Category Archives: Uncategorized

City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Spokane Area Workforce Development Council

Contact Person:
Mark Mattke, Chief Executive Officer

Contact Information:

The Honorable David Condon


Sector Strategies

SAWDC Receives Grants from JPMorgan Chase Foundation for Sector Work

The Spokane Area Workforce Development Council (SAWDC), has received two “High Demand Workforce Pipeline” grants totaling $200,000 from JPMorgan Chase Foundation to support the expansion of training and education opportunities in the SAWDC’s Next Generation Zone and to develop a Sector Workforce Roadmaps in five targeted industries.

JPMorgan Chase Foundation, through their New Skills at Work Initiative, seeks to rely upon data-driven analysis to invest $250 million nationwide in workforce training over five years with an aim to build a demand-driven work system. The SAWDC was the local recipient of this effort which will benefit Opportunity Youth (young adults aged 16-21 who are out of school and unemployed and/or not enrolled in school), businesses and the community-at-large. In addition, the Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation will receive two grants totaling $175,000 for program development to support outcomes provided by the SAWDC’s research.

CEO of the SAWDC, Mark Mattke said, “This award is important for our region as it provides critical support to bolster the development of a talent pipeline that fuels continued growth in key industries. We are honored to work with JP Morgan Chase to expand our capacity to serve Opportunity Youth, identify the future workforce needs of growing businesses, and work with our local education partners to help ensure that high-quality, local pathways that lead to well-paying, in-demand jobs are readily available and more accessible.”

The Next Generation Zone, located next to WorkSource Spokane and serving young adults, will utilize funding for the purchase of new technology; to pay for National Career Readiness Certifications (NCRC) and testing; to provide scholarships to industry-specific cohort training (advanced manufacturing, healthcare, professional and business services); to pay for supportive services like transportation vouchers; and lastly, professional development for staff at Next Generation Zone, enabling more effective use of today’s technology in the classroom.

The SAWDC will also use these funds to develop Workforce Roadmaps which support JPMorgan’s goal of relying on data analysis to guide workforce development. The study will identify needs and critical occupations to support growth in five key industry clusters in the Spokane region. Based upon findings from the study, the SAWDC will influence the development of training opportunities in growing industries and illuminate opportunities to support the training of qualified personnel.


SAWDC Announces Passport to Career Success,  a new downloadable multi-media tool for young adult career exploration. With the unemployment rate for young adults ages 16-24 hovering around 20%, a team of business leaders, young adults, educators, professionals, and community partners came together to create tangible career planning options. This free tool, called the Passport to Career Success, is designed to assist young adults and educators with career exploration and planning. Developed to be used independently or as part of a classroom curriculum, it is intended to provide resources for our region’s upcoming workforce to become better informed of local career and educational opportunities.

The Passport leads young adults through 17 steps of career exploration and planning in four phases:

  • Plan Your Adventure
  • Learn the Language
  • Prepare Your Travel Tools
  • Take Off!

This travel-themed tool helps students explore and develop a career plan, learn about the local labor market, prepare for post-secondary education and training, access financial literacy tools, learn about the power of networking, and set forth on a career pathway.

The Passport utilizes multiple mediums to engage a broad array of users, and includes functionality to allow users to check off activities as they are completed to provide a record of their progress.

SAWDC Awarded Grant for Governor’s YouthWorks Initiative

The Spokane Area Workforce Development Council (SAWDC) received a state grant through the Governor’s YouthWorks Initiative in the amount of $147,000 that is implemented through multiple partnerships. The grant provides Opportunity Youth (youth who are out-of-school and out-of-work) with access to a dedicated College and Career Navigator, increased access to training and education opportunities, internships, industry mentors, and wrap-around services such as bus passes and work supplies.

The YouthWorks grant was awarded following a successful pilot program called “Career Readiness for Working Washington,” that was started in the communities of Renton, Spokane, Vancouver, Wenatchee and Yelm.

The SAWDC oversees partnerships with Spokane Public Schools, the Next Generation Zone and the NorthEast Washington Education Service District’s (NEW ESD 101) “Open Doors” program.

CEO of the SAWDC, Mark Mattke said, “This grant award provides us with additional capacity to strengthen the collaboration and connectivity between key players in our local workforce system, specifically local businesses, non-profits, training and education providers, and our future workforce. Investments like this harbor real potential to help our community close the opportunity gap, level the playing field, and develop the skills of our young adults so they can compete for in-demand jobs that pay a good wage, support the growth of industry, and help advance our regional economy.”

The Next Generation Zone, located next to WorkSource Spokane and serving Opportunity Youth, received funding for a full-time College and Career Navigator who guides young adults to develop a career goal and pursue a pathway of relevant opportunities that leads to fulfillment of this goal. Typically, pathways lead into high-demand careers that pay self-sufficient wages in the Spokane region. The navigator works with high school drop-outs to re-engage them to complete their high school education while connecting to opportunities for post-secondary training and education, internships and mentoring.

Trina Clayeux, director of the Center for Future Pathways at the Next Generation Zone said, “YouthWorks Spokane enables us to more fully develop a business mentorship component that complements the 21st century employment skills training that we already offer. These mentors not only coach and counsel young adults entering the workforce but also address the effective elements of work – such as building trust, dealing with frustration, and handling disappointment – that will serve them well beyond their first job.”

This program impacts over 600 young adults with success measured by new business mentorships, internships and the percentage of participants who enter post-secondary education or find employment through YouthWorks activities.



WDC and WorkSource Spokane support Fairchild Air Force Base 

The Spokane Area WDC was recently awarded a $242,865 grant to deliver career services on base at Fairchild Air Force Base (FAFB).

