Message from the Director

Approximately 4.7 million California workers will retire between 2015 and 2030. At the same time, the state is expected to add 2.8 million jobs. Given the projected job growth and the number of young workers who will enter the workforce during that same period, there will be a shortfall of nearly 3 million workers to replace retiring workers and fill new positions. Economist and NOVA Board member Steve Levy describes this trend further in his article for SPUR titled, "How the Retirement Wave Will Impact Bay Area Jobs and Workers." To plan for the future, we need to consider flexible options for how retiring workers, who possess a wealth of talent that will be lost, can continue to contribute to the workforce. It will also be important to identify where the new workers will come from, both locally and globally, and how the community can prepare for this workforce, all issues we face today as we grapple with employment training, affordable housing, transportation, and immigration. This issue will only get worse, unless we work toward a solution that effectively addresses the benefits and challenges of a robust economy.

In this latest edition, you will read about NOVA’s activities and successes preparing workers to fill the skills that employers require. Please share it with your colleagues and enjoy!

Warmest regards,

Kris Stadelman
NOVA Director

Launch of New Regional Workforce Hub

The region’s workforce development boards provide a wide range of business services to employers that include staffing and recruitment, job boards, layoff assistance and outplacement, and employee training. In 2018, the California Workforce Development Board awarded NOVA a $670,000 multi-year grant, on behalf of the four workforce development boards representing the Bay-Peninsula region, to promote a shared business engagement strategy and seamless approach to more effectively meet the workforce needs of the region’s employers. Silicon Valley employers draw upon the whole region (and beyond) to fill their employment needs for a skilled workforce. The four workforce boards in the region are each responsible for a defined geographic area. This poses a challenge for larger employers that cross workforce board boundaries and find themselves navigating through multiple boards for assistance that have their own unique approach.

As part of the regional business engagement initiative, Design Media, a San Francisco-based digital marketing firm, was hired with the goal to make it easier for employers to learn about and access services, and engage with the four workforce boards in a successful partnership to meet their talent needs. To accomplish this, Design Media conducted a survey of employers about their experiences with the workforce service system, a focus group of business service practitioners on recommended approaches for outreaching to employers, and a review of current collateral and marketing materials. The end result was the launch of the Workforce Hub, a website that provides a single point of entry for employers in accessing business services provided by workforce boards throughout the region, regardless of where the employer is located. To access this website, please click here,

In addition, as part of the new regional business engagement plan, new collateral materials have been developed that capture a combined business services program for the region. In the future, the four workforce boards will also be jointly participating in job fairs and other business events in order to present a collaborative approach to the business community. Individual workforce boards will continue to work with local employers, within their service area, to provide the personalized, high-touch niche service that businesses value. To access NOVA Business Services, please visit the NOVA website or call (408) 730-7232.

Spotlight on NOVA Board Member: Monica Alvarado of Communications Workers of America, Local 9423

NOVA Board member Monica Alvarado is Secretary-Treasurer of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), Local 9423. She is responsible for overseeing operations of the local union that is headquartered in San Jose and serves approximately 2,000 members, which includes budgeting and financial management. In addition, Mrs. Alvarado serves as the local membership’s representative in the workplace and is active on CWA’s community services and women’s equity committees.

Mrs. Alvarado brings to the Board a twenty-one year career in the communications industry at Pacific Bell/AT&T and life experiences that have led to a deep understanding of the challenges workers face and the importance of working together to achieve success. Her exceptional contributions will be invaluable to the Board as it seeks to prepare all workers for sustainable employment, so they may live and work in this region. “We collectively need to do a better job at creating an effective roadmap to gainful employment in our region that prepares workers through education, training, mentorships and internships to work at some of the world’s most successful companies that are headquartered right here in Silicon Valley," stated Mrs. Alvarado.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA), founded in 1938, today represents 700,000 workers in private and public sector employment through 1,200-chartered local unions across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. CWA members are employed in a wide range of industries and occupations that include telecommunications, information technology, airline industry, news media, broadcast and cable television, education, health care, public service, law enforcement, manufacturing and other fields. CWA has been at the forefront of contract bargaining that incorporates education and training for the workers it represents to ensure the development of new skills in response to changes in technology and the workplace. This state-of-the art training is offered in partnership with companies and educational institutions in classroom settings and through online curriculum.

