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  • Meares to lead Workforce Investment Board

    Aug 03, 2018 | Read More News
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    When Pima County’s Workforce Investment Board gathers Aug. 10, the meeting will be led by its first new chairman in four years.

    Aric Meares, executive vice president with Azbil North America, BioVigilant Division, takes over for Paul Roughton, who joined the WIB in 2010 and served as its chair since 2014.

    The Pima County Workforce Investment Board is appointed by the Pima County Board of Supervisors to provide recommendations on local workforce policy and oversight of the Pima County One-Stop Career Center. The board includes representatives of local businesses, nonprofits and educational institutions.
    Aric Meares and Paul Roughton
    Roughton owns S & S Motorsports, a Tucson company that specializes in repairs to motorcycles, utility task vehicles (UTVs) and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). A small-business owner for more than 18 years, Roughton said he initially got involved with the county’s One-Stop system because he wasn’t happy with how funding was being allocated to those with unemployment vouchers.

    “I couldn’t understand why the vouchers were going to some of these industries,” Roughton recalled. But instead of complaining from the sidelines, Roughton accepted an invitation by the former head of the county’s business services team to join the WIB. 

    It’s been quite an education. “I learned quickly how much more this board does,” he said.

    Pima County’s Community Services, Employment and Training Department is the administrative entity that operates the One-Stop. CSET Director Charles Casey, who retires Aug. 3 from the county, said Roughton’s background in sales and operating small businesses was a welcome voice on the board. 

    “We greatly enjoyed working with Paul, who provided the WIB with steady, practical leadership during the transition from the Workforce Investment Act to the Workforce Innovations and Opportunities Act,” Casey said.

    Meares initially came to the One-Stop when he needed assistance managing a lay-off for his employer. He returned to the WIB as a panelist representing the bioscience industry, a key sector the WIB works hard to promote. The next thing he knew, he was sitting on the WIB Board and on its performance and accountability committee.

    “It’s a phenomenal system,” Meares said of the One-Stop. “I really enjoy the on-the-ground staff at the One-Stop.”

    “Aric has been a valuable contributor to the Pima County Workforce Board and a strong leader of the performance committee,” said Arnold Palacios, who takes over for Casey as interim CSET director. “I’m looking forward to working with him in his new role as chair.”

    Roughton said the challenge remains getting more business to know about what the One-Stop has to offer. Meares agreed.

    “I really would like the focus to be even more on private-sector engagement,” he said. “It’s important that we have business and government at the table.”