A career specialist as well as a disabled veterans specialist now offer one-on-one services to the base to provide military families assistance with career transitions, creating and submitting résumés and applications, labor market information, connections with local employers, short-term skills training to supplement military experience, individual career assessments, information about unemployment insurance and referrals to specific jobs.

As force shaping continues to impact FAFB, this new service becomes an invaluable asset. “A partnership between WorkSource and Fairchild can ensure lower unemployment insurance costs to the Air Force by rapidly connecting service members to employment information and career opportunities,” said Christopher Marble, the 92nd Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center director.

“Further, as WorkSource is state and federally-funded, it is extremely important that our services not duplicate those available through other means. [We] work collaboratively with the Transition Assistance Program and related civilian contractors to leverage and complement existing resources, allowing for enhanced service levels available on base.”

The WDC is pleased to be able to bring these resources to FAFB and to help military members and their families find work locally. “We are especially interested in keeping talented job seekers in our region and connecting them with employers in need of their skills,” said Dawn Karber, WDC Chief Operating Officer.



Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Apprenticeship programs are a great opportunity for on-the-job training, which allow participants to get paid while learning a trade. WorkSource Spokane currently works with 22 construction and aerospace apprenticeship programs to assist with recruitment and retention. Some candidates need additional experience before they can qualify for an apprenticeship. To fill this need, the Community Colleges of Spokane in partnership with the Spokane Area Workforce Development Council and WorkSource, is offering a pre-apprenticeship class called Skilled Trades Preparation (STP), which has been approved by the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council. The course begins on January 4, 2016.

The 11-week Skilled Trades Preparation course will will prioritize training women and other under-represented populations and provide students with the basic knowledge and certifications they need to be successful in applying and preparing for a trade-related apprenticeship. During the course, students will meet representatives from 14 different construction trades including Painters and Finishers, Roofers, Bricklayers, Cement Masons, Plumbers and Steamfitters, Electricians, and Home Builders, among others. Students who complete the class will receive certifications in OSHA-10 Construction Safety, First Aid/CPR, Flagger, and Forklift Operator.


City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Workforce Snohomish

Contact Person:
Erin Monroe

Contact Information:
(425) 921-3442

Mayors of Arlington, Darrington, Edmonds, Everett (member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors), Goldbar, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville (member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors), Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Stanwood, Sultan, Woodway


Sector Strategies


The Blueprint is a strategic partnership of stakeholders that are invested in Snohomish County’s economic vitality. Leaders from local government, educational institutions, and economic and workforce development organizations created the Blueprint as a way to share and communicate important economic indicators. It is our belief that shared data-driven knowledge of the economy will guide informed decision-making, and will provide opportunities to realize a shared vision, strengthen partnerships and create an economically vibrant future.

Industry Roundtables

Business-led Roundtables are a unique opportunity for industry to further our understanding of their workforce needs and challenges.  We are then able to convene community partners and interested stakeholders, such as training providers and educational institutions, to hear the industry-specific workforce issues identified and prioritized through these Roundtables. This gives our partners the insight needed to begin finding solutions and aligning community resources to help employers address their needs.


Youth Center

The Youth Center is a drop-in job search center, including a fully-equipped computer lab, fax machine, and a phone. The staff assists youth (ages 16-24) build resumes and cover letters, sort through job openings, complete online job applications, and practice interview techniques. The Youth Center offers an array of educational attainment and job readiness workshops to build employability skills.

Initiative that Address Barriers to Employment

Navigation Services

Workforce Snohomish has developed employment and education navigation services that underpin the success of many of our grant contracts. As a strategy Navigation allows Workforce Snohomish to effect system change through innovations implemented on a smaller scale which engage those who are the most likely to fall through systemic cracks.  Interventions practiced within Navigation grants inform the whole system.  Navigators provide individualized employment services to program participants including assessments, career planning, job search and placement assistance. Navigators further link program participants with existing service providers such as housing support and the healthcare system to overcome barriers to success. Navigators coordinate outreach activities to inform, engage, and support employers to ensure participants are trained to meet existing industry needs. They provide ongoing service coordination and support as needed.  Through communication and ongoing connection Navigation creates cross system collaboration and identifies unintended barriers which may limit customers from fully benefiting from services provided in the mainstream system.  

Opioid Crisis: Employment Response Team (ERT)

Workforce Snohomish and a host of partners are working to combat the economic and workforce impacts associated with the opioid health crisis in Snohomish County. This project will serve those most closely affected by the opioid crisis to effectively move them to economic self sufficiency; additionally, individuals served under this grant will be encouraged to enter professions that could assist with crisis recovery. A key component of the work is the use of a transitional jobs model that allows people with employment gaps to gain credible work history and a sense of success to move beyond addiction into the employment market.

Individuals with Disabilities

Disability Employment Initiative

Workforce Snohomish administers the Disability Employment Initiative for Snohomish County in Washington State.

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) seeks to improve education, training, and employment opportunities and outcomes of youth and adults who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. DEI projects improve collaboration among employment and training and asset development programs implemented at state and local levels, including the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program, and build effective partnerships that leverage resources to better serve individuals with disabilities.


Serve Center

The Serve Center provides a wide array of local and national services tailored to meet the unique needs of our veteran community. Although the primary focus on helping our ex-military population find employment, it is designed to help veterans navigate all aspects of the civilian world. Critical veteran service organizations such as Volunteers of America and the Wounded Warrior Project are co-located at the center.


City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Fresno, Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board

Contact Person:
Janis B. Parker, Marketing & Communications Manager

Contact Information:; (559) 490-7160

Honorable Lee Brand, Fresno Mayor

Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board Logo

Sector Strategies

The Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board (FRWIB) is the fiscal agent on a series of grants in 2015 of nearly $1M to serve job seekers throughout the Central Valley. A consortium of eight (8) WIBs from Stockton through Bakersfield will use these grants to provide services to veterans, individuals with disabilities, at-risk youth, as well as individuals who are unemployed and/or underemployed.  “The resources provided by these grants will allow Valley residents with the greatest need to gain access to jobs that can make a difference in both their individual lives and the overall economic health of our Valley communities,” said Blake Konczal, Executive Director of the FRWIB Investment Board.  “We are laying the foundation to prepare individuals for employment opportunities in high-growth sectors within our community.”


