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[NOVA] Report to the NOVA Consortium: Winter/Spring 2016
   Winter/Spring 2016

2016 promises new challenges and possibilities...At the start of 2016, the NOVA Workforce Board held its annual retreat at the Cupertino Community Hall. Thanks, Cupertino for hosting us again this year! At this event, the Board considered its past year's work transitioning to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which will continue into the coming year, and the sweeping trends facing the workforce development community going forward, specifically, regionalism and workforce mobility. We were honored to have guest speakers Lenny Mendonca, director emeritus of McKinsey & Company, and Wingham Rowan, director of Beyond Jobs, discuss the issues and opportunities facing the worker and employer in the new "gig" economy and the importance of having a voice in shaping this next wave of innovation. In the coming year, we look forward to reaching out to you for your input as our community and the economy responds to these developments.
In this latest edition, you can read more about our regional Slingshot initiative, new grant awards to serve dislocated workers, what employers and job seekers are saying about the NOVA service system, and our valued partners in the community. Please let me know what you think and share it with your colleagues.
Warmest regards,
Kris Stadelman
NOVA Director 

Slingshot Initiative Advances to Next Phase: Business Roundtables
Slingshot is a California Workforce Development Board-sponsored initiative with the goal to accelerate regional
economic prosperity and income mobility through regional collaboration using a multi-phase process. NOVA is participating in a local Slingshot initiative to identify and address talent acquisition and retention challenges for employers with occupations requiring technology skills. 

Collaborative partners for this venture, referred to as the Workforce Innovation Network (WIN), consist of the three local workforce boards that represent the region, specifically, San Francisco, NOVA and San Jose's work2future. WIN will also look to collaborate with the East Bay Slingshot Initiative, as well.
Last year, the State awarded NOVA a $20,000 grant, on behalf of the collaborative, to launch this initiative, which entailed convening diverse community stakeholders on November 9, 2015 to begin addressing key strategic questions around project focus and roles and responsibilities.
Employer Testimonial: State Farm

Charlotte Russell of State Farm Agency in Redwood City provided this testimonial about her company's experience
working with NOVA's contracted service provider, Central Labor Council Partnership, in San Mateo County: "PeninsulaWorks [Central Labor Council Partnership] allowed me to post a job at no charge which is a huge advantage for a small business like mine. I was specific that I needed someone who was bilingual and motivated to learn. It took time, but Lisa Y. kept in touch and when the right person came along she passed her resume to me. I interviewed Scarlett over the phone first, then in person, and checked references. Scarlett has been with me for about a month now and she is a wonderful fit to our team. I am very thankful to Lisa and the PeninsulaWorks team for not overloading me with resumes that didn't fit, but waited for just the right person to pass along. I saved a lot of money and time by using them. Thank you!"

Spotlight on NOVA Board Member Katherine Harasz of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara
NOVA Workforce Board member Katherine Harasz is the Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara (HACSC) and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization and its programs. She represents HACSC's commitment to provide affordable housing solutions to enable the county's low income residents achieve financial stability and self-reliance, which includes promoting access to education, job-readiness and suitable employment. Ms. Harasz brings to the NOVA Workforce Board over 25 years of experience and expertise in many areas of government including real estate acquisition, development, construction and leadership in the housing field that will be invaluable to the Board as it works to assist job seekers obtain the necessary skills and resources to support themselves and their families. "I hope to help our low income families by developing community partnerships that promote family self-sufficiency," states Ms. Harasz.
NOVA Awarded $3.9 Million to Serve Laid-off Workers
The NOVA workforce development area has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state at 3.2% as of January 2016. Despite the low unemployment rate, NOVA must respond to the constant churn of the Silicon Valley economy, where obsolete products and industries are continuously replaced by emerging technology. As a result, despite the low unemployment rate, NOVA has responded to 15.2% of the reported layoffs statewide. To address this high demand for services, NOVA receives just 1.8% share of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act formula funding for dislocated workers, insufficient to meet current customer need. Earlier this year, NOVA was awarded a $735,000 Additional Assistance Grant from the State and a $3.2 million National Dislocated Worker Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The total $3.9 million in grants will allow NOVA to serve 1,200 dislocated workers and effectively respond to the requests for reemployment services it continues to receive from those impacted by the disruption unique to a technology-driven economy. 

