Thursday, August 20, 2015

Looking for Businesses Needing Qualified Work Candidates


Looking for a Quality Employee?
On-the-Job Training With the Mesa County Workforce Center 

On-the-Job Training or OJT is a limited-duration contract between an employer and the Mesa County Workforce Center, which provides for the training of a new employee who is also a participant in the Workforce Investment Act program.

Benefits to the employer:
  • Reimbursement of the employee wage rate for a set period of time (50% to 90%).
  • Assessment screening of skill levels and work values needed for the job.
  • Worker receives the knowledge and skills essential to needs of the employer.

How it works:
  • Employer notifies Mesa County Workforce Center, 248-0866, of interest in participating in an OJT program prior to hiring applicant.
  • The funding for this program requires an eligibility process, which may take up to 1 week to complete.  Please allow for this time frame.

Duration of OJT Agreement is determined by such factors as:
  • The occupation for which the employee is being trained.
  • The content of the training
  • Prior work experience of the employee
  • The available amount of grant funding from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grant.

On-the-Job Training is an excellent opportunity for employers to cultivate new, qualified employees while minimizing the cost of training.

Contact Hollie VanRoosendaal at 248-0866, or Mark Fugere at 248-0867 for more information.

*Not all applicants referred by the employer or Mesa County Workforce Center may be eligible for On-the-Job Training


August is National Child Support Awareness Month

Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) collects over $1 million dollars in child support each month.  This money goes directly to support children in our community both emotionally and financially whether it’s ensuring basic needs are met such as food, clothing and shelter or providing financial support for participation in school activities or medical/dental care.  The child support system is critical for building a better future for our young ones.

The mission of the Colorado Child Support Services Program is to assure all children receive financial and medical support from each parent.  This is accomplished by locating each parent, establishing paternity and support obligations, and enforcing those obligations.   The Child Support Services Program puts children first by helping both parents assume responsibility for the economic and social well-being as well as the health and stability of their children. 

A recent innovation in Colorado Child Support Services is mobile and electronic methods of paying child support. The change has helped increase the convenience, efficiency and timeliness of delivering financial support to children. The new system has helped users make more than 5,000 payments totaling nearly $2 million in child support, statewide.

Colorado Child Support Services also has plans to begin an automated text messaging notification system by the end of this month. The system is intended to increase the effectiveness of child support enforcement correspondence by using short text messages in lieu of phone calls to communicate with clients. Similar systems implemented in other states have helped boost compliance with child support enforcement

The Mesa County Department of Human Services is committed to promoting the health and well-being of all children by ensuring that non-custodial parents pay child support on a regular and timely basis as agreed between the parents or ordered by the courts.

“Children rely on both parents for the financial and medical support they need to be healthy and successful,” said Michelle Trujillo, Director of the Economic Assistance Division at the Mesa County Department of Human Services.  “Child Support provides the security for children that they deserve, which is even more significant during recent economic challenges and rising health care costs,” added Trujillo.

The Mesa County Department of Human Services Child Support Team currently oversees a caseload of over 6700 cases.  For more information on Child Support services administered through MCDHS
please call 248-2780 or visit www.humanservices.mesacounty.us.



Monday, August 10, 2015

Gov. Hickenlooper Announces Boards and Commission Appointments

Gov. John Hickenlooper, recently announced several State Boards and Commission appointments to the Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging.

David Norman of Grand Junction, Director of the Area Agency on Aging was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper and will serve a two year appointment until August of 2017. Norman, a 41 year employee of Mesa County will serve as a representative with extensive knowledge of and experience with state and local budgets and fiscal policy. Norman also, represents local nonprofit organizations that provide services to the aging population in Mesa County.

The Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging studies and produces a comprehensive strategic action plan on aging in Colorado through the year 2030. The planning group examines the impact, both positive and negative, of the aging demographic shift on the economy, workforce, businesses, market based products and services; Medicaid and other safety-net programs.

“This is an appropriate and prestigious appointment,” said Tracey Garchar, Executive Director for the Mesa County Department of Human Services. “Dave is a strong and knowledge advocate for our Senior population. His years of experience will serve the State Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging, very well.” added Garchar.

The Area Agency on Aging were established under the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1973 to respond to the needs of Americans aged 60 and over in every local community. The AAA plans, coordinates and offers services that help older adults remain in their home, if that is their preference, aided by services such as Meals-on-Wheels, homemaker assistance and other programs needed to make independent living a viable option. By making a range of options available through contracts with both public and private groups, the AAA makes it possible for older individuals to choose the services and living arrangement that suit them best

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Human Services Sends Second Welfare Fraud Case to DA for Prosecution this Week

The Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) Fraud and Recovery Unit recently sent a suspected fraud case to the Mesa County District Attorney’s office totaling over $42,104.88.  The suspected fraud occurred from March 16, 2007 to March 16, 2015. Welfare Fraud investigators uncovered enough evidence to allege the following:

Food Assistance: $20,958.00
Medicaid: $ 15,727.34
LEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program):  $981.86
Admin Costs: $ 3,923.48

Additionally, this case had several other assistance programs that were the victim of fraud and are associated with the investigation:
1.       School Lunch fraud. The USDA Food and Nutrition Services/ National School Lunch Program is the victim on that portion with a total of $514.20

The total recovery for the investigation is $42,104.88 (all victims)

Intentionally defrauding public assistance programs consists of falsely reporting information on an application including household composition, household resources or household income. Punishment includes repayment of benefits issued and may result in a 1-year to lifetime ban from receiving public assistance benefits and/or criminal prosecution.

“Knowingly providing false information on a public assistance application in order to receive benefits is a crime and it is something we take very seriously,” said Tracey Garchar, Executive Director for the Mesa County Department of Human Services. “These benefits are in place for people who are eligible and genuinely need them in order to help provide basic needs for their family,” added Garchar.

If you or someone you know suspects welfare fraud, please call the Mesa County Department of Human Services Welfare Fraud Hotline at (970) 256-2421.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Human Services Sends Welfare Fraud Case to DA for Prosecution

The Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) Fraud and Recovery Unit recently sent a suspected fraud case to the Mesa County District Attorney’s office totaling over $62,654.87.  The suspected fraud occurred from January 1, 2011 to February 28, 2014. Welfare Fraud investigators uncovered enough evidence to allege the following:

Food Assistance: $26,697.00
Medicaid: $ 8,470.11
Admin Costs: $ 968.79

Additionally, this case had several other assistance programs that were the victim of fraud and are associated with the investigation:
1.       School Lunch fraud. The USDA Food and Nutrition Services/ National School Lunch Program is the victim on that portion with a total of $576.77
2.      Rocky Mountain Health Plans (Medicaid)fraud/ Rocky Mountain Health Plans is the victim on that portion with a total of $24,348.61
3.      Women Infants and Children (WIC)/Women Infants and Children program is the victim on that portion with a total of $1,593.593 

The total recovery for the investigation is $62,654.87 (all victims)

Intentionally defrauding public assistance programs consists of falsely reporting information on an application including household composition, household resources or household income. Punishment includes repayment of benefits issued and may result in a 1-year to lifetime ban from receiving public assistance benefits and/or criminal prosecution.

“Knowingly providing false information on a public assistance application in order to receive benefits is a crime and it is something we take very seriously,” said Tracey Garchar, Executive Director for the Mesa County Department of Human Services. “These benefits are in place for people who are eligible and genuinely need them in order to help provide basic needs for their family,” added Garchar.

If you or someone you know suspects welfare fraud, please call the Mesa County Department of Human Services Welfare Fraud Hotline at (970) 256-2421.