Category Archives: Best Practices

City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Austin, Workforce Solutions Capital Area

Contact Person:
David Olson

Contact Information:

Steve Adler

WFSCA Logo – Connecting People to Jobs

Master Community Workforce Plan

The strength of a community depends on the people that live in it. With rapidly rising costs of living threatening affordability, many Austinites are being pushed out of the community they love. In response to this crisis, Austin-area workforce development community based organizations, training providers, and employers created a Master Community Workforce Plan (MCWP) to help individuals living in poverty find a path to financial stability.

By aligning education and training providers’ training programs with employers’ needs, this workforce plan will help 10,000 economically disadvantaged individuals secure middle-skill jobs by 2021.

The MCWP estimates that over the next five years, the Austin Metro Area will require more than 60,000 middle-skill jobs including both new and replacement positions. Of these middle skill openings, just over 50% stem from just three occupational sectors which compose the primary, though not exclusive, targeted industries as part of the MCWP: healthcare, information technology, and advanced manufacturing/skilled trades.

For the region’s economically disadvantaged residents―those who earn less than 200% FPG, many of whom are currently employed―this prospective job growth represents better economic opportunity provided they obtain the skills and credentials required to find higher earnings employment.

Austin Metro Area Master Community Workforce Place Baseline Evaluation Report
This report was conducted by The Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources at the University of Texas at Austin. This report seeks to determine which relevant workforce development services and training the five major community-based organizations in our region (Workforce Solutions Capital Area, Goodwill Central Texas, Skillpoint Alliance, Capital IDEA, and American YouthWorks) and Austin Community College District provided during the baseline years (2013-2016) to measure the scale of efforts along with the outcomes of participants, including program completion, employment, and earnings.

As the region continues to implement the MCWP, this baseline evaluation report serves as a reference to how the workforce system functioned prior to this effort and provides accurate baseline figures with which to compare results of ongoing and future regional coordination and collaboration.

Read the Austin Metro Area Master Community Workforce Plan Baseline Evaluation Report.


Central Texas Healthcare Partnership

In early 2018, the Central Texas Healthcare Partnership (CTHP) launched under the leadership of three Central Texas healthcare industry leaders: Baylor Scott & White Health, Ascension Seton Healthcare Family, and St. David’s Healthcare. This new coalition was launched with three goals:

  • To jointly develop an agenda to sustain and grow the healthcare industry in the Central Texas region.
  • To facilitate coordinated action to address shared workforce challenges and realize shared opportunities.
  • To provide a forum for the Central Texas healthcare industry for networking and information sharing.

Drawing upon lessons learned from successful industry partnerships in other regions, the CTHP was intentionally structured as a business-led coalition to help ensure the group focuses on those workforce challenges and opportunities that are the highest priority for local industry leaders.

Industry partners provide leadership for the coalition and lead the identification of its priorities and strategies. Workforce Solutions Capital Area provides staff support to assist with the coordination of the partnership.

The CTHP‘s three work groups, launched in June 2018 and meeting monthly, provide a forum for these business leaders to come together with community partners from K12, higher education, nonprofit organizations, and industry groups to investigate challenges, jointly develop solutions, and explore innovative ideas.

The work groups focus on three priority topics:

  • Increase the supply of Central Texas registered nursing talent by jointly working to address education, training, recruiting, and retention challenges.
  • Improve coordination between healthcare employers and K12 institutions to promote career awareness and coordinate more hands-on learning opportunities.
  • Weigh in on public policy discussions related to education and training, affordability, transportation, and other community issues that affect Central Texas employers’ ability to attract, develop, and retain healthcare talent.

CTHP leaders also recognized that they would need better information about current and projected healthcare industry labor market dynamics to help inform their work. With matching contributions from St. David’s Healthcare, Ascension Seton Healthcare Family, and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Workforce Solutions Capital Area secured a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission for a study by researchers from The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and Avalanche Consulting to better understand the labor market landscape and discover potential strategies to increase alignment between regional supply and demand for middle-skill healthcare careers. The researchers presented their findings to the CTHP in September 2018.


Leveraging Local Funds with Third Party Reimbursement to Serve More People

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) allows local workforce development boards to create partnerships with local entities that provide services to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients through non-federally funded sources. These are referred to as Third Party Reimbursement (TPR) models, and they allow us to expand services to SNAP recipients who may not be receiving services through our SNAP Employment & Training (SNAP E&T) program.

Today, we are the only local workforce development board in Texas operating a TPR program.

Although we receive funds to operate the SNAP E&T program, the amount is not nearly enough to serve every individual in our community that receives SNAP benefits. With TPR, an agency can utilize non-federal funding to provide services (such as training, support services and case management) to individuals that are receiving SNAP benefits. In return for expanding the E&T program, FNS reimburses 50% of the costs incurred to provide services to SNAP recipients.

FNS designed this program as an opportunity for communities to increase their efforts in serving individuals through programs that are like SNAP E&T. The program’s goal is to provide case management, training and job search assistance to enable individuals receiving SNAP benefits to enter the workplace.

From October 2016 to October 2018, Workforce Solutions Capital Area received more than $92,000 in reimbursement through the TPR program and served 42 individuals.

Currently, Workforce Solutions Capital Area operates a TPR program through our Career Center contractor, utilizing funding from the City of Austin and Travis County for the Workforce Education and Readiness Continuum (WERC).

WERC staff identify customers that are SNAP recipients and track expenditures for case management, training, and support services. The customer’s eligibility for SNAP benefits is verified monthly, and we track services and enter data into The Workforce Information System of Texas (TWIST), an automated statewide system with a single point of data entry and a central repository for customer information.

The expenditures are submitted to the Board for certification, then submitted to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and ultimately FNS. FNS reimburses $0.50 on the dollar of which TWC keeps 10% and we receive 90% in return. We invest this money back into the WERC program.



Registered Apprenticeship programs are gateways to good middle-class jobs in the US. construction industry. In Texas in 2017, nearly 17,500 apprentices were earning wages and learning on the job in more than 400 apprenticeship programs.

Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3) is a pre-apprenticeship core curriculum with 120 hours of classroom training. Pre-apprentices can pick up the tools and techniques of the Skilled Trades, from plumbing to electrical work to sheet metal and iron work, under the guidance of master craftworkers.

We launched our first cohort in Austin in Summer 2018. 100% of the participants in the inaugural class received job offers after completing their training. A second cohort began the program in October 2018.

Lanier High School students receive their helmets and vests for the pre-apprentice dual credit course

Lanier High School students receive their helmets and vests for the pre-apprentice dual credit course

At Lanier High School, a pre-apprentice dual credit course is now available for students who want to become the next generation of electricians. The course is part of a new partnership between electrical contractor TRIO Electric, Austin Independent School District and Austin Community College, and is free to participating students.

Lanier students are transported to TRIO Electric and learn about the work electricians perform, including how to read electrical blueprints and bend conduits. The course offers learning outside of the classroom: students also visit construction job sites to observe the work being completed.

For their participation, the students were promised a job making $13 an hour in summer 2019.

Offering pre-apprentice dual credit courses can benefit schools and employers alike. Schools introducing career and technical education (CTE) programs can gain industry input and guidance from career professionals while participating employers, they have the opportunity to help guide the next generation of skilled workers.