Employer Testimonial: Home Instead Senior Care

The following employer expressed satisfaction with the NOVA Business Services staffing and recruitment assistance:

“Over the years we have worked with NOVA and they have been a fantastic resource for Home Instead Senior Care to go to for talent for administrative staff in the heart of Silicon Valley. We had a critical position that came available that we needed to fill immediately, a high profile client care manager to meet with potential clients and family members. We needed someone who could jump into that role, be professional, friendly, have fantastic attention to detail and be very dependable. Not only did NOVA help us with the search for free, but their candidates were qualified and ready to work. Within one week of reaching out to NOVA they presented a candidate that we ended hiring very quickly. She has been an excellent addition to Home Instead Senior Care and I would recommend to other employers to use NOVA when you are in need of new talent.”

Michelle Rogers, Franchise Owner
Home Instead Senior Care

A Year in Review: High Demand Continues

NOVA provides job seeker services through the job center in Sunnyvale, operated by NOVA, and the job center in San Mateo, operated by the Central Labor Council Partnership. While the strong economy has resulted in fewer residents requiring employment services, the demand is still very high given the churn here is Silicon Valley, where new industries are continuously replacing obsolete products resulting in large layoffs occurring regularly and workers needing to retool to stay competitive. As we look back over the past year, July 1, 2018 through June 30 2019, highlights of the NOVA job centers’ accomplishments include:

  • 4,527- Job Seekers Served (unduplicated count)
  • 14,768- Career Advising Appointments
  • 8,052- Workshop Participants
  • 8,117- ProMatch Program Services (networking program for job seekers from the professional fields)
  • 4,467- Other Services Provided (e.g. resource referrals, follow-up, typing tests for employment applications, etc.)
  • 3,466- Participants Enrolled in Training (limited to funding availability)
  • 48,910- Total Job Seeker Services Provided
  • 336- Employers Served (unduplicated count; employers were served multiple times during the year)
  • 4,834- Affected Workers from Employer Layoffs who received NOVA Rapid Response assistance
NOVA obtains feedback from customers through a variety of surveys throughout the year and has consistently received a 95%+ approval rating. NOVA will work to continually improve upon its services to meet the changing needs of its customers.

NOVA Success Story: Monica Santos

Two weeks before Christmas, Monica was unexpectedly laid off due to corporate restructure. In the 11 years at her previous company, her responsibilities grew from the local area to international reach. With confidence, Monica began to apply to many jobs online. In late January, EDD [California Employment Development Department] required Monica to attend a reassessment appointment where many resources were offered and an additional requirement was shared. By this time, Monica’s confidence in obtaining new employment was beginning to falter because she was learning how much the job search process had changed. She was thankful for the information provided by EDD to assist. To satisfy the additional requirement, Monica chose to attend a ProMatch informational meeting where she was introduced to NOVA.

NOVA’s services were very appealing and the following morning Monica signed up for registration. She hit classes hard and within one month had taken 18 out of the 22 offered. She met with multiple career advisors as well as attended LinkedIn and job search labs. While Monica found every class extremely useful, ‘Generating Job Leads’ and ‘Who Am I?’ were the most impactful. They helped Monica learn how to effectively use her network and reaffirmed the types of employment she was searching for were appropriate for her skillset and interests. At the next orientation, Monica joined NOVA’s ProMatch group, finding it tremendously helpful and rewarding. Through participation, she regained confidence, stepped up to co-facilitate workshops, and she also learned new skills from other members. She was able to practice her elevator pitch in many environments, which gave her more courage to speak to others and attend various networking events.

The NOVA staff, teachers, advisors, and ProMatch leaders are all friendly and encouraging, which makes a very welcoming environment. Monica is thankful to have had the honor of being a NOVA+ProMatch member, and growing professionally while unemployed. She encourages other job seekers to “Say something to anyone and everyone. You never know which conversation will lead you to your next success.” Monica said something in a chance conversation with a stranger and caught wind of a possible opportunity. She used her network to find the opening and in May she began her next success at Santa Clara University. She credits NOVA and ProMatch for making her better than she was, and teaching her many valuable lessons for increased success in her future. She enjoys giving back as part of the Facilitation Skills Workshop Team, teaching facilitation skills to future members.

