Employment Skills Best Practices – Local

Published 1/20/2016

Lincoln has a low unemployment rate, but does have a high rate of poverty. Lincoln has had a number of innovations in this area including:

  • Creating Innovation Campus, which helps with attraction and retention of workers
  • Establishing the Career Academy, in partnership with Southeast Community College and Lincoln Public Schools to encourage academic and job skill pursuits
  • Growing professional network opportunities are growing including Young Professionals Group, RISE Business Women’s Leadership group, and others.

Various barriers exist for employment including affordable, accessible childcare, transportation access and service, individual history, and individual barriers, such as literacy or skills. Libraries, cultural centers, task forces, and coalitions often work together to share job, education, and training opportunities. To increase skills for jobs, Lincoln needs to:

  1. Increase education through college access programming to increase academic and job skills pursuits.
  2. Increase equity in jobs by focusing on creating a diverse workforce and helping move people from “bad jobs” to middle skilled jobs.
  3. Aid career attainment rather than job attainment by providing network development opportunities.

Unemployed or Adults with Barriers to Employment

Center for People in Need:  to increase the employability of those on a path from welfare to work, the Center will expand our current facility to accommodate new job skills training programs. Programs and classes offered at the Center will not require a fee and will be open to participants regardless of the previous level of education attained. The target population for programs will include low-income workers, immigrants, clients with mental or physical disabilities, and those in our community who lack the knowledge and skills to effectively job search. Clients attending classes and participating in job skills programs will be strongly encouraged to learn basic computer skills. http://centerforpeopleinneed.org/education-training/employment-skills-training/

Community Action Partnership: Community action offers financial education, homelessness prevention, and support to those in poverty to help individual attain long-term economic stability. http://www.communityactionatwork.org/

Experience Works: offers employment training to individuals 55 years of age or older. http://www.experienceworks.org/site/PageServer?pagename=State_Nebraska_Home_Map

Goodwill Industries: offers job search assistance for individuals with disabilities and access to computer and job search assistance. http://lincolngoodwill.org/

Released and Restored:  provides inmates and ex-offenders in Nebraska with the tools and support systems needed for learning how to live moral, ethical, and legal lives in our communities. The Jobs Readiness portion of the program prepares individuals for job interviews through an intensive mock interview process. This section also teaches individuals how to conduct job searches, apply for jobs on-line, and how to create and update resumes. http://releasedandrestored.org

Vocational Rehabilitation: a program that helps people with disabilities prepare, find, and keep jobs. http://www.vr.nebraska.gov/

Under-employed Adults

Southeast Community College:  Are you creating jobs, investing in new machinery and equipment, streamlining processes, or simply seeking to keep skills current with changing technology? Then SCC can help.  Our mission is to design, develop and deliver education and training to assist businesses, industries and organizations to excel.  We are committed to the success of employees and employers throughout Nebraska and beyond. We offer Open Enrollment workshops as well as Customized Training options. https://www.southeast.edu/training/

Disadvantaged and Disconnected Youth age 16-24

Local Programs:

CEDARS Bridges Transitional Living: a temporary housing service for youth transition out of foster care, the CEDARS Bridges Transitional Living program provides independent living housing, life skills courses, and support for employment and education. http://www.cedars-kids.org/helping_kids/foster-care.html

The Hub: A local program for transition-aged youth that provides academic support, life skills training, youth support, and job skills development. http://hublincoln.org/

YESS: Youth Education & Support Services is a Lincoln-based program to help Lincoln youth ages 14-21 obtain a GED, go to college, and prepare for the workforce. http://lincoln.ne.gov/city/urban/wiprog/wiayouth/youthservices.htm

Omaha Programs:

Avenue Scholars: program is designed to ensure careers for students with hope and need through education and supportive relationships. We help kids uncover their hidden talents and interests. Inspire their dreams and passions. And help them take the necessary steps toward meaningful careers. http://avescholars.org

College Possible: A college-access program that provides ACT preparation, scholarship application, academic, and collegiate coaching, financial aid guidance, to help increase acceptance to and graduate from college. This program is for high school juniors and seniors through college. http://www.collegepossible.org/locations/omaha/

State Programs:

Project Everlast: is a statewide, youth-led initiative committed to providing resources, connections and support to young adults as they age out of foster care. Project Everlast’s foster youth services help ensure a smooth transition from foster care to adulthood. Our goal is to empower them to build successful lives as independent adults. http://www.projecteverlast.org

Talent Attraction, Development and Retention

In addition to the items listed below, entrepreneurship support and professional networking activities are also key to workforce retention.

The Career Academy: The Career Academy is a joint venture between Lincoln Public Schools and Southeast Community College. The goal of TCA is to provide academic and real world experiences to high school juniors and seniors through high school and dual credit courses in 16 different career pathways. http://wp.lps.org/tca/home/tca-home-page/

InternNE: Nebraska Department of Development program to assist employers creating paid internships in targeted industries. http://www.internne.com

System-level Strategies to Increase the Pace, Scale and Impact of Workforce Programs

Make It Work For Lincoln: Over the past two years, the Knowledge Management Council (KMC) has successfully identified and demonstrated that we have the ability to bring the jobs to Lincoln, we have the people who can perform the work, and we have the resources to keep the jobs here. This collective partnership—created by ATD Lincoln—has brought together community programs, government agencies, institutions of higher education, and community supporters to develop a business survey that is truly business driven, and a household survey to identify the true needs of those in the Lincoln area. The business survey was conducted with over 200 Lincoln companies, and its primary purpose is to create/increase awareness of the education and skill levels currently available, while also identifying those that are needed/necessary for the future development of the Lincoln workforce. http://www.astdlincoln.org/KMC

Workforce Investment Boards (Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act of 2014), Nebraska Department of Labor

reVISION: process provides Nebraska schools with the opportunity to analyze and transform their current career education systems in order to improve their ability to educate a qualified workforce that meets industry needs within an ever-changing economy. http://www.education.ne.gov/nce/revision.html

Dream It Do It: The Nebraska Advanced Manufacturing Coalition (NAMC) is a statewide, all-volunteer partnership between business, education, government and labor.  The NAMC supports the Dream It. Do  It. Initiative and the STEM Match Initiative to help address the skills gap in advanced manufacturing  and related businesses. http://www.dreamitdoitnebraska.com

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