so many choices that even the same type of job listed by two businesses could have rather different profiles.

"The goal is an assembler at Universal Avionics is not an assembler at Raytheon," Juliver said.

As much as Virtual One Stop is designed to help jobseekers, the program will be just as valuable to employers and even Tucson's mayor as he's on one of his economic development forays.

Virtual One Stop compiles the data input by jobseekers and employers so that employers, for example, can see what the average wage for a specific position is.

"If the mayor calls and asks how many people are skilled in a particular field, we can't do that now," Juliver said. "Virtual One Stop will marry all the good that is out there in one place."



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