The FRWIB was awarded a $200,000 grant from the California Workforce Investment Board to train thirty youth in the renewable fuel production sector.  The Renewable Fuel Production Career Pathway is designed to provide youth with training required by employers to compete for positions with the renewable fuel production sector.  The FRWIB is working with community partners to close the gap between the skills taught to students and the specific needs of the industry and employers.  A career pathway curriculum will be developed through the grant that will begin in K-12 then continue through the community college and university levels.  The program will provide training for at least 30 students through pilot automotive programs at the high school level, junior college and university levels.  “Aligning across K-12 school districts, community colleges, universities, trade schools and industry employers to create a career pathway for employment in Fresno County will be a great benefit to employers.  It will prepare youth in the development of “stackable credentials” that will give them a greater chance of employment opportunities within this growing industry,” said FRWIB Executive Director Blake Konczal.

Initiative that Address Barriers to Employment

The California Workforce Investment Board awarded $150,000 to the FRWIB for our Proposition 39 – Multi-craft, Pre-apprentice Training program.  This program will expand multi-craft, pre-apprentice green training to three additional counties: Stanislaus, San Joaquin, and Kern to serve a minimum of 60 individuals with substantial barriers to employment including, lack of a high school diploma or GED, deficiencies in basic literacy skills, single-parent families, live at or below the poverty level, criminal justice system and gang involvement, lack of transportation, unstable living situations and substance abuse.   Five counties are already receiving multi-craft training through the original $550,000 investment including: Merced/Stanislaus (completed), Madera (in progress), Fresno, Tulare, and Kings.

This Eight County Multi-craft Pre-apprentice Training Project is unique.  Trainees are exposed to multiple building trades unions and are able to choose which union they would like to apply for apprentice status – unlike other pre-apprenticeship training programs that “feed” into a given single union.

Unemployed and Underemployed

The United States Environment Protection Agency awarded $192,300 to fund the Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program (EWDJT).  The EWDJT is a cooperative effort between the Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board (FRWIB), Fresno Metro Ministries, Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, Fresno Building Healthy Communities, Reading and Beyond, Central Labor Council, State Center Community College District, West Hills College, and the University of California Cooperative Extension to provide training to 73 unemployed and underemployed individuals in the Solid Waste Management, Wastewater Treatment, and Integrated Pest Management sectors. The training individuals will receive through the EWDJT will translate into a state-recognized certificate or license in recycling and solid waste management, wastewater treatment, or a pest control advisor license.  “The Fresno WIB’s latest 2014 Employment Study Report indicates that the training provided through the EWDJT is aligned with the needs of Fresno County employers who forecast an increase in positions within the Integrated Pest Management and Solid Waste Management and Cleanup sectors,” FRWIB Executive Director Blake Konczal said.


With the success of our on-going Veterans Employment-Related Assistance Program (VEAP), in which we exceeded expectations by serving 94 veterans (rather than 90), the FRIWB was awarded an additional $444,444 from the California Employment Development Department to enhance our service-delivery infrastructure and provide ongoing training and services for at least 100 veterans in the building trades to prepare them for apprenticeship.

The project will target recently-separated veterans interested in pursuing careers/employment in the construction trades sector.  Individuals will be required to have reading and math scores at 9th grade level or higher, be in good physical condition, and have clean DMV and criminal backgrounds.  The primary target group will be veterans who are 18-34 years old who have been recently discharged (within 48 hours) from the military.


Central Valley Slingshot Initiative – To address the challenges of meeting labor market needs while reducing unemployment and increasing efficiency,  the State of California Workforce Investment Board awarded $1,000,000 to the following partnering entities: Workforce Investment Boards across eight (8) counties – led by the FRWIB, West Hills Community College District, California State University, Bakersfield, Fresno/Madera/Tulare/Kings Building Trades Council, employers within the industries of manufacturing, public infrastructure, healthcare, warehouse/logistics, industrial agriculture, and manufacturing, and K-12 school districts who have implemented successful career pathways. This initiative will better prepare Valley residents for employment in high-growth industrial sectors that will benefit both the individual and our overall local economies.

It does not make sense to ‘push’ people into jobs, instead we need to understand the ‘pull’ from the industry side of employment,” says Blake Konczal, Executive Director of the FRWIB. “The Slingshot initiative will analyze current processes before implementing best practices across an eight-county area.”  Partners will work together to:

  • Analyze existing curriculum through the “eye of business.”
  • Organize “stackable” credentials.
  • Standardize assessment(s) & training.
  • Create new apprenticeships.
  • Replicate best practices.
  • Refer qualified employment candidates into growth industry sectors.
  • Better alignment of existing training resources towards industry sector needs.

Business Services  – The Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board – Business Services Center in partnership with eleven local, non-profit/public organizations created to address the multiple and varied needs of the Fresno business community.  Our partnering organizations include the Better Business Bureau, California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Community Development Financial Institution, Downtown Business Hub, Economic Development Corporation serving Fresno County, Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Small Business Development Center, Service Corps of Retired Executives, Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Water, Energy & Technology Center.  Collectively, we are dedicated to collaborating on how to best align individual services, leverage resources and communicate effectively and proactively on various business topics. is a virtual business one stop that offers a myriad of no-cost business services through our unique referral system by connecting local businesses directly to the organization(s) that can best assist them with their business needs.  Businesses receive a response to their request within 48 business hours.  This system eliminates the frustration businesses encounter when contacting several agencies who may or may not be able to assist them.  Businesses have access to no-cost services such as start-up through business closure, financial guidance, expansion, layoff aversion and transition strategies, bi-lingual business development seminars, site selection, research and development, business reviews, fraud, complaint and dispute resolution, navigating permitting and regulatory issues, marketing and strategic business plan assistance, recruitment of pre-screened job candidates, confidential Human Resource Hotline and much more. Over the past two years, has referred and assisted 116 start-up and existing businesses to partner services.