City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Indianapolis, EmployIndy

Contact Person:
Joe Backe

Contact Information:

Mayor Joe Hogsett

EmployIndy_2017_Logo_redtag_black-01 copy

Sector Strategies

As the workforce development board for Marion County, EmployIndy catalyzes growth of untapped and diverse pipelines of job-ready workers, as well as emboldens local employers to hire and skill up the Indianapolis workforce, while meeting the demand of growing industries. EmployIndy invests $20 million a year in public, private, and philanthropic funds to develop jobs-to-career strategies. EmployIndy is guided by a 21-member board appointed by Mayor Joe Hogsett and is comprised of business, civic, education, and non-profit community leaders. In 2017, EmployIndy launched a five-year strategic plan, highlighting three main goals, to significantly transform and grow Indianapolis’ workforce ecosystem.

EmployIndy’s Five-Year Strategic Plan
Anchored by a vision of working with partners throughout the city to build this comprehensive Workforce Ecosystem for Indianapolis, EmployIndy, Marion County’s Workforce Development Board, has adopted the following goals and objectives to drive action and inform strategic decisions for the organization through 2022.

  1. Address systemic barriers preventing a strong pipeline of entry-level workers and employment opportunities
  2. Create a positive trajectory for young adults to actively participate in the workforce
  3. Create an employer-driven urban neighborhood workforce development framework that can be replicated throughout Indianapolis

In-School & Opportunity Youth

Young people are the future of our workforce, and EmployIndy is committed to ensuring that Marion County builds a strong, capable, talent pipeline of young workers. To do so, EmployIndy focuses on two distinct groups of youth and young adults, In-School Youth and Opportunity Youth. There are an estimated 30,000 Opportunity Youth in Central Indiana. This population includes those who are homeless, in foster care, involved in the criminal justice system, who live with a disability, and/or are neither employed nor enrolled in postsecondary training or an educational institution. While considering that each of these groups requires its own approach to ensure a pathway to success, both groups can benefit from EmployIndy’s E^7 mindset:

  • Exposure
  • Exploration
  • Engagement
  • Empowerment
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Employment

Indy Achieves
Partnering with the City of Indianapolis, Indy Achieves aims to increase postsecondary access and completion for all Indianapolis youth. This will be done by maximizing financial aid, providing wraparound services & mentorship, giving gap-closing Promise Scholarships, and awarding completion grants to help students cover unexpected financial needs. The goal is to close the skills gap by preparing young adults for the workforce by arming them with job-ready credentials.

JA JobSpark
A two-day, hands-on experience for Marion County 8th graders (spearheaded by Junior Achievement) that introduces students to a variety of career opportunities and different fields. JA JobSpark is most commonly referred to as a “coalition of educators and industry leaders connecting youth to promising careers.”


Job Ready Indy
Partnering with the Indy Chamber, the City of Indianapolis, community-based organizations, schools, & local businesses, Job Ready Indy is an employability skills certification designed to empower and create a skilled-up generation. This program will be taught by qualified trainers in a variety of community-based organizations (CBOs) throughout Indianapolis. The students who complete each of the six courses will receive a “badge,” setting them apart from their peers as certified, workforce-ready individuals armed with the skills to forward their career.

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG)
To serve in-school youth who are at risk of dropping out, EmployIndy has integrated the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program in 15 schools in Marion County. JAG is a national model managed locally by EmployIndy which targets students most in need, finding those who are at risk of dropping out or facing severe barriers to education or employment. The JAG program offers students a wide range of opportunities as a means of dropout prevention and to ensure graduates are prepared for next steps after high school.

Pivot Re-engagement Center
Partnering CAFE and the Finish Line Boys and Girls Club of Indianapolis, the Pivot Re-Engagement Center acts as a safe and familiar neighborhood access point, using sports recreation as a hook. This program is offering re-engagement services to opportunity youth and connection to education, case management, wrap-around services, workforce development training, industry certifications, and job placement services.

Project Indy
EmployIndy has also helped to launch Mayor Joe Hogsett’s initiative Project Indy.  Youth and young adults ages 14-24 can search nearby jobs and opportunities on the Project Indy website and mobile portal. Participants have access to a network of community organizations, employers, and corporate partners who are providing job opportunities, soft-skill development and job-readiness training to in-school and opportunity youth in Marion County.

Youth Employment System (YES)
YES is a comprehensive capacity-building initiative to create a network of like-minded partners, community-based organizations, training providers, and employers who are passionate about serving Indianapolis youth in the highest-need neighborhoods. Additionally, EmployIndy strategically invests YES funds to help community-based organizations that directly provide recruitment, education, skills training and supportive services for Marion County Opportunity Youth. See what our current grantees are up to!

Addressing Barriers to Employment

Any Job, Better Job, Career
The ABC continuum is a targeted, integrated approach focused on meeting the needs of residents in Indianapolis who reside in the areas most affected by poverty, crime, and unemployment. This method moves an individual out of employment into a career – starting by receiving Any Job, which requires basic employability skills. Next, an individual can apply for a Better Job where they would most likely need additional training or credentials. Finally, the job seeker has the opportunity to move into a Career, requiring ongoing training and furthering education.

WorkOne Indy
As the local workforce development board for Marion County (Region 12), EmployIndy oversees the American Job Center WorkOne Indy. WorkOne Indy is a career services center for adults and dislocated workers to use as a resource when it comes to employment and education. Most people who come to WorkOne Indy are struggling with more than one barrier to employment. When people come in, they have the opportunity to meet with Career Navigators, WorkOne employees who focus on helping the individuals discover their next step and how to get there. Lately many individuals who come in to WorkOne are dislocated workers. The struggle is not being able to find employment, it’s being able to find a good and promising job that is comparable to the one they just lost.

There are many people who have benefitted from WorkOne Indy services! Check out a few of their success stories.

Barrier-Busting Assistance
There are many community-based organizations throughout Indianapolis providing assistance to individuals all over Marion County who are struggling with employment:

EmployIndy partners with the State and provides resources to local organizations in order to better serve those with barriers to employment, including:


City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
District of Columbia, Department of Employment Services (DOES)

Contact Person:
Unique Morris-Hughes, Interim Director, DOES

Contact Information:
(202) 671-1900

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser

DOES logo copy

Sector Strategies

The DC Dept. of Employment Services sector strategies include:

  • More community engagement;
  • Creating additional earn-and-learn opportunities like apprenticeships and internships;
  • Instituting better agency integration with our partners at the DC Department of Human Services, Department of Corrections and more;
  • Developing more training opportunities that industry specific and connect to jobs in growing sectors; and
  • Using the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act of 2014 to enhance our programming with federal and local funding.

We have accomplished some of these objectives over the summer with the opening of two community-based American Job Center locations to provide services and resources similar to our larger-scale America Job Centers, including:

  • Career counseling, job search strategies, resume assistance, interview preparation, job placement, and computer training;
  • Registration in our DC Networks database to connect directly with available employment opportunities and employers; and
  • Referrals to local education and training programs.

With these two locations in Ward 8, and others soon to open in other underserved D.C. communities, DOES wants to make the journey to employment more accessible and more centrally located.

We also know that some of the District’s most viable career opportunities only require a high diploma, but there is still additionally training needed to adequately prepare individuals to take on these roles. In areas of hospitality, healthcare, IT, and more, DOES is working to create more options for residents to get work experience, earn wages, and train up to obtain further career growth.

We also launched our First Friday Training Round Up in October 2015 in an effort to connect residents to our most trusted training providers and allow them to get the skills they need and employers demand. Over two months, we’ve connected close to two hundred District residents to new training programs and certifications.

In 2014, only 185 residents received training through our eligible training providers. With the addition of our First Friday efforts, DOES will have will successfully linked 700 to 800 residents to training opportunities in 2015.


The Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) is a locally funded initiative sponsored by the Department of Employment Services (DOES) that provides District youth ages 14 to 21 with enriching and constructive summer work experiences through subsidized placements in the private and government sectors.

