State agency matches employers, job-seekers

LIHUE — With Kauai’s jobless rate still hovering around a historically low level, and the peak summer visitor season upon us, many island employers are finding it difficult to find good workers.

Kauai employees of a state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations program stand ready to help.

“Good help is not hard to find,” said Peggy Lake, with the department’s Workforce Development Division and its WorkWise! program (274-3060, www.workwisekauai.com) that matches employers with employees.

She refreshed the memories of around 30 Lihue-area employers about the free services available, at the last meeting of the Lihue Business Association at Hawaiian Classic Desserts on Rice Street here.

The WorkWise! program not only has the largest job database in the state, accessible nationally on the Web, but also works to keep employers up to speed on the latest in employer and employee laws, rules, regulations, and changes, Lake explained.

The program receives several inquiries each week from Mainland job-seekers considering moving to Kauai.

The services are “convenient, free, and high-quality,” said Lake, who has been with the division for 11 years.

Employers can post job openings electronically, and WorkWise! workers check with employers at least every two weeks to see if the positions have been filled, if job descriptions have changed, or if other updates are needed, she continued.

Employers committed to hiring low-income applicants, veterans, those referred by vocational-rehabilitation agencies, ex-felons, receivers of supplemental security income, and others fitting into similar categories, can qualify for tax credits for such hires, she said.

Finally, to save employers some job-search headaches, she suggests from experience that “detailed job descriptions yield qualified applicants.

The law firm Belles, Graham, Proudfoot & Wilson sponsored the meeting.

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