Learn more at:


City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Minneapolis, MN, WSA 10

Contact Person:

Contact Information:

Mayor Betsy Hodges

City of Minneapolis color


The City of Minneapolis STEP-UP Program, managed by City of Minneapolis Employment and Training, is a public-private sector partnership designed to provide low-income Minneapolis youth with a comprehensive array of employment and training services that focus on helping youth achieve life-long self-sufficiency. The STEP-UP program helps the youth participants learn work readiness skills, obtain a job, explore diverse career opportunities, gain vital skills, develop professional connections, and prepare for college and careers. Thousands of youth have succeeded through STEP-UP, effectively building the foundation of the 21st century regional economy.

STEP-UP addresses racial and economic disparities in employment by providing work opportunities for economically disadvantaged and at-risk youth in need of work readiness training and legitimate work experience. STEP-UP successfully serves a majority of youth from challenged neighborhoods and families of color. In 2015, 91% of participants were youth of color, 15% had a disability, 10% were English Language Learners, 3% had involvement with the juvenile justice system, 2% were teen parents and nearly 100% came from a low-income family. Research shows that early work experience can have a lifelong impact and youth who begin work in their teens have historically better earnings and better connections to employment over time than their peers.

The hallmark of STEP-UP’s success, and a great benefit for youth, is work readiness training. This training was implemented in response to feedback from employers regarding the level of skills that youth were bringing to their workplaces. While some youth came prepared with basic employability skills, others struggled with the fundamentals required on the job. In response to this employer concern, STEP-UP designed and implemented a twofold approach:

  1. In collaboration with the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, a basic employability skills curriculum was designed. Youth that complete the work readiness training, in combination with the summer work experience, receive a Work Readiness Credential approved by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber views this as a tool that their employers can use to identify qualified job candidates, and the youth can use to add value to their resume.
  1. STEP-UP created a tiered approach to match youth to employers. This approach allows for appropriate training of youth so they are matched to employers based on their level of work readiness. Employers are matched with youth that can help grow and support their business.

STEP-UP serves both youth and employer needs by simultaneously building on the strengths of each party. Effective training of both interns and supervisors builds a solid foundation to provide learning-rich employment experiences.

Job seeker impact (i.e. benefits, outcomes for job seekers)

 To further our efforts and make certain that Minneapolis youth have their summer work experience needs met, three STEP-UP components are available including; STEP-UP Explore, Discover, and Achieve. Through these three components, youth are aligned with an employer based on their age and level of work readiness. A young person needing special support or training may be matched with a position in STEP-UP Explore. Youth with little work experience may begin with a subsidized work experience in the non-profit sector in STEP-UP Discover. As youth develop skills and more defined career goals, they may progress into a more skilled and competitive internship in STEP-UP Achieve. This tiered approach meets both the developmental needs of the youth and provides an incremental laddering approach to progressing in the workplace.

  • Explore participants come from a targeted population of 14-21 year old youth who may have special needs and/or are current participants of a year round school program with a career focus (such as Upward Bound).
  • Discover youth have minimal work experience, are most often 14-18 years old, are eager to learn new skills, and are matched with wage-subsidized positions within the non-profit community.
  • Achieve youth are 16-21 years old and are best prepared for challenging and self-directed Internships that  are generally employer-paid and located in private-sector businesses.

When youth are provided with employment opportunities, they gain a much better understanding of the important connection between school and work. Mentorships on the job enhance that understanding and youth may be open to furthering their education after recognizing the positive benefits of earning a wage and the education/employment connection.

Employer/Community impact (i.e. benefits, outcomes for non-job seekers)

 STEP-UP is recognized as a national model for youth workforce development, emphasizing the training and preparation of interns and leveraging investment from the private sector. An engaged business sector, including 236 businesses in 2015, is critical to the success of the program. The number of employers and the variety of real, valuable work experiences make STEP-UP a sought after experience. Of the estimated $2.5 million in wages earned by STEP-UP interns in 2015, $1.1 million was paid directly by private businesses. Based on employer evaluations, over 96% of STEP-UP supervisors reported that the program has been a great success at their organization. Employers report that the organizational needs that are addressed by having a STEP-UP intern include providing extra help at a minimal cost and

increasing diversity in their company and industry. The organization also receives benefits at an employee level including growth and development through the experience of supervising and mentoring interns, the opportunity to ‘give back’ to the community by supporting young people, and helping to build a stronger workforce for the regional economy.

Identification of those involved, including collaborators

 STEP-UP leadership starts with support from both governmental and business leaders:

  • Former Mayor of Minneapolis, R.T. Rybak, now executive director of Generation Next, recognizes that STEP-UP is a key component of the Minneapolis Promise to youth. As such, he leads the effort to inform businesses of the value of hiring motivated, diverse, and talented STEP-UP interns. Rybak’s leadership and support have made it possible to employ over 21,000 Minneapolis youth since 2004.
  • Richard Davis, Chairman, President, and CEO of U.S. Bancorp, co-chairs STEP-UP with former Minneapolis Mayor Rybak. Richard Davis has been involved in the program since its inception in 2004, providing guidance and support for the program, in addition to hiring as many as 30 interns each summer.
  • The Minneapolis Workforce Council and Youth Council also have leadership oversight responsibilities to STEP-UP. These members also actively participate in mock interviews with the STEP-UP participants as part of work readiness training.

