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Workforce Accelerator Initiative for Long-term Unemployed

In 2014, NOVA launched a State-funded Workforce Accelerator initiative that enabled customers, in particular the long-term unemployed, to fill in their unemployment gap with real-world work experience working on technology-related projects sponsored by companies in a variety of fields. In this highly competitive job market, employers require that prospective candidates demonstrate their knowledge and abilities on recent projects in a “show me, don’t tell me” environment. This program model prepares job seekers to meet these employer demands.

In June, NOVA was awarded a new $100,000 State grant to expand and improve upon this technology externship program that was funded last year. In addition, based on lessons learned from the previous year’s program, this project will include a pilot that will offer paid externships, a wider pool of employers and a more structured skill upgrade plan for participants. Finally, the project will explore scaling the externship model to other workforce boards with assistance from the California Workforce Association and through a technology Internet platform. Collaborative partners for this venture will include: Transmosis — a nonprofit agency of technology entrepreneurs, former CA Employment Development Department director Michael Bernick of the Milken Institute, Internet job placement site professionals, employers, and the California Workforce Association, among other partners.