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NOVA in the Community

Making it Stick! at California Workforce Association Spring Conference

In April, NOVA staff attended the California Workforce Association’s annual spring conference. This year’s theme was, “Meeting the Challenge: Enhancing our Capacity to Impact Income Mobility.” As part of this conference, NOVA staff was invited to present on “Making It Stick! Enhanced Services to Increase Job Seekers’ Success” and discussed NOVA’s new online job search tools that have enhanced the learning experience for its customers. Before the conference, staff had had a few weeks to test out the hands-on Job Search Labs that are key components to the online tools and were able to also share the lessons learned with this approach. The session was very well attended and well received.

WestEd and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation Visit NOVA

On April 17, NOVA hosted a visit from WestEd and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. WestEd is a research, development and service agency that works in collaboration with the education community to promote education excellence. WestEd is a partner in the Workforce Innovations ALLIES project to serve disadvantaged workers with NOVA and its two neighboring WIBs and this was an opportunity for the organization to learn more about NOVA services firsthand. The Silicon Valley Community Foundation is also a partner in the ALLIES project and joined the visit to hear about what NOVA does, how this relates to the Community Foundation’s focus and priorities, and opportunities to work together in the future. The visit began with a trip to the always inspirational Promatch weekly meeting that is held in the Sunnyvale City Council Chambers given its large attendance, which was followed by a discussion about NOVA’s programs and services including a day in the life of a career advisor, and concluded with a tour of the Job Center campus. Given the interest expressed by the Community Foundation representative, a second visit is now being scheduled that will include other program staff from the Foundation. Overall, a wonderful visit!

National Association of Workforce Boards Conference

In March, NOVA Director Kris Stadelman was invited to present on several topics at the annual National Association of Workforce Boards Conference, held every year in Washington, D.C.  On March 30, the Director presented on “A Social Impact Initiative Supporting English Learners to Succeed in Family-Sustaining Careers” where she teamed up with a representative from WestEd to discuss the regional Workforce Innovations ALLIES project. Then, on March 31, the Director presented, as part of a panel, on “Information & Communications Technologies (ICT) –A New Kind of Sector’” with representatives from MidPacific ICT Center, IT Futures Foundation, CA Emerging Technology Fund and the Stride Center. The California Workforce Association Executive Director, Bob Lanter facilitated the panel discussion. NOVA Workforce Board member Linda Thor, Chancellor of the Foothhill-De Anza Community College District, also presented at this conference. On March 31, Dr. Thor  presented, as part of a panel, on “Disruptive Technology: How Technology will Impact Education, Training, Matching and Retention” with representatives from Bluedrop Learning Networks, Woofound, and Cengage/ed2go. The feedback received from these presentations was very positive.

While in Washington, D.C., the Director also participated in an invitation-only small roundtable discussion with Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, at the U.S. Department of Labor offices, about how the public workforce system can be strengthened in implementing the President’s Job-Driven Training for Workers initiative.

Visitors from Mountain View

On April 10, NOVA was pleased to host a visit from the City of Mountain View’s new Economic Development Manager, Alex Andrade and the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Manager, Diana Bautista. The visit started out with guests attending the Promatch weekly meeting that was followed by a tour of the one-stop campus and a discussion about ways NOVA can work in partnership with the City of Mountain View and Chamber of Commerce to better serve Mountain View’s residents and businesses. Overall, a very interesting and informative visit!

Presentations at Annual WED Conference

On February 26-28, NOVA staff was invited to participate in the annual WED Conference. WED (Workforce & Economic Development) is a program of the California Labor Federation. This year the conference’s theme was “Shared Prosperity: Building a Middle Class Economy for All.” NOVA Employer Services staff presented on the workshop, “Rapid Response Basics for Practitioners.” The NOVA Director Kris Stadelman presented on a lunch plenary panel, “Building Pathways to the Middle Class through Project Labor Agreements” and was joined by Amy Wallace of the California Workforce Investment Board, Ted Chandler of the AFL-CIO Housing Trust, Chuck Riojas of the Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings Counties Building Trades Council, and Jeremy Smith of the CA State Building & Construction Trades Council. Overall, a really great conference!

Return Visit from Washington State

Back in December, Commissioner Dale Peinecke from the Washington State Employment Security Department, members of his executive team and several local Workforce Investment Board (WIBs) directors visited NOVA to learn more about its service delivery system. As a follow-up to this visit, on March 5 & 6 eight direct service staff from two of these WIBs, along with one of their contracted service providers, visited NOVA over a two-day period to drill down on the details of how services are delivered that they could replicate in their own career centers. During the visit, NOVA staff provided materials about client flow, the variety of workshops offered, computer training classes and job search labs and how its new online job search tools complement the customer experience at the center. Overall, it was a very productive visit.