Community partners are critical to the success of STEP-UP. Using a community based model of service, Minneapolis Employment and Training contracts with the following organizations to operate the components of STEP-UP:

  • AchieveMpls leads STEP-UP Achieve, the private sector component of STEP-UP. AchieveMpls is responsible for youth recruitment in the schools, work readiness training for approximately 2,100 youth, and the establishment and maintenance of the STEP-UP alumni network.
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board operates the classroom training for STEP-UP Discover interns. Each intern participates in a three-hour weekly class and has the opportunity to earn high school credit.
  • Minnesota Workforce Centers (part of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development) manage many aspects of the STEP-UP Discover and STEP-UP Explore components including interviewing and matching youth with internships at participating non-profit organizations and monitoring the employers and interns throughout their summer experience.
  • Project for Pride in Living (PPL) provides work readiness training for STEP-UP Discover interns, preparing youth for their summer work experience with 12 hours of classroom training. In addition, PPL offers a specialized healthcare training for STEP-UP Achieve interns that are matched with positions in healthcare.

The City of Minneapolis prominently posts STEP-UP recruitment and application details on the City webpage. The STEP-UP page can be found at  This page includes a video along with instructions and the application link. Through the STEP-UP Facebook page, staff is able to communicate with the community and youth. In addition, community members interact with the page through posts and messages.

Leveraging/alignment of outside resources

 In 2015, AchieveMpls recruited 147 employers to hire STEP-UP Achieve interns. Participating businesses represented a mix of public, private, and non-profit businesses. STEP-UP Achieve focuses on recruiting meaningful and challenging employer-paid internships. The private sector paid or supported 631 STEP-UP interns.

The Twin Cities business community is increasingly recognizing the value of hiring STEP-UP Achieve’s young, diverse, and motivated interns. In 2015, the top private sector employers included Wells Fargo and US Bancorp, and HealthPartners. While some larger businesses are able to hire several interns, smaller to medium size businesses that are able to hire one to five interns are also well-represented within STEP-UP Achieve.

Internships in the private sector offer STEP-UP Achieve youth a unique chance to learn about corporate or small business culture, build connections to business professionals, and explore career pathways in greater depth.

Ability for use or replication by others

STEP-UP aims to help others can learn from our design and results. City of Minneapolis Employment and Training is exploring how best to support other communities in the implementation of the STEP-UP

internship model, ensuring that communities are developing working models that include the necessary elements for success and provide quality experiences. There are numerous components in STEP-UP that add to program success, and at the very basic level, they include the following:

Required elements of the STEP-UP model:

  • A plan for youth recruitment and application
  • An employer recruitment plan and dedicated staff to implement the plan
  • Business and government leadership willing to promote the model and leverage participation
  • A work readiness curriculum that will prepare interns for employment success
  • Partnership with schools and other key community stakeholders
  • Funding for staff, training, and youth wages

STEP-UP is a prime example of an innovative solution to local youth and employer needs. City of Minneapolis Employment and Training is pleased to share a model that is positively impacting our next generation of local talent.


City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Baltimore City

Contact Person:
Jason Perkins-Cohen

Contact Information:

Catherine E. Pugh


Accelerating Connections to Employment (ACE)

Accelerating Connections to Employment (ACE) is a US Department of Labor funded Workforce Innovations Fund grant. ACE is a four state, nine local Workforce Investment Area job training initiative designed to help low-skilled workers complete college occupational programs and enter employment in high-demand occupations. Baltimore County’s Department of Economic Development’s Division of Workforce Development is the grant recipient. The Maryland Workforce Corporation (MWC) is the project’s administrator and intermediary for all components of the ACE project outside of Baltimore County. ICF International will be conducting a study as part of this initiative.

The Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development (MOED) and the Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) collaboratively work as partners to implement and operate the ACE project in Baltimore City. BCCC will be offering classes in Multi-skilled Medical Technician, Dietary, Medical Billing, Pharmacy Technicians, and Advanced Manufacturing.

The ACE Model is built upon Washington State’s I-Best model (in Baltimore– MI-Best) and is a strategy for improving employment and earnings outcomes for low-skilled adults who typically are not successful in college training programs. Along with the occupational training classroom instructor, there will be a literacy instructor, and a MOED career navigator in the classroom. In Baltimore, this partnership brings together the local one stop operator and the community college to jointly meet the skills-building, support service and job placement needs of low- skilled workers. The career navigator will work closely with the customers to ensure their workforce service needs are met (résumé preparation, soft skills training, job search assistance, etc.) and collaborate with other partners to ensure support services are provided when necessary. Additionally, the career navigator will follow the customer for at least one year post program. They will continue to connect participants to resources that will help them secure employment, remain employed, and advance their careers, including encouraging them to continue their education.

Key goals for ACE include:

  • Higher rates of occupational credential attainment
  • Higher rates of employment
  • Higher wages
  • Higher Earnings
  • Better Job Quality
  • Better Employment Retention

What are the Eligibility Requirements for ACE?

Baltimore City conducts classes for customers for the following:

  • Those who have a high school diploma or GED and whose reading and math TABE scores are between 6.0 and 8.0 (basic skills deficient defined by WIA);
  • Do not have a high school diploma or GED and have passed at least 3 subjects on the GED exam;
  • Do not have a High School Diploma or GED and TABE test in both Reading and Math between 7.0 and 10.0

There will also be classes offered specifically for English as a second language (ESL) students.

Additionally, students must have an interest in the career path offered by the training as demonstrated by Career Assessments; live within Baltimore City; be over the age of 18 at the time of training; be able to pass a criminal background check and drug screening; provide proof of immunizations and pass TB testing if applicable to the training; provide proof of eligibility to work in the United States; and be registered for Selective Service if applicable.

