18 Dec News and notes
We wish you and your families and friends the very happiest of holiday seasons and look forward to celebrating your success in the new year!
Your three NCWorks Career Centers will be closed Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 23 through 25, in observance of Christmas. We’ll re-open at 8 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 28.
We’ll also be closed on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016, for New Year’s Day and will re-open on Monday, Jan. 4.
Don’t forget: Job-seekers can take advantage of an exclusive deal from the Charlotte Chamber!
As part of our partnership with the Charlotte Chamber, we have an exclusive offer for job-seekers: a six-month job-seeker membership package for $75. Take advantage of networking opportunities, member discounts and more. Visit the Charlotte Chamber’s Career Center and enter “Charlotte Works” on the job-seekers application form, accessible from that page.
What a great way to kick-start your job search in 2016!
Our annual report for Program Year 2014 – 2015 (ended June 30, 2015) is available online! You can read and/or download the colorful summary of our activities on our website.
Charlotte Works welcomes new team members
Charlotte Works is pleased to welcome two new members to our team:
Emily Clamp joined us as board support specialist in September. In this new role, she will provide overall tactical support and guidance as the board implements its five-year strategic plan, develop and implement a board training plan and assist with other special projects. Clamp most recently was a human resources coordinator at Project Resources Group. Prior to that, she served the Centralina Workforce Development Board for 10 years, where she created, implemented and managed board development, strategic planning and communications programs and processes. Clamp holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from UNC Charlotte.
And Natasha Warren boarded as director of business services at the end of November. She joins us following 16 years with the City of Charlotte, where she most recently served as business services manager. Her responsibilities included identifying and facilitating strategic partnerships to grow the local economy through support of entrepreneurs and small businesses. Warren managed the CharlotteBusinessResources.com web portal, which was designed to connect businesses with information and area resources needed for success, and convened the Charlotte Business Resource Partners, a consortium of Charlotte area nonprofit and government organizations that provide business support. She holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape design and a master of business administration degree, both from North Carolina State University.
The Share Network Access Point (SNAP) program has been officially renamed CARE3, Community Access to Resources that Engage, Empower and Employ.
The name and tagline were born out of focus-group feedback where community partners discussed the tools needed to best serve clients. The new logo was revealed at a quarterly SNAP partners’ luncheon hosted by the Community Partnership Programs Division.
“CARE3 represents not only NCWorks Charlotte, but all of our partners who provide clients with access to resources,” says Debra Dixon White, community partnerships manager (WMS).
Human resource professionals collaborate to highlight benefits of hiring veterans
Why should you hire a veteran? How do you retain a veteran employee? How does a veteran’s military experience translate to civilian jobs? These were some of the top questions asked at the 2nd Annual Charlotte Alliance for Veteran Employment (CAVE) Summit on Oct. 26.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Carolina is home to more than 350,000 veterans with approximately 19,000 who are jobless. Area employers such as Carolinas HealthCare System, Patterson Pope and Movement Mortgage have pledged their commitment to helping veterans get back to work. They shared successful tips during break-out sessions on topics ranging from educating hiring managers on the benefits of veteran employees to recruiting and onboarding. Attendees also heard from a panel of two veterans and two employers who shared challenges during their job-seeking and hiring experiences.
“The CAVE Summit is a great way for employers in Charlotte to enhance their workforce and culture with skilled veterans,” says Paul Bill, veteran employment and education specialist at Charlotte Bridge Home.
Students explore transportation career pathways during National Apprenticeship Week
Twenty-eight students from Garinger, Vance and Independence high schools toured the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) maintenance facility and learned how their areas of interest are involved in the transportation industry. (CATS, Charlotte Works and the City of Charlotte’s Mayor’s Youth Employment Program partnered to create a pre-apprenticeship program for Youth Works clients who are interested in diesel auto-mechanics.)
Later in the week, 32 students visited the American Airlines maintenance hangar at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport for a behind-the-scenes look at daily operations.
And President and CEO Steve Partridge served on a panel hosted by the local “Talent Pipeline Partnership (TPP),” a group of Mecklenburg County-based organizations including Charlotte Works, the Charlotte Chamber, Central Piedmont Community College, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont and others, to share with employers, job-seekers and educators about the “real-world advantages” of apprenticeships. The TPP seeks to coordinate the efforts of member organizations to educate business about all work-based learning opportunities and provide resources to students and parents about local jobs in in-demand industries.
