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[NOVA] Report to the NOVA Consortium: Spring/Summer 2017
Spring/Summer 2017

It takes more than jobs to employ workers. The debate that is taking place in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. is about jobs; the more jobs we have the better off workers and the economy will be. Unfortunately, jobs are not enough. In this community with a robust job market, unemployed workers continue to struggle to find employment. The issue is not about jobs, but rather the skill gap between what employers require and workers possess. The solution to getting workers back to work is not job creation but rather investing in workforce development to retrain workers for the right skills in the innovation economy. For many years, the local workforce development system has faced a significant decline in federal funding through the Workforce Investment Act and now the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. There is a disconnect between the demand for a skilled workforce and the funding necessary to train workers. When Congress reconvenes in September, I hope that consideration will be given to tackling the core issue and that is training workers for the many jobs that employers are desperate to fill.
In this latest edition, you can read more what NOVA and the community are doing to get people back to work and employers the talent they need to succeed. Please share it with your colleagues and enjoy!
Warmest regards,
Kris Stadelman
NOVA Director 


Career Pipeline Initiative
NOVA, through its foundation, was awarded a $250,000 grant in June from This by-invitation-only grant opportunity will build dedicated pathways for up to 60 low- income youth and young adults to careers in the Silicon Valley innovation economy. The project is a collaborative partnership with Hack the Hood, an Oakland-based nonprofit connecting youth to technology careers; Virgil, a developer of a virtual assessment tool and navigational solution; and Economic Advancement Research Institute, a Massachusetts nonprofit that promotes economic opportunity and career mobility. This initiative will complement and leverage NOVA's other tech initiatives including Slingshot and its partnership with the Boston workforce development community that is promoting a "tech talent exchange." For more information, please refer to the press release and the June 13 article in the San Jose Mercury News.


Transportation Partnership Promotes Clean Energy
Prospect Silicon Valley, a San Jose-based incubator of emerging clean tech transportation companies, was awarded a $2 million grant from the California Energy Commission to research, develop and demonstrate an advanced energy management and grid services system for electric transit bus fleets that is expected to reduce costs for charging electric buses. NOVA is a workforce partner in this initiative receiving a $50,000 grant, and will be joined by the Valley Transportation Authority and Cisco Systems, among others. Prospect Silicon Valley has been a longstanding partner with NOVA on the Advanced Transportation Opportunity Initiative.


Silicon Valley Slingshot Launches Pilots
NOVA is taking the lead, on behalf of the three workforce boards in the region, on the development of a local SlingShot initiative that is part of a multi-year statewide initiative to increase regional economic prosperity and improve income mobility. The Silicon Valley SlingShot initiative has convened industry leaders in the region to form a compact to engage other industry partners and key stakeholders in the design and implementation of a plan to address talent acquisition and retention challenges for occupations requiring technology skills. On March 28, the State approved the local SlingShot compact and has awarded NOVA a $900,000 grant to advance to the next phase of this initiative and that is the launch of two pilot projects in San Mateo County: an advanced digital advertising training program for incumbent workers in collaboration with the Interactive Advertising Bureau and San Mateo County Community College District, and a DevOps training program, in collaboration with Open Access, CollabNet and Kapor Center for Social Impact, targeting the in-demand career synthesis of software development, quality assurance and IT operations. Hack the Hood will be partnering on both projects.


A Year in Review: Customer Demand Continues
Even in a successful job market such as Silicon Valley, the high demand for NOVA services from job seekers continues to be robust due to the churn common in a technology-driven economy.This past year, NOVA saw only a slight decline in the total number of customers served at the NOVA Job Center in Sunnyvale, but an increase in some of the services requested. The chart, below, shows the service statistics for the last fiscal year, July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, and a comparison with the previous year. NOVA served 4,193 customers last year providing 48,538 services.


Customer Satisfaction Survey
Throughout the year, NOVA surveys customers regarding their level of satisfaction with the services they receive. The fiscal year-end results of NOVA's customer satisfaction survey for the NOVA Job Center in Sunnyvale are as follows:
  • 97% were satisfied with the quality of the customer service they received (unchanged from last survey);
  • 90% were satisfied with the availability/accessibility of career advisor appointments (up from 89% from last survey);
  • 96% were satisfied with the overall quality of offerings provided at the NOVA Job Center (unchanged from last survey);
  • 98% would recommend the NOVA Job Center to their family and friends (unchanged from last survey)...
Read on.