Community Job Hubs

To assist more Baltimore jobseekers reach their career goals, the Mayor’s Office of Employment

Development (MOED) has partnered with communities across the city to create Community Job Hubs. Anchored in centralized neighborhood facilities, the Hubs provide local residents direct access to a variety of employment readiness tools, including computer skills and online job search training, resume writing and interview preparation.  The Hubs also allow residents access up to date information about the local labor market and job opportunities in the area.

In response to needs identified by community members, the Hubs focus on serving residents from the surrounding neighborhoods. This approach provides residents with more than just ease of access to job training and employment information. It engenders a sense of ownership in what MOED hopes will become genuine anchor institutions in at-risk neighborhoods throughout the city. A successful Community Job Hub is one that is not just well-used, but is locally embraced as a reliable and recognizable neighborhood asset.

We currently have four Hubs strategically located in low and moderate income neighborhoods throughout Baltimore City.


City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Pasadena Foothill Employment and Training Consortium

Contact Person:
Dianne Russell-Carter

Contact Information:

Terry Tornek; Gary A. Kovacic; Tzeitel Paras-Caracci; Robert S. Joe; Tom Adams; John Capoccia

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Foothill Workforce Development Board

Website & Social Media Analysis and Recommendations

In 2014, the Foothill Workforce Development Board (FWDB) contracted with Full Capacity Marketing (FCM) Incorporated to evaluate the organization’s website and social media accounts and compare the results to the FCM 2012 Workforce Website Benchmark Study. This study included information from 37 workforce development organizations that allowed FCM access to their website analytics and completed an exhaustive survey about their online publishing behaviors. FCM collected four months of data for their evaluation.

It was revealed that Foothill’s website ( performed lower than benchmarked averages in all categories. FCM recommended an overhaul of the website and that Foothill invest in a search engine optimization (SEO) plan to drive more site traffic organically through the use of key words and a content generation strategy to consistently update site content. Foothill has worked with FCM for the last several months to design a better website and other media marketing tools. 

In January 2015, a new version of was introduced to the general public. Several revisions were made including a rotating landing page, multiple self-help links, a video commercial and an e-newsletter. After the release of the new website, Foothill worked with FCM to develop two micro-websites for two target populations, veteran and youth. The micro-sites were completed in June 2015. A customer can access the micro-websites from the main website under the job seekers menu option. The purpose of the micro-sites is to provide a more customer specific website for the two target groups.

An overview of the website from January 1, 2015 – July 30, 2015the FWDB website usage has changed positively in a number of pages, sessions and users. The areas of pages viewed, pages viewed during a session and the average length of a session have all declined. Users are spending more time navigating the appropriate and customized links. To checkout all the new updates, go to

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City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Fort Worth/Arlington, Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County

Contact Person:
Judy McDonald

Contact Information:
Judy McDonald
Executive Director
Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County
1320 S. University Dr. Ste 600
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Mayor of Fort Worth, Betsy Price and Mayor of Arlington, Jeff Williams

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Home of the Large and Small Employer of the Year


Workforce Solutions is proud to be the home of both the Small and Large Employer of the Year. Klein Tools Inc. and Lockheed Martin received this honor at the 20th Annual Texas Workforce Commission Conference held in December. Each of the 28 local workforce boards in Texas nominated organizations for contributions to their community’s workforce through innovation and collaboration with their local Workforce partner. Lockheed Martin was also recognized with the Local Employer Award of Excellence for the Tarrant County area.

Klein Tools Press Release

Lockheed Martin Press Release 


All Veterans who visit a workforce center receive priority of services. Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County has Veteran Representatives specifically trained to assist veterans with job search and career services.

For the past five years we have had the honor of participating in a Texas Workforce Commission initiative called Hiring Red, White & You! An initiative to help veterans and their spouses find employment. Below is a recap from our 5th Annual Event.

Hiring Red, White & You! connects Texas veterans and their spouses with Texas employers who value the experience, discipline and other exceptional qualities inherent with a military background. The statewide job fair encouraged Texas employers to help veterans in Texas transition into the civilian workforce.

Everyone we spoke to who was a part of the ribbon cutting was pleased with the event. We also heard lots of positive job seeker and employer feedback. To quote one job seeker “This event is amazing, you guys are changing lives!” We have shared more of the feedback from the event and additional photos in our recent YouTube Video, click on the link here to view it:

Sector Strategies

The Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Workforce Leadership Council (RWLC) is the driving force for a cooperative approach to promoting the region’s strongest industries. Following the industry cluster concept popularized by Michael Porter and the directives of Governor Rick Perry’s Industry Cluster Initiative, the RWLC has focused on supporting the region’s key clusters. The RWLC works to meet industries’ needs through the collaboration of the local workforce boards, chambers of commerce and business leaders. By addressing the employment, training and certification needs of the region’s industries, the RWLC aids in the further growth and success of the Dallas/Fort Worth economy. To date, the RWLC has received over $12 million in grants for training and educational initiatives that meet the needs of DFW regional employers.  Existing Sectors include Aerospace, Healthcare, Logistics Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Technology!  To read the latest copy of the Annual Report – Click Here.


DFW Regional Aerospace Consortium

Since 2003, Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin and Triumph Aerostructures – Vought Aircraft Division have led the Aerospace Consortium. The companies have been instrumental in the creation of the “Gotta Jet?” career awareness program for students and their parents as well as the development of a common entry-level training program for future employees. With the support of the Arlington and Fort Worth Chambers, Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County, the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center and Hillwood Properties, the Consortium continues to make important contributions to the North Texas region.

As one of the key industries for the region, aerospace manufacturing employs workers in over 75 companies, and promotion and training programs developed by the Aerospace Consortium will ensure that there is a pipeline of future employees for years to come.