Industry Panel: Technical Project Management

On July 24, NOVA hosted an Industry Trends Panel on technical project management. This was an opportunity for experts in the project management field to share their knowledge, experience and tips with NOVA job seeker customers to assist them in gaining access to these growing, high-wage occupations. Panelists included representatives from the Silicon Valley chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI), UCSC Silicon Valley Extension that offers credentialing in project management, and the staffing agency Experis. The panel discussed hiring trends, skills that employers seek, how job seekers can close the skills gap, and advice for transitioning to this field from other occupations and industries. The event was held in the Sunnyvale Council Chambers and was well attended given the widespread interest in project management.

On a quarterly basis, NOVA hosts employer panels for its customers to provide an insider’s guide to growing industries that will assist job seekers, who are interested in pursuing careers in these fields, improve their marketability to those in decision-making positions. This will also support businesses searching for a highly skilled workforce to fill available jobs.

2019 NOVA Summer Youth program

On June 10, NOVA was pleased to launch its annual summer youth program. This year, the program served 47 out-of-school young adults, ages 17 to 24, who are all high school graduates from the communities of Cupertino, Los Altos, Milpitas, Mountain View, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale. The goal of this eight-week program is to prepare youth with the work skills necessary to gain full-time employment or access higher education. The summer session included 25 hours per week of paid work experience, Monday through Thursdays, with workshops, field trips and community service projects held on Fridays. Youth worked in a variety of settings that targeted their interests that included IT, healthcare, child development, education and city government. On Fridays, participants attended workshops at NOVA and Milpitas High School for Milpitas residents on customer service, financial literacy, interviewing skills and resume development. In addition, youth were assisted with registering for community college, applying for financial aid, practicing for the written driver’s test and participating in informational interviews in a variety of careers. Fields trips included visits to Mission and De Anza colleges, San Jose State University and LinkedIn (pictured); community service projects entailed Family Giving Tree school backpack drive and Sunnyvale Community Services.

JobTrain in Menlo Park, a NOVA-contracted provider, serves San Mateo County youth over the summer through its year-round program. The organization provides youth with occupational training in demand-driven sectors that include health care, culinary arts, construction and information technology; skill development in basic skills such as reading and math; work experience; individual career assessment, career tutoring and supportive services; workshops in digital and financial literacy, computer classes and entrepreneurship; and links to education leading to the attainment of a high school diploma/GED and higher education.

LinkedIn Youth Event

On April 12, LinkedIn collaborated with NOVA to host a special event at its Sunnyvale headquarters for local Columbia Middle School students. Twenty-eight eighth-graders from the Advanced Math and Advanced Robotics classes participated in a version of the Coding DoJo bootcamp, where they had an opportunity to work on website coding and programmed a simple game utilizing the Python programming language. For most of these students, this was their first introduction to a high-tech corporate campus, which provided inspiration for future technology careers. More than 20 LinkedIn employee volunteers interacted with the participants throughout the day. Overall, it was a wonderful event and rewarding experience for both students and LinkedIn. Over the past few years, LinkedIn has partnered with NOVA on a variety of career exploration ventures for the community’s youth and adult customers.

In the Community

Silicon Valley Women in Leadership Forum

On July 17, NOVA Director Kris Stadelman was invited to present on a panel at the inaugural multi-industry Silicon Valley Women in Leadership event, sponsored by UC Santa Cruz. The goal of the forum was to empower women at all stages in their career by engaging in conversations with women leaders about their stories, skills, and advice they used to navigate the equity challenges they face in their respective professions. The panel was comprised of women representing technology, consulting and finance, education, government and venture funding. The event was held at the UCSC Extension Silicon Valley campus and attended by a wide range of career professionals.

2019 Digital Promise Challenge Institute

On July 8-10, Digital Promise hosted a three-day professional learning experience in Monterey, where teams of educators from across the globe had the unique opportunity to investigate the big idea of powerful learning, identify pressing challenges, and design sustainable solutions. This year, Digital Promise recognized the importance of including the workforce development perspective in this effort and invited NOVA to bring a team to participate in the event. The NOVA team, named “MindShifters”, consisted of several NOVA Board members, NOVA management staff and representatives from Building Skills Partnership, an SEIU-supported program that provides skill development for unionized janitorial workers, which NOVA has partnered with in the past. In addition, three individuals from the New York City Department of Education joined the team. The team’s challenge: change the mindset of ALL stakeholders to recognize that the acquisition of skills leads to sustainable careers. In total, 27 teams participated at the event comprising over 150 attendees. This fully immersive, hands-on experience was truly inspirational and a game-changer for all who attended.