A NOVA Success Story: Ma Luisa Lacson
Ma Luisa Lacson came to the NOVA Job Center in Sunnyvale after having worked as a caregiver and nanny, following a
lengthy career in education in the Philippines. She needed direct help with her job search and with expanding her computer skills. Ma Luisa was so motivated that she attended all of the NOVA workshops offered that first week! She says she found all of them "relevant to whoever wants to learn and ultimately find a job." A NOVA career advisor showed her how to customize her resume for caregiving jobs and provided job leads from the NOVA job board, in addition to the name of a caregiving agency that was hiring. "I found the individual advising very inspiring and very appropriate," Ma Luisa says.

Job and Internship Fair for Careers in Nonprofit and Public Service Sectors

On March 1, NOVA co-sponsored a job and internship fair with San Jose State University Career Center for careers in the nonprofit and public service sectors. The event was held at San Jose State University Student Union Ballroom and included over 30 exhibitors from a broad spectrum of organizations including both community-based nonprofit organizations and local city, county and federal government agencies. This was a chance for both San Jose State University students and NOVA job seeker customers to explore career opportunities in these two sectors and to talk to employers about current job openings. The job fair was well-attended and, from the feedback received, it was a very worthwhile event. NOVA has partnered with San Jose State University in the past on similar events and looks forward to future collaborations.

Customer Satisfaction Survey Results: San Mateo County

NOVA contracts out to two service providers to provide job seeker services for adults in San Mateo County: Central Labor Council Partnership (CLCP) is based in San Mateo, with a satellite office in Daly City; and JobTrain is based in Menlo Park. Customers served through these programs were surveyed about their level of satisfaction with the services they received. The bi-annual results are as follows:
  • 92% of respondents were satisfied with the level of customer service they received;
  • 96% of respondents were satisfied with the availability of their career consultant;
  • 93% of respondents were satisfied with the quality/helpfulness of the career advising received; and
  • 92% of respondents were satisfied with the overall quality of the offerings provided.

  • 80% of respondents were satisfied with the level of customer service they received;
  • 90% of respondents were satisfied with the availability of their career advisor;
  • 90% of respondents were satisfied with the quality/helpfulness of the career advising received; and
  • 90% of respondents were satisfied with the overall quality of the offerings provided.
Externship to Employment Program
Last year, the State awarded NOVA a Workforce Accelerator grant to serve long-term unemployed workers through externships. As part of this program, NOVA is reaching out to the broader business community to host new externships. These externships provide employers with the opportunity to meet their talent needs while offering job seekers the chance to gain additional skills and experience to add to their portfolio. Here is what one employer, Shuo Deng, CTO of, is saying about the program: "During the externship, Kristy demonstrated her skills in web testing by providing valuable technical documentation and by both writing and executing test cases for our online platform. When the externship ended, we mutually decided to continue working together. In general, the externship program was a good opportunity for us to find the right people and to foster the right skills and experience in them to fit our needs." If your company is interested in hosting an externship, please contact NOVA Business Liaison Pat Richards (


In the Community
Visit with San Mateo County Economic Development Association

The San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA) is a San Mateo County-based organization that works closely with local businesses, community-based organizations and government to identify and forge solutions to the challenges facing the San Mateo County economy and community. San Mateo County is a new partner with the NOVA consortium and, over the past year, NOVA has been reaching out to organizations in this area to become better informed about the community's needs and form new partnerships. SAMCEDA very generously met with NOVA and, following this meeting, featured NOVA in its January 6 newsletter that was distributed broadly to diverse community leaders. NOVA has received contacts from employers in San Mateo County, as a result of this newsletter, asking for assistance with filling positions. NOVA would like to thank SAMCEDA President and CEO Rosanne Foust for welcoming NOVA to the San Mateo County community. We look forward to future collaborations with organizations that serve this area.

IntheCommunity legislativeupdates
Legislative Updates

Fiscal Year 2016 Federal Appropriations

On December 18, Congress passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill through September 2016. This averts a government shutdown and postpones contentious debate on funding during the upcoming election year. The bill reverses the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration and provides $162.1 billion in discretionary funding for Labor, Health and Human Services, $5.4 billion above the Fiscal Year 2015 enacted levels, with funding increases across a broad range of workforce development programs. The Department of Labor received $12.18 billion, specifically, $234.6 million above Fiscal Year 2015 levels, that includes:...

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