Mayor Bowser expanded the 2015 SYEP to include youth ages 22-24 years old to provide them with meaningful work experience and individualized support that will help them identify a career pathway.

Through SYEP, we strive to provide young people with the opportunity to:

  • Earn money and gain meaningful work experience;
  • Learn and develop the skills, attitudes, and commitment necessary to succeed in today’s world of work;
  • Gain exposure to various exciting career industries; and,
  • Interact with dynamic working professionals in a positive work environment.

Though SYEP is a short-term employment and training program, our goal is to introduce our youth to employers who will positively impact their futures.

Employers in the Washington, DC metropolitan area make this annual program possible by volunteering to serve as Host Employers and providing structured job opportunities for youth during the summer.

The Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute (MBYLI) was founded in 1979 as a year-round program to train District of Columbia youth in the concepts of leadership and self-development.The MBYLI training model emphasizes practical, hands-on experience and a holistic approach to developing leaders for the 21st century. Each year, 150 young people participate in the year-round program and 350 youth participate in the Summer Training Program. Thousands of DC youth have received leadership training to date.

Members of the Institute come from a wide cross-section of ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds, reflective of the general population of the city. Leadership development training begins for members of the Institute at age 14, and generally concludes at age 17, when they are ready for college or other post-secondary opportunities. The Institute is strongly supported by its Alumni Association, an auxiliary group which meets regularly to generate support for the Institute.

Youth leaders are active in a variety of programs and special projects that allow them to demonstrate their acquired skills. These activities include:

  • MBYLI Youth Government – a replication of the District government
  • Overnight residential training on local college campuses and local camp sites
  • Serving as hosts to youth visiting the Nation’s Capital from cities across the United States and from countries around the world.
  • Developing and publishing a MBYLI newsletter
  • Hosting an annual public speaking competition for youth
  • Hosting an annual Community Awards Banquet
  • Performing community service work
  • Sponsoring issues forums with local government officials and prominent industry professionals

Initiative that Address Barriers to Employment

L.E.A.P. (Learn, Earn, Advance, Prosper) is a network of interconnected partners utilizing the “earn-and-learn” approach that will link the city’s unemployed residents with employment, education and training opportunities. The earn-and-learn approach applies the apprenticeship model to skill development, allowing individuals to earn a wage while participating in an on-the-job training experience and concurrently participating in related technical instruction. This framework allows individuals to earn wages and accumulate work experience thus bolstering their ability to advance along a career pathway and into the middle class.

DC Career Connections will provide 20 to 24 year old participants with on-the-job training.  In addition, we will expand our LEAP Academy, which gives District residents a fair shot at careers in public service. The expanded program will include good paying jobs at District agencies that provide vital services for residents.

  • The DC Career Connections (DC-CC) program will provide more than 400 disconnected youth ages 20-24 with meaningful, paid work experience and opportunities for education, training, and professional development.
  • Youth may participate in subsidized employment for up to 9 months (39 weeks) for up to 25 hours per week at an initial rate of $8.25/hour (with potential increase to $9.25/hour).
  • Youth will receive individualized coaching and support with securing full-time, unsubsidized employment.
  • Our goal is to provide youth with life-changing experiences.

Project Empowerment is a transitional employment program that provides job readiness training, work experience, and job search assistance to District residents who face multiple barriers to employment. Participants attend an intensive, three-week training course and upon completion have the opportunity to be placed in subsidized employment for up to six months. In addition to job readiness training and job search assistance, Project Empowerment provides supportive services such as adult basic education, job coaching and occupational skills training. The goal of Project Empowerment is for participants to secure permanent, unsubsidized employment.

Individuals with Disabilities

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The Department of Employment Services (DOES) offers veterans a wide variety of job search and training services.  Special veterans’ representatives are employed at most American Job Centers, where case managers ensure complete services for veterans, especially those who are disabled. Specialized federal services such as the Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) program are also available to eligible veterans by contacting the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) specialist at (202) 530-9371.

Veterans benefits include the following:

  • Registration at an American Job Center
  • Assessment of individual interest, skills and abilities, as well as counseling, to assist with an effective job search
  • Follow-up services
  • Assistance in securing medical services or counseling
  • Priority status accorded to all veterans for all employment services


TechHire – As part of the Obama Administration’s TechHire Initiative, the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES) is working with a group of stakeholders to train and put 200 returning citizens to work in high-tech careers.

DOES has already begun engaging with partners, including the Federal Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), the DC Department of Human Services (DHS), the Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizens Affairs (MORCA), the University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC-CC), the Workforce Investment Council (WIC), the DC Chamber of Commerce, the HOPE Project and other stakeholders.

With a goal of placing at least 75 percent of the trained returning citizens in permanent employment, the DC TechHire initiative has employer commitments from Competitive Innovations, Prism Inc., and Veredus. The District will continue to engage local technology companies to review modifications to their hiring process and develop competency-based tech curricula for individuals with a criminal record.


City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Kansas City, American Job Center

Contact Person:
Clyde McQueen

Contact Information:
816-471-2330, ext. 1256

Mayor Sly James, Kansas City, MO

Missouri Job Center

FEC Logo

The Full Employment Council, Inc. is the premiere one-stop destination for job seekers and employers in the Greater Kansas City area. FEC serves residents of Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte, and Ray Counties in Missouri. We offer employment services and career counseling for adult and young adult job seekers, and comprehensive recruitment, screening and customized training programs for employers.
We are the one-stop operator and fiscal agent of the MO Career Centers for two Workforce Investment Board (WIB) Regions: Kansas City & Vicinity (KCV), which includes Kansas City, MO, and Cass, Clay, Platte, and Ray Counties; and Eastern Jackson County (EJC), which includes Independence, MO, and areas in Jackson County excluding Kansas City.

Sector Strategies

Informational Technology (IT) Sector

Earn IT and Learn IT (EILI)

EILI is a 3 year, $1 million program is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration to help businesses reduce their dependency on H1-B visas by preparing American workers with the advanced skills in Information Technology (IT), Engineering, and Healthcare IT that employers need. It is one of 43 national awards through the $183 million Federal H-1B Technical Skills Technical Training Grant Program and funded by fees paid by employers to sponsor foreign workers. This program has served and trained 67 with 45 completing training and 28 receiving credentials. 39 have been placed in full time employment with an average wage of $25.05. Best practices for this program include hi-tech OJT opportunities.

Reboot U – Long-term Unemployed Project

Reboot U is a $1 million pilot project funded by the Missouri Division of Workforce Development the Long Term Unemployed project will assist long-term unemployed workers to rejoin the workforce in IT occupations with essential skills training, classroom training in technical skills, paid work experience, and full-time employment. To date this program has served and trained 41 individuals and currently there are 12 on internships with local IT companies.

Best Practices:

  • Utilization of intermediaries                                                           • Shark tank interviews
  • Industry identified adjunct faculty                                                  • Classroom training combined with OJT
  • 21st Century Communication courses

Healthcare Sector

21st Century Healthcare Works Program

The 21st Century Healthcare Works Program is a five-year Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG) with a goal of assisting unemployed, economically disadvantaged individuals in successfully entering or advancing in the Healthcare field, in occupations that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand.

Best Practices:

  • Alumni group
  • Random Assignment – Introducing the lottery approach to the community
  • Basic remedial and job skills readiness
  • Supportive services incentives targeted for people who were skilling up
  • Developed first DOL sanctioned healthcare apprenticeship in the region.


