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In the Community

Volunteer Resource Fair

On April 24, NOVA hosted its 6th annual Volunteer Resource Fair at the Sunnyvale Community Center Ballroom. The purpose of the fair is to provide opportunities for job seekers to volunteer in the community while they are looking for employment that will offer them meaningful work, introduce them to an industry they may wish to pursue as a career, and achieve real-world projects they can add to their portfolio. Companies and organizations also benefit from this event where they can recruit volunteers from a pool of high-caliber candidates. This year over 100 NOVA job seekers were in attendance, with 27 exhibitors participating offering a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. Exhibitors included Abilities United, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, Avenidas, Bay Area Tutoring Association, Catholic Charities, City of Sunnyvale, Committee for Green Foothills, El Camino Hospital Auxillary, Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley, NASA Ames Research Center, Project Hired, Sacred Heart Community Service, Silicon Valley Pet Project, Sunday Friends, Sunnyvale Community Services, The CLASS Consulting Group, The Trust for Hidden Villa, United Way Silicon Valley, West Valley Community Services, the YWCA Silicon Valley, and many more.

Presentation at National Association of Workforce Boards Conference

On March 28-31, the National Association of Workforce Boards held its 35th annual conference in Washington, D.C., with this year’s theme, “Advancing Workforce Innovation.” As expected, the focus of the conference was on the new federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and planning for the future under this new law. The event included keynote speaker U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Thomas Perez. NOVA Manager Steve Quick attended representing NOVA and was invited to present on a panel for the workshop titled, “Addressing the Talent Gap.” Steve was joined by fellow panelists: Jamai Blivin, Founder and CEO, Innovate + Educate; Peter Hutchinson, Managing Director, Public Service Strategy, Accenture in Boston, MA; and Matt Sigelman, CEO, Burning Glass Technologies. Phil Jordan of the Economic Advancement Research Institute, who has been a lead researcher on many of NOVA's labor market studies over the years, moderated the panel. The presentation was well attended and, from participants’ feedback, well received.

Sobrato Foundation Visits NOVA

The Sobrato Family Foundation has been conducting a landscape analysis seeking input from practitioners in the community as they design a new career pathways program. On March 12, NOVA hosted a visit from the Sobrato Foundation. The Foundation’s new career pathways program will be focusing on low-income communities gaining skills and accessing ladders to middle-skill jobs in Silicon Valley, a specific interest of NOVA through its TechLadder and HUD Regional Prosperity Grant initiatives. NOVA looks forward to future opportunities to collaborate with the Sobrato Foundation on this venture.

Visitors from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation

On March 3, several program officers from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation visited NOVA seeking information about resources available in the workforce system and potential new partnerships. The program officers’ expertise include regional planning strategies, economic security portfolio and immigration grant-making and part of their motivation for contacting NOVA was the realization that workforce development issues impact all of these program areas. As part of the visit, NOVA staff shared information about its services, including the online job search curriculum and TechLadder initiative, and its aspirations for scaling the work to positively impact more job seekers and employers. NOVA welcomes opportunities to partner with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, in the future.