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NOVA Hosts Visitors from Singapore

On June 23, NOVA was honored to host visitors from the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, a government-funded national agency that focuses on workforce development and sustainable and productivity-driven growth through continuing education and worker adaptation, in a fast changing economy. A representative from Kuder, Inc., based in Iowa and providing career guidance for adults and youth, was escorting these visitors to several select workforce development agencies while they were in this country attending the National Career Development Association Conference in Southern California. The director of the National Association of Workforce Boards recommended that Kuder visit NOVA, as an example of best practices in this field.

The visit included an overview of NOVA and the federal workforce investment system; a description of NOVA Job Center services, Promatch program serving dislocated workers from the professional fields and the new online career navigation curriculum; a tour of the one-stop campus; and concluded with a discussion about NOVA’s business-driven initiatives. Over the course of the visit, there was a synergistic exchange of information between NOVA and the Singapore officials about shared experiences in workforce development including the challenges staying abreast of changing labor market trends and retraining workers to address advancement in technology, serving the needs of the long-term unemployed and those customers with special barriers to employment, and the importance of professional development for staff. Overall, the visit was very interesting and informative for everyone in attendance.

Small Business Development Center Visits NOVA

On July 17, Dennis King, Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Small Business Development Center (SVSBDC) and SVSBDC Board member James Duran, CEO of Duran Human Capital Partners, visited NOVA. SVSBDC is committed to the success of entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley by providing services to current or future small business owners in the area of business advice, training, resources, and events and seminars. The purpose of this visit was to learn more about each organization’s respective services and to explore opportunities for NOVA’s Employer Services to work in partnership with the SVSBDC in supporting entrepreneurship and the workforce needs of the small business community. This was also an opportunity to discuss the State’s newly required layoff aversion strategies as part of the local workforce investment system’s local plans. The visit included a tour of the NOVA campus, attendance at the Promatch weekly meeting and a discussion about the NOVA Job Center and Employer Services. Overall, it was a very productive visit and NOVA looks forward to working with SVSBDC in the future.

Presentation at Silicon Valley Regional Economic Forum

On May 28, NOVA Director Kris Stadelman was invited to present at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s annual Silicon Valley Regional Economic Forum held this year at the Computer History Museum. The Director participated as a part of a panel discussion titled, “Innovation: Driving technical and social change in Silicon Valley.” Other members of the panel included Aart de Geus, Chairman & CEO of Synopsys; Matt Hammer, Executive Director of Innovate Public Schools; and Jennifer Thomas, President of San Jose Teacher’s Association. The Honorable Mike Wasserman, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors closed the panel discussion. Other panel discussions during the forum included such topics as local government bread and butter issues, state economic issues, and federal policy impacting innovation. Overall, it was a very informative and worthwhile event.

Visitors from Yuma Private Industry Council

On July 28/29, NOVA was pleased to host visitors from the Yuma Private Industry Council (PIC) in Arizona. Back in April, NOVA staff presented at the California Workforce Association’s annual spring conference on its new online career navigational tools and hands-on labs to complement these tools. The Yuma PIC staff attended the workshop and was so impressed with NOVA services, they asked to visit NOVA and see firsthand what the organization does with hopes of duplicating the curriculum for their customers.  Six staff from the Yuma PIC participated in the visit including their Operations Director, Program staff and IT staff. The two-day visit encompassed an overview of NOVA Job Center service-delivery model and customer flow; observation of several workshops and labs; a hands-on session on the step-by-step process NOVA went through in the development of the online career navigation curriculum and the technology equipment needed; and a discussion about NOVA’s other programs targeting specific populations. The visit was very informative and should equip the Yuma PIC staff with the right information to replicate NOVA’s model in Arizona.

Regional Meeting about Long-term Unemployed

On May 20, NOVA Director Kris Stadelman attended an invitation-only meeting and conversation with Katherine Archuleta, Director of the Federal Office of Personnel Management. The meeting was hosted by the regional office of the U.S. Department of Labor and was part of the Administration’s focused efforts to get long-term unemployed workers (jobless for 27 weeks or more) back to work. This effort has inspired many federal departments and partners to connect on this important issue. As the director of the federal department that coordinates hiring of all federal workers, this was a wonderful opportunity for Ms. Archuleta to better understand the local workforce investment boards’ experiences with these customers and to explore opportunities for increased coordination between the two departments.

Upwardly Global Visit

On May 12, NOVA hosted a visit from Upwardly Global. Upwardly Global provides reemployment assistance to highly skilled immigrants from the professional fields. These individuals were engineers, doctors, software developers, and financial analysts in their home countries, but face challenges transferring their credentials to jobs in the United States. As a result, they are often forced to work in low-skilled jobs as cab drivers, nannies or security guards to survive. Upwardly Global assists these individuals obtain the right skills and certifications that employers recognize here and require that will lead to employment in their respective fields.

During the visit, NOVA explored ways the two organizations could work together for the betterment of the customers. On May 29, Upwardly Global returned to NOVA to observe the ProMatch weekly meeting that also serves job seekers from the professional fields.

Presentation at California Conference on Apprenticeship

On May 1, NOVA Director Kris Stadelman was invited to present at the Labor sponsored-California Conference on Apprenticeship in San Diego. The Director presented, as part of a panel, on “WIB-Apprenticeship Collaboration/AB 554” to share best practices on WIB collaborations with apprenticeships programs and community colleges to fulfill AB 554 mandates. (AB 554, passed in 2011, requires that local workforce investment boards work in collaboration with approved apprenticeship programs for services that target apprenticeable occupations.) Joining the Director on the panel included representatives from the Sacramento Area Electrical JATC Board; Sacramento Works; and Fresno, Madera, Kings, and Tulare Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. Anne McMonigle from the California Federation of Labor Workforce and Economic Development program moderated the panel. The presentation was well attended and very well received. Other workshops at the conference included women in apprenticeships, California Partnership Academies and the Career Pathways initiative, the greening of apprenticeships, Career Technical Education credentialing, opportunities for veterans in apprenticeships, among many others. Overall, it was a great conference.