Message from the Director

Apprenticeships are key to bridging the gap between workers’ skills and the talent needs of businesses. With the rapidly changing economy, it’s becoming more difficult to identify the right skills necessary to succeed in today’s disruptive tech-driven landscape. At the same time, employers have voiced concerns about the developing skills shortage. Apprenticeships offer a solution by providing workers from non-traditional backgrounds with the chance to apply their experiences in new and different ways and develop specific skills tailored to employer demands. And businesses can try out workers who bring diverse qualifications that can be an asset to their team, with minimal risk. Governor Newsom, recognizing the importance of apprenticeships, has established a goal of 500,000 apprenticeships by 2029 to create a pipeline of high-skilled workers for future jobs. By forging new partnerships among workforce agencies, education, organized labor and employers, apprenticeships can improve access for all workers to better jobs and close the skills gap that employers need to succeed.

In this latest edition, you will read about NOVA’s new initiatives and successes in getting people back to work. Please share it with your colleagues and enjoy!

Warmest regards,



Kris Stadelman
NOVA Director

Tech Talent Exchange: An Innovative Bi-Coastal Partnership

In 2017, NOVA embarked on an innovative new partnership with the Boston Private Industry Council (a local workforce board) and SkillWorks (a Boston workforce funding collaborative), called the Tech Talent Exchange (TTX). This unique venture first began with sharing best practices to address the tech industry’s growing talent needs that both the Boston and Silicon Valley communities were experiencing. With a commitment to finding solutions, the collaboration evolved into the establishment of a 501(c)(3), the Bi-Coastal Workforce Association, and the launch of an exciting new talent hub, training center and technology recruitment venue in Cambridge, MA. This town square concept was created for regional job seekers with a passion and aptitude for technology and innovation careers and for employers seeking access to pre-vetted talent. It will be piloted in the Boston area first, with plans to replicate it in Silicon Valley.

Additional partners in TTX include Virgil, Inc., a tech company producing a career navigation and recruiting platform with whom NOVA has partnered on a Google.org grant, and researcher Phil Jordan of the Economic Advancement Research Institute, who has consulted with NOVA on a variety of projects including a Google.org grant and several labor market studies.

TTX is scheduled to open its new hub in January at The Link in Kendall Square (pictured), a shared workspace for incubators. To learn more about TTX, please view the TTX video.

Spotlight on NOVA Board Member: Cindy Springsteel of Adobe, Inc.

NOVA Board member Cindy Springsteel is Vice President of the Regional Employee Experience team at Adobe, Inc. and spearheads initiatives to make Adobe a great place to work. She heads up the organization responsible for providing strategic consultation and day-to-day advice and support for over 8,000 Worldwide Field Operations employees, globally. Her leadership role encompasses organizational design, talent management planning of employees and teams as they grow, and strategic executive counsel. Ms. Springsteel’s accomplishments during her twenty-year tenure at Adobe have included partnership in the design and implementation of a global Business Partner/Employee Resource Center model and playing a key role in implementing the “Check-in” performance management process, which included the abolishment of the annual performance review in 2012. She also has played a key role in 2015 as the executive sponsor for the Adobe & Women internal network.

Ms. Springsteel brings to the Board over thirty years of experience in the high-tech human resources field and a passion for providing mentoring, guidance and coaching that will benefit talent development and workforce planning in this region. Her exceptional contributions will be invaluable to the Board as it seeks to forge new partnerships to prepare job seekers for careers in the tech industry and supply the talent that the region’s employers require to succeed. “I look forward to the opportunity to work with and be part of an organization which strives to be a leader in delivering employment and training services that facilitate skill development and career mobility, align with and are of value to our business community, and enhance people’s ability to live and work in Silicon Valley. I believe that NOVA is that organization,” stated Ms. Springsteel.

Founded in 1982, Adobe produces a portfolio of cloud-based products that make paper-based processes and documents digital; connect creative desktop tools, mobile applications and other services so they function seamlessly across all devices; and provide an end-to-end customer management platform. Adobe employs over 20,000 employees worldwide, with more than 6,000 employees in the Bay Area.

Technology Job Fair

On September 26, NOVA hosted its inaugural Technology Job Fair at the Sunnyvale Community Center. The companies who attended were actively hiring for skilled tech positions and included 23andMe, Adobe, Applied Materials, Cupertino Electric, EY (Ernst and Young), Geometrics, Intuitive Surgical, Outset Medical, SRI International, Tech Mahindra, West Valley Staffing Group, and more. In addition, LinkedIn participated and provided feedback on job seekers’ LinkedIn profiles and NOVA staff critiqued their resumes. Participants attending encompassed both NOVA customers, as well as community residents who were job-hunting, which totaled nearly 400 job seekers in attendance.