Greater Kansas City Healthcare and Healthcare Information Technology (GKCHHIT) – a $5 million grant funded by the U.S. Department of Labor provided training and placement services to help unemployed workers pursue careers in targeted industries: nursing and allied health, long-term health care industry, and HIT and increase the number of trained healthcare workers.

Best Practices:

  • Utilization of intermediaries
  • Monthly sector meetings sponsored by intermediaries with educational institutions and healthcare employers
  • Industry sponsored supportive services
  • Crucial conversations curriculum for cultural competency
  • OJT’s with KC Healthcare industry

healthcare pic


Advanced Manufacturing

Jobs Accelerator

FEC was awarded a grant from the ETA H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant funds for training and related employment activities to develop a skilled workforce for the cluster. The region received the project to increase employment opportunities at the intersection of two industry clusters — advanced manufacturing and information technology.  FEC partnered with a regional team and used its funds to raise the technical skill levels of American workers so they can obtain or upgrade employment in high-growth industries and/or occupations and to reduce the use of skilled foreign professionals permitted to work in the United States on a temporary basis under the H-1B visa program.

Best Practices:

  • Sector approach utilization of OJT as primary training vehicle
  • Used recruitment and assessment as key tools to assist employers in combination with OJT
  • Sponsored sector focused career hiring events that served as recruitment platform for sector as well as referral of sector supply chain members for hiring events
  • Extensive utilization of Workforce Investment Board members in hiring initiatives


Project RISE

FEC secured funding from Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City (Mayor’s Fund) and the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity Social Innovation Fund (SIF) of $1.3 million to provide paid internships, educational opportunities and support for disconnected 18-24 year old young adults in the Kansas City, MO. FEC will continue to implement this program in PY 2015 with funding from the Bloomberg Foundation, New York City; Corporation for National and Community Service-Social Innovation Fund, New York City; Center for Economic Opportunity, New York City; Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City; United Way of Greater Kansas City; Hall Family Foundation, Kansas City.

Project Rise buck slip, Feb 2013

Best Practices:

  • Utilization of sector focused community service component
  • Career professional mentors
  • Utilization of Housing Authority Youth Build training sites as of delivery of GED curriculum
  • Utilization of American Job Center based classroom training conducted by community colleges and four year training institutions
  • Cohort based training
  • Concurrent GED classes with sector based work based learning opportunities
  • Concurrent credential based classroom occupational skills training combined with public and private sector work experiences.

MDRC evaluation of Project Rise Program “Engaging Disconnected Young People in Education and work”

Face Forward

Face Forward KC is a four-year initiative funded by the US Department of Labor to provide educational services, job training and placement services, mentoring services, and legal assistance to 150 juvenile offenders and youth at-risk of juvenile offenses in the heart of Kansas City, MO. Face Forward KC conveys the idea of youth leaving their past transgressions behind and looking forward to a promising future. The FEC utilizes a strategy of collaboration with Jackson County Family Court, Kansas City Municipal Court, Jackson County Probation and Parole, Jackson County Prosecutor’s office, and other community organizations to promote the program as an alternative to court proceedings for certain juveniles and young adult offenders

Best Practices:

  • Extensive mentoring as opposed to case management mentors
  • Partnership with Legal Aid for warrant relief
  • Advisory Committee comprised of courts and judiciary system
  • Solid relationship and utilization of Public Defender as referral system.

Training and Internship Program

The Full Employment Council’s Summer Training and Internship Program (T.I.P.) was a pilot project designed to provide young adults (14-24 years old) an educational-based internship opportunity to prepare them for careers across all industries.

Best Practices:

  • The participants split their time between classroom training and internships.
  • Participants were enrolled in Occupational Skill Training courses through community college or four year institutions that were designed to provide exposure to in-demand occupations.
  • Paid internships at local businesses, in areas that were comparable with training they received.
  • Courses included: Pharmacy Technician, Customer Contact Professional, Warehouse, Youth Development, Culinary Arts, Digital Literacy, Animal Care, Medical Office

Initiative that Address Barriers to Employment

Missouri Work Assistance Program

TANF –Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) Program – is a partnership with the Local Investment Commission (LINC) to provide employment and training services to individuals who receive Temporary Assistance from the state of Missouri with the goal of helping the client to become self-sufficient and no longer dependent upon public assistance.   This is a referral based program. TANF recipients are referred from the Local Investment Commission (LINC) to FEC to provide employment and training services to those clients deemed work ready.  Performance for MWA is measured by participation rate which is the rate at which clients participate monthly in work activities at their required number of participation hours.  Countable activities include:  job readiness,   job search, Unsubsidized Paid Employment, OJT, Vocational Education, Subsidized Paid Employment, high school AWEP/CWEP (non-paid work experience), and Community Service (volunteer service).

Best Practices:

  • Integrated work experience with classroom occupational training
  • Cohort based training

Individuals with Disabilities

The Disability Navigator Program (DNP) is provided by the Full Employment Council in partnership with Jewish Vocational Services.

The DNP is co-located within the American Job Centers to provide services to individuals with disabilities.  The DNP ensures that all one-stop services are available to individuals with disabilities. The primary objective of the DNP is to increase employment and self-sufficiency for persons with disabilities by linking them to employers and facilitating access to programs and services that will enable their entry or re-entry into the workforce. DNP facilitates trainings and provides disability-related resources and information to ensure that job seekers with disabilities are served effectively.  DNP personnel also provide outreach to people with disabilities by disseminating information on workforce services available through the American Job Centers.


The Missouri Career Center DVOP and LVER are fully integrated into the career centers and are part of the Business Services Teams. DVOP/LVER staff assists veterans with significant barriers to employment as defined by U.S. Department of Labor to gain employment through intensified direct services such as case management and employer job developments within their separate roles. The full array of employment, training, and placement services available under priority of service; this includes connection to education and training programs, benefits and services, connection to supplemental services , one-on-one assessments, resume reviews, follow-up as appropriate, matching to employer base and matching to specific employers committed to hiring veterans, such as employers participating in the “Show me Heroes” initiative.

Show me Heroes

Started by Governor Nixon in 2010, Show-Me Heroes is a cooperative effort between the Missouri Army National Guard and the Missouri Division of Workforce Development to help Missouri’s Veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserve reconnect with meaningful careers, and to showcase Missouri employers who have pledged to do so. Veteran must not be over one year from date of discharge from active duty.



KCMO Neighborhood Works

The Full Employment Council, Inc. partnered with the City of Kansas City on a project to clean up neighborhoods and provide employment opportunities to Kansas City residents. The City of Kansas City Missouri awarded FEC $300,000 to paint City fire hydrants and clean-up debris in the City’s right-of-way. This program employed approximately 66 unemployed individuals with prevailing wage rates and serviced over 1400 fire hydrants and cleaned up over 50 tons of debris and 447 tires.

Best Practices:

  • Community based work experience program targeted for specific neighborhoods
  • Combined OSHA 10 training with community based work experience led to permanent job placement and city vendor opportunities.

Business Services

FEC has a training strategy that outlines a workforce development plan that focuses on new and incumbent workers where appropriate; job development as necessary to aid in recruitment and training of new employees; recruitment and job search events utilizing Labor Market Information, geographic-specific recruitment, and providing technical advice in high turnover situations. FEC is the first source of recruitment for employers’ current and future employment needs.

Best Practices:

  • Dedicated sector focused Business Service staff with a focus on job placement, assessment and competency skill identification
  • Separate staff focused on intermediary liaisons, sector convening, job center interface with Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Corporations, etc.
  • Training is developed with industry input and created through utilization of community colleges and higher education institution specialists.
  • Specific interest on NEG, sector focused OJT, COT/work based learning combinations, Training in Time (TnT) – on demand training in classroom setting conducted at career center locations.