Inaugural youth participants earn soft skills certification
Three Charlotte-Mecklenburg (CMS) high schools’ students were recognized for their mastery of communications, work ethic and other soft skills at a Working Smart: Soft Skills for Workplace Success graduation ceremony. On Nov. 5, Ci’erra Larsen, Simeon Holmes and John Helny became the first group of youth participants to complete the two-week training and earn the certification.
“I’ve never had a job, so I wouldn’t have known any of this stuff going into a workplace,” says Larsen, a Cato Middle College High School senior who plans to become a veterinarian. “Having someone teach me these things before going into workplaces has been very helpful.”
Participants were selected based on scores from CMS’s Career and Technical Education’s (CTE) internship determination rubric, which takes students’ attendance and conduct into account. NCWorks Charlotte offers the program to CMS as a job-readiness tool.
“We need to prove to employers that [students] are work-ready. Students will not be placed without completing Working Smart,” explains Kimberly Tigner, CTE support services coordinator, who will facilitate two more sessions through December to complete the CMS pilot phase.
NCWorks Charlotte hosts job fair in recognition of Veterans Week
Veteran unemployment has hit its lowest level in seven years, dropping from 4.5 percent last October to 3.9 percent a year later, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More veterans are finding jobs thanks to a concerted national effort to hire them.
On Nov. 12, NCWorks Career Center – Executive Center Drive (ECD) hosted a job fair during which the first two hours of the three-hour event were open to veterans only. Sixty-seven veterans, hoping to show how their military experience would translate to civilian opportunities with employers such as Duke Energy, Bojangles, Bechtel Corporation, Patterson Pope and five others, attended.
“Self-discipline, leadership and other qualities that veterans possess due to their military training pair perfectly with what we’re looking for at Bojangles,” explains Albert Horne, unit director at Bojangles’s restaurant #446.
Mitchell Billings, a U.S. Marines veteran and Title V program participant at NCWorks Career Center – W. Morehead Street (WMS), says that the fair was an opportunity to follow up on positions for which he’s applied. “I came looking to talk with the Xerox representative because I applied for an operations manager position, but I found out that it wasn’t a good fit,” he says.
However, what might not be a good fit for one company can be a perfect fit for another. Albert overheard Billings’s conversation with Xerox and invited him to apply for a manager position.
“It goes to show that if your elevator speech is on point, it can open up other opportunities,” Billings shares.
NCWorks provides fresh produce to job-seeking veterans
On Nov. 12, the veterans staff from NCWorks Career Centers – Executive Center Drive (ECD) and Forest Point Boulevard (FPB) distributed 43 boxes of produce to unemployed veterans and their families. The initiative is a collaboration between the N.C. Department of Commerce and The Produce Box, an organization that sells and distributes produce grown by local farmers. This was the second distribution to Charlotte veterans; the first successful event was held in August.
Charlotte Works lauded as Urban League “Unsung Hero”
The Urban League of Central Carolinas named Charlotte Works one of the organization’s “Unsung Heroes of Mobility” at its Annual Meeting on Nov. 19.
Caroline Dudley, secretary of the board of directors of the Urban League, presented the crystal blue vase to Charlotte Works President & CEO Steve Partridge, who noted during his acceptance remarks that “workforce is a team sport in Charlotte” and acknowledged our partnership with the Urban League.
“I feel valued.” “I am encouraged.” “Warm and friendly place.” “Giving hope and mentoring the hopeless and downcast.”
These are just a few of the comments shared by NCWorks Charlotte volunteers through the Volunteer Program Assessment (VPA), an online national survey conducted by researchers at UNC Charlotte. The results are designed to help inform and improve an organization’s volunteer experience.
NCWorks Charlotte participated in the VPA for the first time this fall. The 2015 survey established a baseline for our freshly branded program, Volunteers@Works, and ranked it above those of comparable organizations. More than 30 volunteers completed the entire survey.
Volunteers@Works achieved a perfect score of 100 percent of respondents saying they are satisfied with their volunteer work at the NCWorks Career Centers. Ninety-four percent said they felt like they’d been able to do something valuable for the organization. And around 90 percent of volunteers expressed satisfaction with paid staff.
“The VPA truly does add credibility and provides a panoramic view of how a program may be performing. This was a great opportunity for NCWorks to assess and track our newly structured volunteer program,” says Stacey Henderson, talent engagement strategist, who notes that the survey will be conducted annually. “Continuing to keep our skill-based volunteers engaged and challenged, and ensuring their voice is always being heard, will be great ways to continue to strengthen Volunteers@Works.”
Want to join Volunteers@Works? Find out more and apply!