Customer satisfaction survey data was collected from the event and some of the initial feedback received from employers was that the job seekers they encountered were high-caliber candidates. One employer stated, “Great turnout – better than other paid technical job fairs I’ve been to in the past.” A job seeker was heard saying, “Employer interaction was way better than other job fairs.” Several job seekers, who were not NOVA customers, learned more about NOVA by attending this fair and expressed an interest in registering for NOVA services. NOVA would like to thank the companies who participated for their invaluable contributions to making this event such a big success!

To learn more about upcoming events hosted by NOVA, please contact the NOVA Business Services Team.

NOVA Success Story: Shelley Goldseger, MPH, CPhT

I am 52 years old, and have worked in the healthcare field for 25+ years. I am a lifetime Bay Area resident. In the Spring of 2018, the company with which I was employed outsourced my position (and other roles within the team) to a firm in Southern California. Our positions were eliminated in Northern California, so as a displaced worker, I was eligible for EDD [California Employment Development Department] benefits. I learned about NOVA from an EDD representative. I registered with NOVA right away and began to attend workshops. One of the presentations discussed funds for training/re-training within a professional's genre, and I decided to apply. Lo and behold, NOVA accepted my application to the training program and my career pivot from clinical health educator to pharmacy technician was completed at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills.

My career advisor and I spoke on the phone, in face-to-face meetings, and via email at least once weekly to ensure I had the support I needed as a mature worker returning to school. She helped me keep my chin held high as I studied so hard! To take 21 units/quarter was one of the most difficult journeys I could have undertaken. The experience mirrored the rigors I faced in graduate school. (I have a Master of Public Health degree.) In addition to 1:1 mentoring, I took a myriad of workshops on resume retooling, job search and networking, and enrolled in the mature worker program. I received emails from NOVA about workshops, job openings, mature worker meetings, networking, job fairs, and a host of other resources. The WHOLE NOVA package in which I participated was beneficial. I believe the "back to work" tapestry that NOVA provides – and I only tapped just some of the offerings – was of incredible value. I owe NOVA a debt of gratitude for its backbone of support in my career re-launch!

I earned my California Board of Pharmacy technician license on June 5, graduated magna cum laude from Foothill College with an A.S. degree in Pharmacy Technology on June 28, and passed my national PTCB certification (CPhT) on July 19. I started a full-time, union, benefitted pharmacy technician position with Regional Medical Center of San Jose on August 19. I have additional goals in healthcare, but those plans can proceed after I have a full year of experience in pharmacy under my belt.

NOVA was an absolutely, positively, critical piece in my navigating, surviving, and thriving in this incredibly challenging working world of the S.F. Bay Area. My tips for current job seekers: (1) Ask for help. NOVA has an array of coaches with different areas of expertise. So ... there's no such thing as a silly question. and (2) Attend as many workshops as you can to ensure what you think in your head matches today's reality. Update your skills. Listen to what others have to say. Network. Be open to new ideas. And ... stay positive!

National Apprenticeship Week

The U.S. Department of Labor launched its fifth annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) on November 11-17, 2019. NAW is a nationwide celebration that brings together business, labor, education, and Americans interested in apprenticeships to showcase the impact apprenticeship programs have on closing the skills gap and preparing workers for the jobs of the future.

Locally, the Bay-Peninsula region, comprised of NOVA, San Francisco, work2future and San Benito County workforce boards, was awarded a State Slingshot grant this past year to advance the work of apprenticeships in the technology industry, with San Francisco taking the lead on this Apprenticeships Bay Area venture. In celebration of the National Apprenticeship Week, the San Francisco workforce board organized several events over the course of the week, with one held at LinkedIn in Sunnyvale for the Silicon Valley community. The forums showcased innovative models and partnerships that have resulted in successful apprenticeships with tech employers. Several tech companies, who participated, have been leaders in launching apprenticeships in their companies and include LinkedIn, Twitter and Twilio that offer software apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships advance industry-driven, high-quality career pathways that provide job seekers, who don't have a traditional background in tech, with the opportunity to gain access to the industry where they can acquire important experience, skills and credentials. Apprenticeships also provide employers with the prospect of utilizing untapped talent from unexpected places with minimal risk, which can offer companies new ways of thinking and problem solving and the development of inventive teams.