City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Minneapolis WSA 10

Contact Person:
Pat Behrend

Contact Information:

Mayor Betsy Hodges

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Sector Strategies




STEP-UP/Summer Worksite Tour

On July 21st , the Minneapolis Workforce Council and staff from City of Minneapolis Employment and Training organized the STEP-UP Worksite Tour, an annual event that highlights the successes of Minneapolis youth at their STEP-UP internships and the great local employers hosting these youth.

However, unlike past events which centered upon a bus tour of multiple sites across the city, staff suggested that we dive deeper this year and highlight the great work being done in one specific neighborhood.

The 2015 summer worksite tour descended upon the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, a neighborhood of mixed fortune. Cedar Riverside is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Minneapolis, yet it one of the most vibrant, filled with a mix of Minneapolis institutions, such as Fairview University Hospital, the University of Minnesota West Bank, and Augsburg College, along-side newly established Somali-owned businesses, community-based service providers assisting new Americans, and a mom and pop stores dotting Cedar Avenue.

The event drew more than 80 guests who gathered at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

With a welcome from the Workforce Council Chair and Minneapolis City Council Member Abdi Warsame whose ward includes the Cedar Riverside neighborhood, the walking tour commenced.

Attendees visited three STEP-UP worksites; Cedar Riverside Plaza Tenant Association, Somali American Parent Association, and Cedar Riverside People’s Center. These organizations highlight the work of both the STEP-UP interns and the work of the organization, and how both impact the economic vitality of the neighborhood.

After the walking tour was over, attendees returned to the Carlson School to enjoy a lunch from the Afro Deli and to learn more about the STEP-UP work experience from an intern/employer panel. Panelists all work in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood and shared their experiences, discussed their challenges, and expressed their future hopes and dreams.

The STEP-UP Worksite Tour was featured on two local newscasts and several of the interns were interviewed and their stories were spotlighted.

Response from attendees to the change in Worksite Tour format was overwhelmingly positive. Over the next two years, the City of Minneapolis will continue with this format, highlighting North Minneapolis in 2016 and South Minneapolis in 2017.

The event directly impacted at least 13 STEP-UP interns; five City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) interns acted as tour guides, conducting the attendees through the walking tour. At each site, interns (five in total) shared their summer experiences, challenges, and rewards of work with the tour members. At the lunch panel, three interns discussed their work experience with the group. For these students who range from age 16-21, the experience of preparing for and participating in public speaking is a skill that will positively impact their ongoing educational, civic, and employment experience. In addition, the students featured on the newscasts showed poise and confidence that will undoubtedly assist them in their education and careers.

While 13 STEP-UP interns participated in 2015, the actual impact on future interns is immeasurable. By

highlighting the worksites and the benefits to youth work, to city leadership, state leadership, philanthropy, and others, we gain the needed exposure to grow this program in future years, allowing more Minneapolis youth access and opportunity in STEP-UP.

Over the last year the Minneapolis Workforce Council and the Minneapolis Youth Council held multiple listening sessions and a report out meeting with residents of Cedar Riverside. The main focus of these sessions was to hear from community residents and community-based service providers as to the opportunities and challenges of employment for Cedar Riverside residents, particularly young people.

These meetings and conversations between the city and the community have increased communication and awareness on both sides of the issues that residents are facing and some possible solutions. The STEP-UP Worksite Tour walking tour grew out of these conversations and provided an opportunity to report out of the progress made including:

  • Minneapolis Youth Works issued an RFP for Ceder Riverside non-profits to assist young people in the neighborhood to get employment, training, and find jobs
  • A Cedar Riverside Job Fair was held in March with high attendance
  • Three new Cedar Riverside STEP-UP employers were recruited for the summer program
  • The Minneapolis WorkForce Centers are partnering with EMERGE to promote workshops with Cedar Riverside youth to prepare them for career paths with specialty training, internships, and jobs
  • The City of Minneapolis will be supporting a pilot Cedar Riverside IT Ready class to be held in Cedar Riverside this fall, focused on youth 18-24

The Minneapolis Workforce Council and Youth Committee were instrumental in recruiting employers and stakeholders to attend the tour. The Cedar-Riverside STEP-UP Employers involved were critical in making sure that their message and interns were clearly understood by the attendees. The employers who presented in the tour and the panel includes the Carlson School of Management, Cedar Riverside Plaza Tenant Association, Somali American Parent Association, Cedar Riverside People’s Center, the City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Development, Bryan Coyle Center and the West Bank Community Coalition.

Most of the resources leveraged were staff hours in coordinating the event. The space on the University of Minnesota campus was free.

The City of Minneapolis plans to use the walking tour – community deep dive model for at least the

next two summers. By highlighting a single community each year we can add more “focus” to a community. This model can easily be replicated wherever neighborhood dynamics are such that community attributes differ from one geography to another.

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City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Bridgeport, Southwest Connecticut

Contact Person:
Joseph M. Carbone, President and CEO

Contact Information:

Bridgeport Mayor, Joe Ganim; Stamford Mayor, David R. Martin; Norwalk Mayor, Harry Rilling

WorkPlace Logo


The WorkPlace is dedicated to helping youth become valuable and self-reliant members of the community.  We help young people begin meaningful careers by offering them skills training as well as job search and placement services.  While supplying information to youth, The WorkPlace also provides a platform for innovative partnerships between employers and school systems, which work together to provide paid and non-paid internships, mentorship, and work experience opportunities.

YouthWorks helps local youth ages 17 to 21 choose a career, prepare for the  career, and become valuable and self-reliant members of the community. YouthWorks tailors its services to meet the needs and goals of each youth.

The Summer Youth Earn & Learn Employment Program links young adults and youths to summer employment and pays participants, who are ages 14 to 21 years old, for 20 hours weekly at minimum age for up to seven weeks. The program usually begins during the first week of July. Federal guidelines and an eligibility requirement are required to be met before a youth  can be enrolled in the program.

Face Forward provides employment and training services for youth (ages 14-24) who are or have been involved with the juvenile justice system.  They are given comprehensive case management services with a possible expungement and/or erasure of criminal record.

Individuals with Disabilities

Assisted Services at the American Job Center.  The WorkPlace works hard to ensure its programs and services are universally accessible. The comprehensive One-Stop in Bridgeport, CT has an Assisted Services Center with advanced equipment for use by people with disabilities.  Assistive  technology helps individuals with low mobility, vision/blindness, hard of hearing/deafness, or learning disabilities. Upon request, we provide alternate formats of forms, workshop handouts, and other printed materials to accommodate individuals with a wide range of disabilities. Benefit counselors at each location give clients information geared specifically to each client’s situation.


The Work Place provides multiple options to serve low-income, homeless, disabled, and at-risk veterans. Through the Veterans Services Unit of The WorkPlace, veterans and their families have opportunities to receive services in a consumer-direct way. The WorkPlace partners with numerous government and not-for-profit organizations to offer holistic solutions to veterans that are isolated or need assistance connecting to appropriate resources.

The WorkPlace leverages the programs to assist veterans to maximize employment and training opportunities and address challenges they face to achieving economic stability and stable housing. For more information, visit

Supportive Services for Veteran Families was founded upon the principle that every veteran has a right to housing.

The Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program relies on intense personalized case management to provide housing assistance, classroom training in core skill competencies, and training for the employability skills required for long-term job success.

Incarcerated Veterans Transition Program provides employment and training services for recently released veterans who are or have been incarcerated and at risk of homelessness.

STEP UP for Veterans helps veterans find jobs in Connecticut through incentives employers receive for hiring veterans.

