Welcome to our new One Stop website!
Welcome to the One Stop Career Center that puts tax dollars to work for you. Whether you’re looking for a job or have a position to fill within your organization, we bring together government, education and non-profit partners to maximize the power of federal funds that were specifically allocated to get you back to work or help you put someone to work.
We provide the talent and the opportunity.
In other words…
If you’re looking for a job, we can connect you with the people and organizations that can guide you, train you, and ultimately help you find meaningful employment.
Or if you’re looking to hire for your company, we put highly qualified people in your sights so you can find a outstanding new employee. We have specialized programs and professionals for job seekers and employers. And the best part? It’s all free! That’s right. Free! One-Stop Career Center turns job seekers into skilled employees who contribute to the local economy and help employers grow. A win-win for you and for our community.
Basically, that’s who we are and what we do. We’ve been given a simple task that can have life-changing results. But then, that’s what you’re looking for, right?
Okay then. Let’s get to work!
Using Data to Overcome Pain, Pessimism and Low Performance
Despite $700 million dollars and 185 new road projects entering the regional economy, many people believe nothing will change.
Despite exciting projects like F Street and City Center, the distrust and hopelessness that jobs won’t be available to those that are historically underrepresented is pervasive.
Despite the claim that a primary objective of the Fuel Revenue Index (FRI) is to provide training opportunities for the purpose of upgrading minorities and women, many people believe that this population will continue to be overlooked.
Despite the efforts to bring minority businesses to the table, many believe the system is still set up to exclude them based on thresholds they cannot easily meet.
With this mindset, the real danger is that these thoughts and opinions will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Change will not be possible because the predominant mindset will not allow change to happen. Without deliberate action and comprehensive evaluation, in 2016, we will see finger-pointing and fault-finding. We will hear about who didn’t do enough, who doesn’t care and who’s to blame.
However, 2016 can look different than the above scenario. We can decide to position ourselves for success by using data to overcome pain, pessimism and low performance.
Contractors and labor organizations are asked to participate in the collection of critical data that will assist policy makers and construction industry stakeholders make better and more effective decisions based on reliable datasets.
In the face of opinions, feelings, assumptions and stories, data that is properly collected and evaluated by independent entities, can give us the insight and information we need to make the decisions that yield the best outcomes. For example, we can start with the assumption that minorities are underrepresented because the contractors hire people that look like them. Or we can analyze the data to understand that many minorities are not competitive for apprenticeship programs because of low math scores or limited English proficiency. Both ideas must be considered when evaluating the underrepresentation of minorities in the construction workforce and the solutions calls for a conversation with contractors and the education system. Without a doubt, the issue is complex and it is unproductive to simplify it and not evaluate the data comprehensively.
Data collection is the process of gathering and measuring information on variables of interest in an established systematic fashion that enables one to answer critical questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes, giving policy makers and workforce and economic development professionals the guidance for making decisions within process logic.
Some data has been collected nationally and we can use this knowledge to guide us. As local data becomes available, we can refine our processes for impactful improvement.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship, “Registered Apprenticeship National Results: Fiscal Year 2011,” effective programs measure and evaluate critical information points. The following points are just a sample of the many variables Workforce Connections must consider to make an impact on employment and training within the construction industry, evaluate the FRI initiative, and report unbiased findings.
- Pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship completion rates. Although apprenticeship completion rates vary, it is not uncommon for nearly half of construction apprenticeship agreements in a given year to be cancelled.
2. The impact of the Great Recession on completion rates. Without work and the opportunity to accumulate on-the-job training hours, apprentices seek employment elsewhere or may take longer to complete their programs. Of construction apprentices in a national dataset who started their apprenticeship in 2008, 55 percent had already cancelled by May 2012, compared to only 44 percent of those who began their apprenticeship in 2006 before the recession began. Millions of construction jobs were also lost during the recession, which likely contributed to a large number of apprentices cancelling.
3. Cancellation rates of minorities compared to their white counterparts. Among apprentices who entered the system between 2006 and 2007, 49 percent of minorities cancelled and 32 percent completed, while 44 percent of whites cancelled and 38 percent completed.
4. Cancellation rates of apprentices with a high school diploma or more compared to apprentices with less formal education. Slightly more than 44 percent of construction apprentices who registered between 2006 and 2007 with a high school diploma or more cancelled while 54 percent of those with a GED or less cancelled.
5. Cancellation rates of apprentices by age of apprentice when they register for the program. Apprentices who registered between 2006 and 2007 between ages 25 and 34 had the lowest cancellation rate of all age groups at 44 percent, compared to 47 percent of those ages 16-24, 47 percent of those ages 35-44, and 52 percent of those 45 and over.
6. Wage comparison of candidates prior to becoming a registered apprentice and journeyman. One goal of the Fuel Revenue Index is to upgrade women and minorities. We will measure the wages of candidates before becoming a registered apprentice with their wages as an apprentice and as a journeyman.
The Current Process
Workforce Connections, the Southern Nevada Workforce Investment Board, has joined forces with the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), the Southern Nevada Chapter of the Western Apprenticeship Coordinators Association (WACA), and the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) to make a radical impact on the industry’s talent pipeline.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry will add 1.8 million jobs nationally by 2020. As the jobs are added and as an aging workforce leaves the industry, a major employment gap is created. If left unaddressed, this gap will develop into a long-term issue for the construction industry. Developing and training a skilled workforce sufficient to keep up with the growth and demands of the industry is critical and an important focus of Workforce Connections.
Due to the Fuel Revenue Index (FRI), the opportunities in Southern Nevada are unprecedented. A primary priority of the Workforce Connections’ Business Engagement Team is community outreach and raising awareness about the construction apprenticeship opportunities present in the region. Through aggressive outreach and education, hundreds of career seekers come through Workforce Connections’ One-Stop Career Center monthly and are identified, screened, assessed and recruited for entry into a pre-apprenticeship or an apprenticeship program. Those who apply to pre-apprenticeship receive funding from the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to participate in the training. Thus, participants must meet certain eligibility requirements to participate. Workforce Connections has earmarked $200,000 during this first fiscal year to support pre-apprenticeship training through the College of Southern Nevada (CSN).
With all of the effort and resources used to help individuals access the skills, knowledge, support and networks they need to enter the workforce and advance their careers, we must measure and evaluate our efforts so that we can progress along paths that truly help raise employment and income levels for Southern Nevadans.
While Workforce Connections is responsible for leading workforce development in our region, we need the support of policy makers and other stakeholders to support the collection of better data on apprentice outcomes, the reasons why apprentices cancel, and the different preparation, training and support strategies that lead to the best outcomes.
It is apparent even now that policy makers and stakeholders must also consider strategies for the development of stronger math skills. Math skills are critical to success in many of the construction careers. Many apprentices today, enter their apprenticeship with weak math skills and some have not been in the classroom setting for some time. This deficiency is especially apparent in the minority population and represent a significant barrier to entering the field.
Through effective data collection, policy makers and construction industry stakeholders will have the ability to have effective dialogue around the issue of apprenticeship completion and develop strategies to support construction apprentices. Increasing completion rates will ultimately help employers, apprentices, and others ensure that the time, money and resources they invest in pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship are used more efficiently and effectively.
Workforce Connections hopes to be the convener of inspiring conversations and facilitator of innovative ideas about what can be done to improve one of our nation’s greatest training models and to secure a skilled construction workforce in the years ahead.
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