The DFW Regional Aerospace Consortium, managed by Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County has developed an Aerospace gaming application for smart phones and devices.  The consortium is working with our regional academic partner, University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), to develop the game and in partnership with the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

FLYBY was designed to generate interest in Aerospace and Aviation careers for elementary, middle, and high school students in an effort to build the local talent pipeline for future employment opportunities. The game features aircraft from local Aerospace companies – Lockheed Martin’s F35 and C130J, Bell Helicopter’s V-280, and Airbus Helicopter’s H155 and EC255.

Players will compete in challenging levels, overcoming obstacles and unlocking various aircraft by collecting parts to that specific vehicle.  Each level will include Aerospace and Aviation trivia questions for players to answer and collect points. The online stat board will be displayed on

You can download FLYBY for FREE on iTunes and Google Play NOW!!!!

Community Collaboration

In response to the WIOA mandate that Workforce Boards lead in collaboration within their jurisdiction, Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County has developed an online web-based Partner Portal that is available to all organizations in Tarrant County providing workforce services. The portal is used by professionals rather than customers in order to provide skilled direction in a user-friendly format. The portal supplies a common, community-wide tool set to encourage online collaboration, provide access to a myriad of websites in one place, and provide a logical progression of assistance through assessment, career planning, understanding and choosing a career pathway, determining the need for training, choosing a training provider, securing financial aid, obtaining education/training, job readiness, apprenticeships and work-based training, post-employment services, and multiple resources to meet participant needs. To encourage more organizations to become actively involved on Career Pathway Collaboratives (CPC), access to the portal will be made available at no cost to the community and encourage organizations to join and participate in the CPC workgroups.

Tarrant County Alliance for Economic Independence (TCAEI) is envisioned as a community-wide workforce development system whereby all providers of workforce services and employers in the community collaborate to: 1) reach the high-need target groups and communities; 2) understand, validate and promote career pathways; 3) expand work-based learning opportunities; 4) apply for available funding efficiently and effectively; 5) maximize opportunities to attract additional funding; 6) identify gaps in workforce services and 7) develop strategies to fill those gaps. The committee’s stated purpose/mission statement for the TCAEI reads: “To establish a community-wide collaboration that is focused on achieving economic independence for all work able customers through career pathways, identifying and removing barriers to employment.”



City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Gulf Coast Workforce Board

Contact Person:
Mike Temple

Contact Information:

Sylvester Turner


The Gulf Coast Workforce Board

The Gulf Coast Workforce Board and its operating affiliate, Workforce Solutions, are the public workforce system in the 13-county Houston-Galveston region of Texas. We help employers meet their human resource needs and individuals build careers, so both can compete in the global economy. The Workforce Board is business-led and community focused, with approximately 50 members representing private sector business, education, organized labor and community-based organizations.

With participation from the region’s chief local elected officials, the Workforce Board sets the strategic direction for the regional workforce system and guides the area’s workforce agenda focusing on four key results: competitive employers, an educated workforce, more and better jobs, and higher incomes.

The Board contracts for the operations of Workforce Solutions, which directly delivers service to employers and individuals.

Our Employer Service team provides individualized service that helps employers find qualified applicants for specific jobs. We will also help employers strengthen their current workforce as well as get advice on human resource issues and concerns. We partner with businesses, educational institutions, civic organizations and community leaders to find solutions to labor needs of industries vital to the region and its economy.

With 24 locations across the region, the staff in our Career Offices help people find jobs, keep jobs or get better jobs. We offer job search and job matching assistance, career counseling and financial aid for education/training or work support. Through 150+ locations and seven major providers, the Board also funds adult education and literacy service for more than 25,000 individuals annually.

In addition to making sure the region’s public system operates effectively and efficiently, the Board uses its resources and policy voice to leverage change in the larger world:

Competitive Employers

What we do adds to our employers’ bottom lines by ensuring a qualified and skilled workforce, increasing productivity and promoting growth in the region’s economy.

An Educated Workforce

Through our services and our relationships with partners, we look to improving education levels of the region’s residents (literacy, high school completion, post-secondary certificates and degrees) as well as providing the best possible career information about good jobs of the future.

More and Better Jobs

Partnering with the area’s economic development organizations, chambers of commerce and business associations, we provide direct assistance and leverage efforts that support employers who are expanding, as well as start-ups and new businesses.

Higher Incomes

Investing in employers’ productivity and individuals’ education and skill levels helps provide for rising family incomes. The Board also works with partners across the region to help low-income families move into more highly-skilled and better-paying jobs.

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City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Dallas, Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas

Contact Person:
Laurie Bouillion Larrea

Contact Information:
Laurie Bouillion Larrea
Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas
500 N. Akard, Suite 3030
Dallas, TX 75201

Mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings

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Sector Strategies

The Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Workforce Leadership Council (RWLC) is the driving force for a cooperative approach to promoting the region’s strongest industries. Following the industry cluster concept popularized by Michael Porter and the directives of Governor Rick Perry’s Industry Cluster Initiative, the RWLC has focused on supporting the region’s key clusters. The RWLC works to meet industries’ needs through the collaboration of the local workforce boards, chambers of commerce and business leaders. By addressing the employment, training and certification needs of the region’s industries, the RWLC aids in the further growth and success of the Dallas/Fort Worth economy. To date, the RWLC has received over $12 million in grants for training and educational initiatives that meet the needs of DFW regional employers.  Existing Sectors include Aerospace, Healthcare, Logistics Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Technology!  Read all about it