Re-Entry Programs For Ex-Offenders

The process of leaving prison can be difficult, especially for individuals that have served lengthy sentences. Re-entry programs for ex-offenders can be very helpful for those that need a helping hand once outside of prison.

Incarcerated Veterans Transition Program provides employment and training services for recently released veterans who are or have been incarcerated and at risk of homelessness.

Training to Work provides employment and training services for adult men and women who reside in work release programs in Bridgeport and New Haven, CT.

Face Forward provides employment and training services for youth (ages 14-24) who are or have been involved with the juvenile justice system.  They are given comprehensive case management services with a possible expungement and/or erasure of criminal record.

Additional Programs

Platform to Employment.  A Source Of Hope For the Long-Term Unemployed

The WorkPlace developed Platform to Employment (P2E) to address the need for the long-term unemployed to return to work and the employer need to recruit skilled workers. The program is a public-private partnership which gives businesses a risk-free opportunity to evaluate and consider hiring participants during an eight-week work experience program.  We offer individuals a five-week preparatory program, including skills assessment, career readiness workshops, employee assistance programs, coaching and more. Upon program completion, we assist participants find open positions at local companies. Placements are made on a trial basis, paid for by The WorkPlace. The expectation is that if the company is satisfied with the performance of the candidate, a full-time job will ensue.   For more information,

The Health CareeRx Academy is designed to increase the number of people who can be employed in health care careers. The Academy provides occupational training, work readiness, and other supports to individuals who desire to start or enhance a career in health care.

The Mortgage Crisis Job Training Program helps homeowners across Connecticut who are behind on their mortgage
payments become current by increasing their earnings. The program is designed to help mortgage borrowers increase their job skills and thus become more financially stable.


City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Louisville, Kentucky -- KentuckianaWorks, Greater Louisville's Workforce Development Board, serving Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Henry counties in Kentucky

Contact Person:
Michael Gritton, Executive Director

Contact Information:
410 W. Chestnut St., Ste. 200
Louisville, KY 40202
Phone: (502) 574-2500
Fax: (502) 574-4288
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST)

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

new kentuckianaworks logo

Sector Strategies

Code Louisville – Information Technology

In Louisville, and throughout the U.S. there is a skyrocketing demand for, and acute shortage of, computer software coders. To help meet that challenge, Code Louisville was created in 2013.

Since its inception, Code Louisville has graduated 150 computer software coders. More than 120 of those students graduated in May 2015 after the White House shined the national spotlight on Code Louisville and a $2.9 million grant from the federal Workforce Innovation Fund allowed the program to expand and cover the 13-county Greater Louisville region over the next three years. A minimum of 850 coders will be trained by 2017 through the program.

In it short time, Code Louisville has earned a national reputation: in March 2015 Louisville was named one of 21 cities to participate in the White House TechHire initiative to connect middle-class Americans to technology jobs. In April 2015, President Obama visited Louisville to promote TechHire and recognized Code Louisville as a model for the national initiative. In September, Code Louisville was recognized locally for its rapid growth and innovation by EnterpriseCorp, an arm of Greater Louisville Inc.

Code Louisville’s free training is provided by KentuckianaWorks, Greater Louisville’s Workforce Development Board, to prepare people for hundreds of computer software coding jobs that are available now. By 2020, it is estimated that there will be more than 10,000 coding and programming jobs in the region.

Code Louisville classes last 12 weeks. Students can train in either front-end Web development, back-end Web development or mobile development on the Treehouse learning platform. Students also meet once a week for two hours with mentors.  After completing one course, students can take another 12-week course to gain more coding skills.

Students work to build a portfolio to show prospective employers of Treehouse assignments and additional course challenges. Workforce readiness programs also are available to Code Louisville students. Those who successfully complete one or more of the 12-week courses and demonstrate a strong portfolio have the opportunity to meet with employers who are hiring.

Code Louisville students come from diverse backgrounds, cultures and education levels. Students range in age from 18 to over 60. Nearly 40 graduates have been placed in jobs; many others are currently interviewing.
For more information, go to

Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center – Advanced Manufacturing

In the last three years, 11,000 manufacturing jobs have been added in the Louisville-Southern Indiana metro area, and 5,641 manufacturing industry job openings in the Louisville MSA made up 11 percent of all advertised jobs during the 12 months ending Aug. 1, 2013. Another 2,329 production job openings occurred during the same period, 3.7 percent of all advertised jobs.

To meet the demand for a more skilled workforce, KentuckianaWorks opened the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center (KMCC) in spring 2013 as a one-stop resource in the area for manufacturers and for jobseekers interested in working in manufacturing.

This fall, the center is partnering with GE Appliance Park, one of the region’s largest manufacturers, and other companies to train at least 100 job seekers and incumbent workers for the Certified Production Technician certification. Kentucky Career Centers in the KentuckianaWorks region are offering Orientation Sessions during October to qualify students for the class that begins Nov. 2. The free four-week course covers safety, quality practices and measurement, manufacturing processes and production, and maintenance awareness.

Career counselors at the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center also connect jobseekers with available manufacturing jobs and are making sure the jobseekers have the right training and skills for the work. The center also offers employers a place to post job openings and to access basic manufacturing skills training for existing employees. Services and programs at Center are free to those jobseekers who qualify.

The center provides several manufacturing skills training programs and English as a Second Language classes that focus on manufacturing terms and vocabulary. The courses and assessments offered at the center are designed to create a Manufacturing Career Pathway that will take workers from a basic skill level to a more advanced skill level that can lead to higher- wage jobs.

The median wage for production workers in the Louisville Metro area is $15.60 an hour, which is a good wage for jobs not requiring a college education.

Students can get nationally recognized certifications for entry-level manufacturing jobs and remediation services to help attain the certifications. Several short-term entry-level programs offered through Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) qualify jobseekers and employed workers to take additional courses at JCTC or other area colleges that will lead to an advanced certificate or college degrees.

Since the Center opened in May 2013, nearly 500 people have been placed in jobs. Of these, 148 students earned the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council’s Certified Production Technician full certification. In the past 12 months, graduates of the course had an 82 percent placement rate.

Partners with KentuckianaWorks in the Kentucky Manufacturing Career Center are JCTC, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Adult Education, JCPS Career and Technical Education and JCPS Iroquois High School Magnet Career Academy.

For more information, go to


Mayor’s SummerWorks program – summer jobs for youth

The Mayor’s SummerWorks program, under the leadership of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and management of KentuckianaWorks, is helping reverse the trend of extremely high teen unemployment in Louisville by involving local employers in directly hiring young adults, ages 16-21, for summer jobs.

Mayor Fischer created the SummerWorks initiative in the first year of his administration in response to the elimination of federal funding to connect youth with summer jobs. In its first year, SummerWorks landed jobs for 200 youth. By 2015, the number had escalated to 2,500 youth placed in jobs with private business, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Each year, more than a third of the jobs have gone to young people from low-income families, many of whom had never worked before.

SummerWorks is helping ensure that all Louisville youth have a chance to learn the lessons of “the real world of work” that can only be learned from a real job in a real work environment.

Tim Mahan, 19, used that summer job to explore his interest in information technology, learning how to trouble-shoot computers, perform printer maintenance, and set up software programs as part of Thorntons IT team. He stayed on beyond the program’s seven weeks and worked for the company part-time during the following school year.

“It was fantastic because not only did I get that corporate culture experience, I was able to see how my future would look if I continued to work in it,” said Mahan, who remains as a part-time employee while he studies computer information systems at the University of Louisville.