NOVA Success Story: Colin O'Connor

NOVA customer, Colin O'Connor, describes his success story in his own words:

I've been working in healthcare and project management for many years, but when my last position ended in November, I realized I needed help to focus my job search and develop some new skills. I learned about the NOVA Job Center in San Mateo and started taking classes there, including résumé and LinkedIn workshops.
The team in San Mateo was great, but I wanted to do something with more involvement. A friend of mine recommended ProMatch


NOVA Co-Sponsors Job Fair
In the spring, NOVA co-sponsored the Nonprofit & Public Service Job & Internship Fair in collaboration with the San Jose State University (SJSU) Career Center. The event was held at the SJSU Student Union with the goal to support careers in the nonprofit and government sectors. Thirty employers participated representing a broad cross section of these sectors, including the California Employment Development Department, the counties of San Mateo and Santa Clara-VTA, the cities of Fremont, San Jose, Santa Clara and Salinas, Bill Wilson Center, Committee for Green Foothills, Music for Minors, and YMCA of Silicon Valley, among many others. The organizations offered volunteer, internship, full-time and part-time opportunities to over two hundred NOVA job seekers and SJSU students and alumni who attended the event. 

NOVA Employer Services Responds to Business Needs

NOVA Employer Services provides a wide range of services to assist businesses with their workforce development needs that include finding the right talent to address identified skill gaps and working with companies undergoing layoffs, referred to as rapid response. This past year, the Silicon Valley economy experienced great churn, with new innovation replacing obsolete industries, which was seen in the number of layoffs that occurred locally, despite the decline in the region's unemployment rate. Last year, the NOVA Employer Services team responded to 96 layoff announcements (up from 78 in 2015/16) affecting 58 companies (up from 50 in 2015/16) and 6,584 individuals (up from 5,967 in 2015/16). This is not surprising given the fact that last year NOVA was ranked first in the state for both the number of layoff notices and the number of individuals affected by layoffs.


Flood Relief for San Mateo County
NOVA has been awarded a $1 million 2017 Southern Storm National Dislocated Worker Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This funding will be used to address flood damage in San Mateo County, as a result of the heavy storms experienced in January. Funding for this project will go toward providing up to 55 job seekers to work on flood-related projects identified by the County of San Mateo. The period of service is April 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018. This grant was one of a series of DOL grants that were awarded to the State after the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared disasters in seven counties across California.


LinkedIn Grant Award for NOVA
In June, LinkedIn awarded NOVA a grant to support the NOVA youth program. This award represents one of several grants that LinkedIn has awarded NOVA over the past several years to prepare youth in this community for careers in a technology-driven economy. LinkedIn has been actively engaged with the NOVA youth program hosting a variety of events for youth at its Sunnyvale campus. NOVA is deeply grateful for LinkedIn's generosity and unwavering commitment to our community's youth.


In the Community

NOVA Hosts Congressman Ro Khanna

On August 24, NOVA hosted a visit from Congressman Ro Khanna. The visit was an opportunity to showcase NOVA's contributions to the community assisting residents return to work and providing employers with the skills necessary to compete in today's highly competitive marketplace. The visit included a meeting with NOVA Director Kris Stadelman and members of the NOVA Workforce Board, followed by participation in the weekly convening of ProMatch that serves dislocated workers from the professional fields, and concluded with a tour of the NOVA Job Center in Sunnyvale. NOVA would like to thank Congressman Khanna for visiting NOVA and meeting with NOVA staff and customers.


Legislative Updates

GI Expansion Bill

On August 16, President Trump signed H.R. 3218 - the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 that would provide a $3 billion expansion of veterans' education benefits. The bill would increase education benefits, remove the 15-year limit on when recipients must use their benefits for new enlistees, and provide support for veterans enrolled in non-traditional education programs such as coding boot camps. The bill would also restore funding for veterans impacted by the collapse of several training schools. The Vet-Tec Act, sponsored by Congressman Khanna, is part of the legislative package and would implement a new pilot program to test how the GI Bill can help veterans learn job skills for the tech economy. This bill will have a tremendous impact on veterans seeking to gain access to jobs in the growing technology industry.

© 2017 NOVA

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