Employer Testimonial: Sunnyvale Downtown Association

When Mike Johnson, Executive Director of the Sunnyvale Downtown Association, needed to hire an Event Assistant, he knew just where to turn for help recruiting – to NOVA. Mike originally heard about NOVA through Leadership Sunnyvale and at one time experienced NOVA’s services directly when he was a member of ProMatch, NOVA’s professional networking group. He saw first hand how helpful NOVA’s classes and workshops were in preparing job seekers for their next opportunity.

Mike thought of NOVA and ProMatch when he joined the Sunnyvale Downtown Association and as he ran his digital marketing company, JOHO Marketing, and used NOVA’s staffing services for several recruitments through the years. In fact, he still employs three of those original NOVA hires.

When Mike had a specific need for a part-time Event Assistant for the Downtown Association, he contacted NOVA’s Business Services Team. A NOVA Business Liaison worked with NOVA career advisors to identify appropriate candidates, and quickly provided Mike with resumés of five interested applicants. He interviewed three candidates, and was impressed by how one in particular could articulate her transferable skills into events planning. His assistant has now been with the Downtown Association for seven months and works with him to plan over 20 events a year!

When asked what he would want other businesses to know about NOVA, Mike stated that NOVA job seekers are a large pool of professional, skilled individuals who are seeking their next opportunity. Mike’s attitude is, “Unemployment is not a deficit, it’s a transition.” He knows that in today’s economy, career transition is inevitable, and NOVA is there to assist and prepare candidates for their next role. Businesses benefit by being able to access these prepared job seekers.

Mike says, “NOVA is a valuable local resource. Any time I think of hiring an employee, NOVA is the first place I think of.”

Launch of NOVA Prison to Employment Initiative

The California Prison to Employment Initiative (P2E) was launched in 2019 with the goal to support regional planning and implementation efforts to serve the formerly incarcerated and other justice-involved individuals. Approximately $37 million was allocated statewide for this multi-year venture, which was distributed through regional planning grants in fiscal year 2018-19 and implementation grants in fiscal year 2019-20. The Bay-Peninsula region, comprised of the four workforce boards representing San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Benito counties, received $142,500 from the California Workforce Development Board for the planning phase, where stakeholder input was incorporated into a regional plan to shape the best approach for implementing P2E.

The region has now been awarded $1.8 million for implementation through March 31, 2022, with NOVA subcontracting $470,000 for direct services in the NOVA area. Through a Request for Qualifications procurement, two community-based organizations have been awarded contracts: Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) to serve Santa Clara County and JobTrain to serve San Mateo County.

CEO will leverage its expertise to target services to a high-risk probation population. The project will develop and promote self-sufficiency through vocational and soft skill training that includes industry-recognized credentials; paid transitional employment experience through crew-based maintenance services for Caltrans and other partners; job coaching and mentoring; cognitive-behavioral interventions; assistance with all aspects of the employment application process; supportive services to address transportation barriers; and retention services following full-time employment.

JobTrain will leverage its experience and partnerships to coordinate pathways for those transitioning from incarceration to the community. The program will provide services that include job training in high-demand occupations such as healthcare, IT, culinary arts and construction that lead to self-sufficiency; paid work experience as appropriate; essential soft skills training; job readiness instruction; job search and placement assistance; and supportive services/referral for public assistance, housing, child care and transportation.

As the projects get underway, more updates will be shared in future newsletters.

In the Community

GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday, held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is a global generosity movement that’s unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. This year, GivingTuesday will be held on December 3. For NOVA, GivingTuesday is a chance to talk about our values and why we care so much about the work that we do. Since 1982, NOVA has actively worked to build bridges between workers and businesses within the unique setting of Silicon Valley. Even with unemployment at historic lows, the volatile nature of the employment cycle continues behind the scenes and generates a large volume of customers served at NOVA's two job centers. There are many exceptional organizations in this community serving the needs of residents that call Silicon Valley home. NOVA encourages you to contribute to these worthwhile programs during GivingTuesday and, if you are interested in contributing to NOVA, please visit the NOVAworks Foundation webpage.