Some employers directly hire youth for summer jobs. Donations to the program provide workforce readiness training that certifies young people as “work ready” subsidize jobs with nonprofits and government agencies. Youth hold a variety of jobs from hospital sitters to convenience store workers to bank tellers and gain work experience with summer camps, food literacy programs and animal shelters.

The Mayor’s SummerWorks program is led by KentuckianaWorks in partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools Adult and Continuing Education through the Kentucky Youth Career Center.

For more information, go to

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Entrepreneurship–Beech Technologies

In addition to working with adults, the Code Louisville program offered free coding training to high school students living in Beecher Terrace, one of Louisville’s housing projects, in Janurary 2015. The youth, ages 15-18, met after school each week and worked with a mentor to learn computer coding skills. The program was named “Coding @ the Beech.”

The high school juniors and seniors used the same Treehouse platform and assignments as the adult program.

Those who completed the coding class were given a notebook computer and the opportunity to be founders of Beech Technologies, a company that helps Louisville businesses create websites at an affordable cost. During the summer of 2015, as part of the Mayor’s SummerWorks program, these young entrepreneurs made presentations to local businesses to sell their services and created websites for their clients.

Read a story about the young entrepreneurs at or go to the Beech Technology website at


City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Canton, Ohio- Workforce Initiative Association

Contact Person:
Matt Falter

Contact Information:
Matt Falter
Project Director
The Business Resource Network
822 30th St. NW
Canton, Ohio 44709

Thomas M. Bernabei

BRN Identity FINAL

Sector Strategies

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Initiative that Address Barriers to Employment

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Individuals with Disabilities

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Where can I source employees?  Are there incentives available to help my business expand?  How do I create a business plan?  Is exporting my product a possibility?

Business owners face these questions, and many more, on a daily basis.  The Business Resource Network (BRN) can help connect your business with resources that answer these questions through a single point of contact and at no charge.

The BRN is a partnership representing chambers of commerce, workforce and economic development organizations, universities, colleges, career and technical centers, community organizations, and state and local government agencies.  Our structure provides a seamless delivery system for a full range of programming resources, important funding streams, and real solutions for businesses.  Tailored information on incentives, tax breaks, employment and training assistance, succession and/or business plans, marketing, exporting assistance, expansion or upgrades and more are examples of client needs and challenges that can be addressed by the BRN.

Since July, 2012, we have assisted over 1700 businesses access over $10.6 million in workforce and economic development programs and incentives.

The large number and scope of available workforce and economic development programs is overwhelming to employers and as a result, they are not accessing nor using these resources.  Small to medium-sized companies, in particular, which must focus on their day-to-day operations, do not have the time to research and contact these resources.

The BRN takes the hundreds of resources and streamlines them into a single access point for employers, bringing them from Point A-to-Z of the process.  The BRN navigates through the red tape of governmental agencies and programs to determine which funding streams would be best suited to the employer’s current and future needs to grow, improve, or expand their businesses.

Contact the BRN today to find out how a 60 minute comprehensive and confidential interview can help your business access over 40 partners and their resources to help your business thrive.  Our goal is to retain businesses in the region and help them grow by delivering key services and incentives with as little hassle and bureaucracy as possible.

Our services are free, confidential and we do not ask for proprietary information.  We are enriching our community by building stronger businesses!


City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Las Vegas, Workforce Connections

Contact Person:
Dr. Lisa Morris-Hibbler

Contact Information:

Carolyn Goodman




Interactive Career Exploration (ICE): This new innovative resource is accessible from any PC or mobile device and is hosted by fun interactive characters themed in Nevada’s key industry sectors. It includes the Woofound Personality Assessment, an accurate and quick personality trait assessment that measures personality traits and provides instant actionable data to help participants start mapping their careers.

Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Career Exploration Workshops:

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These interactive/hands-on workshops expose participants to skill sets and competencies needed for occupations across all key industry sectors identified in the Governor’s Economic Development Plan. Workshops are updated / added according to changes in the local labor market. The current available workshops are:

  • Electricity, It’s A Snap
  • Electronics Demystified
  • Clean Energy
  • Energy Efficient Buildings
  • Robots In The Workplace
  • Programming And Coding
  • The 3-D Printing Revolution

After participants complete the workshops and have identified a career pathway that matches their unique set of circumstances, they are better prepared to choose the appropriate trainings from the Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL). Training helps them acquire an industry recognized certificate or credential. They can also participate in related On the Job Trainings (OJTs) that will lead to unsubsidized permanent employment.

Strategic Initiatives


Mobile One-Stop: In order to increase our geographical footprint within the local area and provide greater workforce development access points for customers into the system, Workforce Connections deployed the Mobile One-Stop Project.  A retired bus donated by Southern Nevada’s Regional Transportation Commission was repurposed and transformed into a Mobile One-Stop unit. Its deployment throughout the local workforce development area is coordinated by the One-Stop Career Center Operator.

The repurposed bus has two separate office spaces where system clients can meet one-on-one with system staff. Each office space is equipped with a desk, chairs, lockable cabinetry and its own laptop and printer. An additional battery-bank and inverter system were added to the bus in order to provide the necessary power for the new office equipment. The bus already met Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements so the existing feature was incorporated into the repurposing-design process. This allowed for one of the two office spaces to be made accessible for people with disabilities. This repurposed asset will help Workforce Connections increase access to system services to all populations in our local area, including those with special accessibility needs.

Sector Strategies

Nevada’s Targeted Industry Sectors: We focus our efforts and align our resources to support the key industry sectors identified by the Governor’s Economic Development Plan.

  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Agriculture
  • Clean Energy
  • Healthcare and Medical Services
  • Information Technology
  • Logistics and Operations
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining and Materials
  • Tourism, Gaming and Entertainment

Business Engagement Advisory Panel: This sector-focused advisory panel, comprised of local employers within our local workforce investment, have decision-making and hiring authority in local businesses, and deliver “real time” and locally relevant workforce intelligence for Southern Nevada’s One-Stop Delivery System (OSDS). The intelligence received is used to improve services within the OSDS and to align training resources through proactive management of the Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL).


Youth One-Stop Affiliate Sites: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth programs are strategically & geographically located throughout Southern Nevada in order to provide education, employment and training services to a variety of opportunity youth populations – foster youth, youth offenders, youth with disabilities, homeless/runaway youth, pregnant/parenting youth, dropouts, low-income youth, English language learners, and youth requiring additional assistance to complete their education or secure employment.

Targeted Youth Populations: A variety of WIOA programs are specifically funded to target particular youth populations facing barriers to completing their education and/or securing employment. Youth Advocate Programs (YAP) Youth Re-Entry Program works closely with both Caliente Youth Center and Spring Mountain Youth Center to ensure at risk or high risk youth are exiting these facilities with a continuous support system that focuses on their journey to self-sufficiency. Olive Crest’s Project Independence Program serves current and former foster youth to complete their education, pursue a trade certificate or post-secondary education and to assist youth with securing a job or WEX that will match their individual interests and financial needs. Goodwill’s ELITE Program delivers individualized and holistic transition services empowering youth with disabilities to be successful on their journey to live independent and fulfilling lives.

Initiative that Address Barriers to Employment

Back-to-Work 50+ Program: The Back-to-Work 50+ program, sponsored by the national American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Foundation, features a 12-week series of holistic personal coaching workshops that address the fears associated with being a 50+ job seeker in a labor market increasingly in need of highly-skilled workers.  Participants are empowered to recognize their talents and appreciate their unique life and job experiences.  This in turn raises their self-esteem, supports their growth and success through additional training and ultimately leads to increased employability.  Through co-enrollment with WIOA service providers and additional no-cost workshops offered by community partners such as Wells Fargo and Dress for Success Southern Nevada, the personal coaching is coupled with a full array of employment and training services to create a comprehensive program that addresses all barriers to employment.

