WIOA Local Plan: Road Map to the Future
The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires that local workforce boards develop a four-year strategic local plan. After several months of development with invaluable input from community partners, the NOVA Workforce Board and the Sunnyvale City Council, as the Chief Elected Official for the NOVA consortium, have approved a comprehensive local plan that provides a road map for the WIOA workforce development system going forward. Ten priority strategies were identified that will shape our future direction, with success dependent upon participation from all sectors of this community. Current collaborative initiatives and prospective new ones are highlighted as part of this plan. The ten strategies include:
1) Align with Sector Strategies: align workforce development and education and training programs with industry sector needs through regional sector strategies and partnerships with local Workforce Development Boards, industry sectors, education, organized labor, and workforce development and community-based organizations.
2) Form Strategic Partnerships: understand the challenges and opportunities in a fast-moving economy and develop workforce solutions through engagement of key partners that include community service providers, education, organized labor, employers and business and economic development associations. Partnerships will be strategic and “value-add”, where the partnership achieves its goals and relationships built benefit those who participated.
3) Support Career Pathways: support progressive and flexible skill development curriculum (with multiple levels and entry/exit points) and credentialing as appropriate that will lead to employment success in the labor market. Collaborate with community colleges, adult education, and other education partners to recognize and address the workforce needs and skill gaps of the region’s employers and leverage these relationships to support policy changes.
4) Utilize “Earn and Learn” Strategies: promote access to lifelong learning through flexible and industry-informed options, including “earn while you learn” training strategies where participants are attaining applicable career/occupational skills and credentials while at the same time receiving compensation.
5) Lead on Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and Health Care Sub-Sector/Occupations: lead efforts in the ICT sector by promoting digital literacy that includes coding as a basic skill necessary for all job seekers in the ICT sector to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Promote workforce development in the health care sector.
6) Explore and Disseminate Real-Time Labor Market Intelligence Strategies: to uncover occupational skill gaps that will shape service-delivery strategies and programs.
7) Promote Business Engagement: engage businesses in identifying sector skill needs with a focus on aligning skill needs with the workforce development and training curriculum in order to fill skill gaps. Increase business access to talent.
8) Reimagine Youth Program: engage key partners in a strategy that best utilizes NOVA’s expertise and leverages other community resources to efficiently reach more youth with combined services.
9) Pursue and Leverage Resource Development and Braiding: pursue additional resources to address outsized demand from customers and to provide case management services, career advising and training for target populations that include those with special needs and barriers to employment.
10) Assist with Supportive Services: provide assistance to job seekers who face barriers to employment with accessing a broad array of ancillary services that will facilitate their completion of education and training programs and job search activities leading to successful employment.
To review the entire four-year local plan, please visit the NOVA website. NOVA is privileged to work with exceptional partners in this community representing a broad range of perspectives and approaches. We look forward to working with you and new partners in the future to ensure the diverse workforce development needs of all residents and employers are met.