Richland College – Garland Campus has become the “go to place” for young adults to receive short term training, obtaining good wages to the start of a sustainable career.  Richland College Garland Campus is a WFSDallas youth contractor offering  GED coupled with innovative vocational and workplace skills training that addresses the skilled labor gap for disconnected youth in Dallas County.  One initiative that Richland College Garland Campus offers includes a 12 week, 40 hr/week Machine Operator certificate program.  This program offers young adults an opportunity to attend an employer based program and the ability to start their career in manufacturing.  The youth program offers a certificate which includes OSHA 10, Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) certification, a forklift certification, hands on machine shop training in a state of the art machine shop, and a two week hands on internship.  The demand for this training is so high in the Garland community, that students often have employment before the end of the training.   Employers are calling—“when is the next class, I need to hire people now.”   Previous students are now hiring, mentoring, and training new students.  This program is truly a great reward for students and staff.  The success contributes to economic development for the community, allowing young adults the opportunity to expand their knowledge in a strong industry, strong workforce, and a stable future.  One individual, Joshua Gillipsie, was struggling to complete high school.  Richland’s youth program not only assisted Joshua to complete high school, he also completed the machine operator program and was hired at Halliburton making $14/hr.

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Individuals with Disabilities

In 1982, Dallas Mayor Jack Evans founded The Dallas Mayor’s Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities.  He created the organization to help Dallas become an exemplary city for the modern world. Over time, the name has changed but the mission remains the same – work to advance employment opportunities for people with different abilities.  WFSDallas proudly serves as a member of the Committee – now called EmployAbility.  Former Mayor Steve Bartlett re-energized the commitment during his term 91-95, and harkened back to his experience and contribution to the Americans with Disabilities Act when he served as Representative Bartlett, the ranking minority member of the Select Education Subcommittee, and strongly credited with negotiating principle bipartisan issues that did not weaken the bill.  He was a constant champion, and a voice in our community for implementation.  As with every Mayor since Mr. Bartlett, our Mayor Mike Rawlings took up this commitment to Employment of people in Dallas – with all types of abilities.  Let me also state that we have an intense, well informed and diverse advocate community in Dallas, and our workforce system hopes we are considered in that number.

Dallas workforce is a population of adults and youth who need to work and want to work – not dissected by economics, race, age or disabilities.  We concentrate on the workers ability to perform the job.  We have an extensive reach into the Dallas county employer community – 11,031, in our most recent 12 months (July 14-June 15).  That’s a rich resource, and represents real jobs!  Our databases are brimming with jobs that cannot be filled.   We have maintained a Disability Navigator who is a champion of the system, convener or participant in regular meetings, an advocate for the customers, instructor of our workforce system and case managers, and our expert on accessibility in technology.  In 12 years, we continued and broadened our reach in the community.   In recent months, the team has grown to eight full time talent development specialists concentrating on job matching for people with disabilities.  The main objective  is employer engagement.

Opportunity Center Hiring Event – 95 job seekers arrived greeted by 18 employers, including The Joule Hotel, Whelan Security, FedEx Ground, CVS Health, Pro-Collect, Lazer Spot, Gate Gourmet, Rising Star, E-Tech, H&R Block, Dallas Housing Authority, Hilton Anatole, Driving Momentum, Omni Hotels, TXU, DARS and Goodwill Industries.  We can do great things working together.  In the past year, through existing strategies our system served 500 persons with disabilities.  Our embrace for people with disabilities in the workforce existed long before recent state legislation, and will endure and benefit from upcoming change!  Texas legislation will implement a new collaboration September 2016.

Employer Customized Training

Kraft Foods has had a manufacturing plant in Garland since 1949 that primarily produced BBQ Sauce and Velveeta Cheesy Skillets.  Earlier this year, Kraft decided to expand the plant due to a growing popularity of Lunchables product line.   In June 2015, Kraft expanded the Lunchables production network to include four new Lunchables production lines that will bring an additional 400-500 jobs to Garland, Texas. With this expansion, production and electro-mechanical skills will be required of the current workers.  Richland College-Garland campus designed a 380 hr. customized program to address skill sets to create a proficient production Line Technician program.

The Garland area manufacturers have a long lasting partnership with WFSDallas and Richland College.  This partnership has come together after years of collaboration and we are viewed as a source of dependable, high-quality training.

The Kraft project perfectly captures the spirit of the new WIOA legislation by bringing together employers, the community college system and workforce development.  In addition, WFSDallas will leverage multiple funding streams to focus on meeting the needs of this employer:  TWC Skills Development, WIOA Youth, WIOA Adult and AEL.

The measurable results included 97 current employees trained, 7 Veterans,  2,000 referrals,  600 Referrals/Production Tech, 11 Rapid Response Hires, Onsite English Language Acquisition (in development).  Thus far, there have been 150 hires within this project.

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City Name and Name of Workforce Area:
Cook County

Contact Person:
Karin M. Norington-Reaves

Contact Information:
(312) 603-0224

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

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The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership is a non-profit administrative agency formed in July 2012 under the joint leadership of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.  The Partnership administers over $50 million of Workforce Investment Act and other public and private funding for comprehensive workforce development initiatives that address the occupational training and career placement needs of job seekers and businesses throughout Chicago and Cook County.  We are the second largest workforce investment area in the country.

Sector Strategies

Transportation Distribution and Logistics, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, and Business and Administrative Services


Career Coaching
Job Readiness Training
Veteran Focused Services
Workforce Centers & Sector Centers*


  • More than 100,000 job seekers receive assistance from The Partnership annually
  • 15,000 plus job seekers participate in job training programs; more than 85% of people enrolled in our programs gain employment
  • We oversee a network of more than 49 community-based organizations to serve the Chicagoland region
  • More than 10 workforce centers, 9 satellite centers, and 4 business intermediaries offering no cost career service assistance to Cook County residents
  • More than 300 local and national businesses work with us to meet their human capital needs

For Businesses:
Connect Companies to prescreened jobseekers
Provide tax incentives to help finance workforce development cost
Counsel employees in danger of layoffs