Pre- & Post-Release Initiative: The Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) provides pre-release services to female inmates in tandem with Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow (FIT) providing workforce development services upon release from the Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center. Ex-offenders are provided with the tools necessary to successfully reintegrate back into the workforce.  Services include occupational skills training, holistic assessments, on-the-job trainings, individualized and intensive case management and career counseling, re-entry job readiness workshops, follow-up services, etc.

Individuals with Disabilities

Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Facility Improvements: Workforce Connections completed an ADA Facility Improvements Project in the One-Stop Career Center and Workforce Connections’ Administrative Offices. The additions greatly improved the accessibility to the building for people with disabilities. The project went above and beyond the minimum ADA facility-features required by law. The amount of dedicated accessible parking spaces adjacent to the building was tripled. Additional access ramps and rails were installed at entrance/exit ways. Ten additional electrical door operators were installed at multiple locations throughout the facility. These facility upgrades will help achieve Workforce Connections’ objective of providing the best services available to all populations of our local community including those with special accessibility needs.


Transition from Military Medic to Nursing: The Military Medic/Corpsman to Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a 15-credit one-semester program designed to bridge the military member or veteran’s medical education and experience with the role of an LPN.  This program was developed in collaboration between the Nevada State Board of Nursing and the College of Southern Nevada as a pilot program of the National Governor’s Association.

The Green Zone Initiative: The mission of the Green Zone Initiative is to ensure that every veteran at home, or returning to our communities, is thriving.   The initiative is to marshal and align all available resources, in order to reduce gaps in service, reduce duplication of service and better serve Nevada’s military service members, veterans, their families and survivors.

The Las Vegas Urban League:


The Las Vegas Urban League Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS) program provides job placement and training assistance to eligible veterans and spouses.  The program also serves as a bridge to link veterans to benefits within the Veterans Administration, community based programs, and to other supportive services. In addition, the VETS program targets 30% of its participants from the post 9/11 era, with the remaining enrollees coming from other service eras.

Veterans Financial Coaching: The One-Stop Career Center is one of only 60 sites in the nation to be selected as a host for a veterans financial coach through the Armed Forces Services Corporation (AFSC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  Financial coaching is a method of providing financial education through advice and encouragement, in a process largely driven by the client.  The approach is strengths-based and uses encouragement, accountability, and practice to empower the consumer to change behavior.  This program is able to provide financial coaching services to transitioning veterans to help them proactively take control of their finances at one of the most crucial moments in their lives.


City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Portland Metro Workforce Development Board

Contact Person:
Andrew McGough

Contact Information:

Charlie Hales - Portland, Shane Bemis - Gresham; Doug Daoust - Troutdale; Denny Doyle - Beaverton; Peter Truax - Forest Grove; Lou Ogden - Tualatin; John Cook - Tigard

Worksystems, Inc.


Sector Strategies

The Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative is a partnership between Worksystems, Inc., theSouthwest Washington Workforce Development Council and the Workforce Investment Council of Clackamas County that delivers a unified approach to serving industry, supporting economic development, and guiding public workforce investments. By working together, we can cultivate our regional talent pool and build the foundation for a strong economy (Industry Engagement Framework).

The work of the Collaborative is driven by the industries we serve: advanced manufacturing, health care and high tech. Business leaders are directly involved in the design, development and delivery of workforce services to ensure that our training investments meet their needs. We pursue additional resources, fill gaps and link workforce supply with industry demand.  We then evaluate every initiative so we can see what’s working and ensure program quality and outcomes.


Our youth workforce investments support a system – the Career Connect Network – that prepares young people for post-secondary education and career-ladder employment. Our focus is on college preparation, career exploration, work-readiness training and work experience to help young people understand the relevance of classroom learning. The youth supported by our funding are motivated and want to reconnect with school or work, but face many barriers such as growing up in poverty or lacking the necessary education. Our investments help disconnected youth get on a path to a successful career with the life skills necessary to stay on course.

We work in partnership with the business community to provide career exploration opportunities for area youth. Businesses can volunteer for a variety of activities that expose youth to careers in their industry such as speaking in a classroom, conducting mock interviews, or hosting a company tour – and we make it easy to participate through BizConnect.


Youth need opportunities to learn the skills that can only come through real work experience, yet today only 1 in 4 teens are able to find employment. Our investments fund meaningful, paid work experiences to help young people learn and develop the skills necessary to succeed in today’s world of work. We offer work experiences year-round but expand the number of employment opportunities during the summer months through our SummerWorks program to help at risk young people stay engaged while not in school.


Initiative that Address Barriers to Employment

In addition to managing federal Workforce Investment Act funds from the US Department of Labor, Worksystems has a highly successful track record of bringing additional grants and other resources into the community. We pursue funds to support and expand proven best practice programs and to provide customized training to target populations such as disconnected youth, public housing residents, and workers impacted by mass layoffs. We also pursue funds to support training in key occupations for target sector industries such as advanced manufacturing, health care, software/IT and construction.

Grants we’re currently managing:

  • ProSTEP is the combination of three federal grants that Worksystems has secured to provide training for key occupations in the IT/Software and Advanced Manufacturing sectors.
  • Housing Works
  • Back to Work Oregon


Prosperity Planner

The Prosperity Planner is a career and financial planning tool that helps people understand how much money they need to earn to be self sufficient. By using this tool, job seekers can create a budget that covers their basic living necessities and identify resources to help lower their expenses. The Planner can also be used to explore career options to determine which ones will provide enough income to achieve financial independence and to create a career plan to get the necessary skills.

The Prosperity Planner is based on the “2011 Self-Sufficiency Standard for Oregon” developed by Dr. Diana Pearce of the University of Washington’s School of Social Work. The Standard defines the income necessary to cover basic needs such as housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, taxes, and miscellaneous expenses – without private or public assistance – and is specific to 70 different family compositions and geographic location of residence. The Prosperity Planner was adapted for use by Worksystems with the permission of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle King County. The Planner is one of many products and services funded by our adult investments and available at any WorkSource Portland Metro Center.

Code Oregon

Code Oregon is an innovative training program dedicated to teaching 10,000 Portland Metro residents how to code and prepare them for rewarding careers in software development, front and back-end web development, and design. Courses in coding languages such as Android, HTML, CSS, Apple’s iOS, WordPress, PHP, Python, JavaScript, Ruby, and others is provided by Treehouse, an online learning company, and the training is offered for free through funding from Worksystems Inc. and the State of Oregon.

President Obama includes Code Oregon in Tech Hire initiative!

As individuals build their skills they can receive additional mentoring, career planning, training, and employment placement assistance from their local WorkSource center. Code Oregon also plans to host a fall 2014 job fair with the goal of connecting job-ready students with leading tech companies.

Students are prepared for a job that pays $45,000-$70,000 with no degree or experience required!

Code Oregon is designed to bolster the talent pipeline to support Oregon’s growing tech sector in direct response to industry demand. This initiative is one of many ways that Worksystems is supporting this important industry in our region.

There are 700 tech openings in PDX today. There will be 10,000 more by 2020.

Individuals interested in Code Oregon can log on at to begin their learning adventure – just like Sierra did! – and can be ready for a new, high-demand tech career in as little as 6 months. Tech companies interested in engaging in this effort can participate in the Fall Jobs Fair, hire qualified students for internships or junior developer positions, and/or help to sustain Code Oregon through a variety of sponsorship opportunities. Contact John Gardner for more information.