Digital Promise is an independent, bipartisan nonprofit, authorized by Congress in 2008, that seeks to accelerate innovation in education by “working at the intersection of education leaders, researchers, and technology developers to improve the learning experience for all and close the Digital Learning Gap.” Digital Promise has launched initiatives nationwide and globally. NOVA is exploring a new initiative with Digital Promise around micro-credentials.

2019 TiEcon Conference

TiEcon is the world’s largest technology entrepreneurship conference that in the past has attracted over 60,000 participants from over 50 countries. This annual conference is held to promote innovation and draws entrepreneurs seeking investment in new start-ups and businesses and investors seeking to partner on promising ideas. NOVA was invited to attend this year’s TiEcon, held on May 11-12 in San Jose, as part of the regional business services engagement team. This team, comprised of the four workforce boards in the Bay-Peninsula region, was formed to promote a seamless business approach in serving the region’s employers. Participating in business events such as TiEcon helps to raise the profile of the local workforce boards with employers, as well as job seekers in the region.

Tour of New Maker Nexus

On May 24, NOVA Director Kris Stadelman participated in a tour of the new Maker Nexus in Sunnyvale with Sunnyvale City Councilmember Nancy Smith. Maker Nexus, a nonprofit organization, provides a venue that encourages and supports inventors, hobbyists, students and artists by offering education and training, practice in innovation and invention through equipment made available at the center, and networking among fellow entrepreneurs. The organization is supported through monthly membership dues. Maker Nexus replaced the popular for-profit makerspace, TechShop, which closed its doors in 2017. At NOVA, customers are encouraged to exercise their entrepreneurial skills and some are exploring the launch of new products and businesses. In the future, Maker Nexus could be a great resource for those customers pursuing this career path. The visit provided an opportunity to learn more about this organization’s offerings and for Maker Nexus to hear about NOVA services that its members may wish to utilize to market themselves and their products.

Legislative Updates

Proposed Merger of State Workforce Agencies

In May, the State announced a proposed reorganization to “rethink how the State delivers job services and benefits in a way that expands opportunities for workers and meets the needs of employers, while also maximizing our ability to plan for and shape the future of work in California.” The proposal’s intent is to create a new department within the Labor Agency that consolidates four State organizations: California Workforce Development Board, Employment Development Department’s (EDD) Workforce Services Branch, Employment Training Panel, and Department of Industrial Relation’s Division of Apprenticeship Standards. (The employment tax and benefit programs, including the new Paid Family Leave benefit expansion, will remain with EDD.) By merging these four agencies’ workforce and employment functions, “we aim to create a more rational, user-friendly and customer-centric delivery of programs and services to better aid workers and employers.” The hope is that this new department will provide a more seamless approach to workforce development that benefits the local workforce development system and its customers.

New State Commission on the Future of Work

On May 1, Governor Gavin Newsom announced, via Executive Order N-11-19, the creation of the Commission on the Future of Work. The Commission’s mission is to “study, understand, analyze, and make recommendations regarding the kinds of jobs Californians could have in the decades to come; the impact of technology on work, workers, employers, jobs, and society; methods of promoting better job quality, wages, and working conditions through technology; modernizing worker safety net protections; and the best way to preserve good jobs, ready the workforce for the jobs of the future through lifelong learning, and ensure shared prosperity for all.” The Commission is expected to be comprised of 14-18 members. For more information, please visit the Governor’s Executive Order.

Two-Year Federal Budget Approved

In July, Congress passed a two-year $2.7 trillion budget agreement that includes $738 billion for defense spending, a 3 percent increase above current levels, and $632 billion for non-defense spending, representing a 4 percent increase. In addition, the agreement suspends the debt limit through July 31, 2020. As Congress begins its deliberations on spending bills in September, it will be important to consider full funding for workforce development appropriations. Since 2001, the local workforce development system has faced a significant decline in resources. For Program Year 2019-20, NOVA received a 7.5 percent cut to its Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act formula funding for adults, dislocated workers and youth. In addition, it was allocated a 24 percent cut to its Rapid Response and Layoff Aversion funding, despite obtaining the largest allocation of the 45 workforce development areas in the state. More funding is needed to address the continued high demand for services to fill employer talent needs.