Equality at Work Council

Last year, NOVA Director Kris Stadelman was invited to join an advisory body or brain trust of the Bay Area Workforce Funders Collaborative (BAWFC) to provide expertise that would serve as the foundation for future systems change in worker income, job quality and strengthening the workforce funding community. This year, the brain trust has evolved into the Equity at Work Council (EWC), a cross-sector working group, which is comprised of 15 diverse leaders representing workforce development, community-based providers, community colleges, employer associations, economic justice organizations and state policy advocates. EWC will drive the Collaborative’s programmatic strategy, generate policy and other systems change recommendations, and model deep collaboration across different sectors, cultures and perspectives. As part of participating in the EWC, the NOVAworks Foundation was awarded a $40,000 grant that will be used to promote innovative practices that lead to better access for all job seekers to the Silicon Valley job market.

Legislative Updates

New Undersecretary for State Labor Agency

Mr. Stewart Knox has been appointed undersecretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency which oversees the Department of Industrial Relations, the Employment Development Department, the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, the Employment Training Panel, the Public Employment Relations Board, the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and the Workforce Development Board. Mr. Knox recently served as executive director of the California Employment Training Panel since 2014 and brings a wealth of experience and expertise in local workforce programs as former director of health and human services for Nevada County in 2014, director of economic and workforce development for San Mateo County from 2013 to 2014, director of Northern Rural Training and Employment Consortium from 2008 to 2013, executive director of the North Central Counties Consortium from 2006 to 2008, and director of workforce for the City of Glendale from 2004 to 2006. NOVA looks forward to working with Mr. Knox in the future.

Wrap-up of 2019 State Legislative Session

With the close of the 2019 state legislative session, here are some highlights of workforce-related legislation:

AB 593 (Carrillo): Unemployment insurance: use of information: public workforce development programs. This bill would add city and county departments or agencies that administer public workforce development programs and local workforce development boards to the list of entities permitted to use information obtained in the administration of the Unemployment Insurance Code for the purpose of evaluating, researching, or forecasting the effectiveness of public workforce development programs when the evaluation, research or forecast is directly connected with those programs. Status: Chaptered

AB 23 (Burke): Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development: Business Workforce Coordination Unit. This bill would incentivize systems that better facilitate communication and partnerships between businesses, labor advocates, and educational institutions for the purpose of creating tailored workforce training programs that both increase worker participation and further the attainment of increased skills. Status: Vetoed

AB 5 (L. Gonzalez): Worker status: employees and independent contractors. This bill would codify the decision in the Dynamex case and clarify its application where a person providing labor or services for remuneration shall be considered an employee rather than an independent contractor unless the hiring entity demonstrates that the person is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, the person performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business, and the person is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business. Status: Chaptered

AB 595 (Medina): Community colleges: apprenticeship programs. This bill would authorize a student enrolled in a community college class or classes pursuant to an apprenticeship training program or an internship training program who does not have a social security number to use an individual tax identification number for purposes of any background check required by the class or program. Status: Chaptered

AB 1487 (Chiu): San Francisco Bay area: housing development: financing. This bill would establish the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority to raise (through bonds, special taxes, business taxes, commercial linkage fee, etc.), administer, and allocate funding for affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay area and provide technical assistance at the regional level for tenant protection, affordable housing preservation, and new affordable housing development. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission would serve as the governing board for this authority. Status: Chaptered

AB 1482 (Chiu): Tenant Protection Act of 2019: tenancy: rent caps. Until January 1, 2030, this bill would, with certain exceptions, prohibit an owner of residential real property from terminating the lease of a tenant that has occupied the property for at least 12 months without just cause. This bill would prohibit an owner from over the course of any 12-month period increasing the gross rental rate for that property in more than 2 increments over a 12-month period and increasing the rental rate more than 5% of the cost of living change or 10%, whichever is lower. Status: Chaptered

Federal Appropriations

In September, Congress approved a short-term stopgap spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. This bill extended current funding levels through November 21, the last day before Congress recesses for the Thanksgiving holiday. Congress has now passed another continuing resolution to keep government open through December 20 that will allow leaders another month to finalize the remaining appropriations bills.

New Labor Secretary Confirmed

On September 26, the U.S. Senate voted 53-44 to confirm Mr. Eugene Scalia for secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor. Secretary Scalia (son of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia) recently worked for the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, whose corporate clients included some of the country’s most powerful companies. He worked on cases that involved government rules and has indicated that he will recuse himself from participating in any decisions that affect a former client for one year without first obtaining a written waiver. This could impact his participation on recent White House policy initiatives.