Archive for Media

WorkforceZone Winter 2017: Workforce Strategies On-Track Amidst Change

The Winter 2017 edition of the WorkforceZone, the region’s quarterly journal for workforce development, features the theme of Workforce Strategies On-Track Amidst Change. The 14-page magazine-style format may be downloaded as a printer-friendly and tablet-friendly PDF. Check out individual articles online here at WorkforceZone.net as well.

ASE helps brand employers for success

Competition among employers is on the rise after the boost of economic growth following the recession and Joplin’s disaster recovery momentum. Today’s human resource professional needs to put his or her best foot forward to keep candidate pools flowing. That’s why the WIB and its workforce partners are pleased to announce the All-Star Employer (ASE) program.

Helping Employers Stand Out

Employers of Choice need stronger ways to get their message to potential job seekers. Candidates wanting more than just a job can focus on long-term career advancement and other benefits offered by ASE companies. Communities can also recognize local firms that support local causes and routinely give back. The ASE approach helps increase awareness of job opportunities within growth-driven economic sectors. ASE promotes employer champions as advocates that help propel workforce and economic development strategies that improve the entire region.

How ASE Works

To earn the All-Star Employer designation any local firm can meet a portion of quality criteria. Employers make application directly to the WIB or may be nominated by local Chambers of Commerce, economic development organizations, sector associations, education partners (such as career tech schools or colleges/university training providers), or employees.

Other Employer Benefits

The WIB designed ASE to provide recognition and public awareness for leading employers. ASE holders would be prominently featured at the entry points at the Joplin, Monett, and Neosho Job Centers. Participating employers can be profiled through the new career pathway tools and videos at the new SectorReady.org. Plaques or window decals may be displayed by employers to showcase their ASE achievements. The WIB can also make official presentations at special events on site through the employer or other community venues. For outreach and recruitment events at the Job Centers, All-Star Employers would receive the highest priority consideration. As economic developers routinely seek to promote local employers as economic assets, the ASE designation helps power the marketing outreach conducted by growth-minded communities.

In addition to vast promotional benefits, ASE firms can qualify for special discounts for employer events such as Job Fest and the Workforce Summit. Employers using WorkKeys Job Profiles or other testing services can also use ASE for discounts or fee waivers. All ASE employers will receive complimentary WorkforceZone subscriptions by mail.

Quality Criteria

The WIB plans to debut the official ASE entry guidelines and criteria in March.  To qualify, employers would meet some or all of the following quality elements.

Skills Based Hiring

  • National Career Readiness Certificate
  • SectorReady Credentials
  • ProveIt Technical Skill Tests
  • Integrated GED Training with Credentials
  • WorkKeys Job Profiles

Work Based Learning

  • Apprenticeship
  • On-the-Job Training through Job Center
  • Internships
  • Job Shadowing

Targeted Opportunities to Overcome Poverty

  • Veterans
  • FutureLink Youth
  • Ex-Offenders
  • Families receiving public assistance
  • Accommodations for those with disabilities
  • English Language Learners/Legal Immigrants

Career Pathways

  • Opportunities for Advancement
  • Internal training program in place
  • Tuition Assistance
  • Families receiving public assistance
  • Accommodations for those with disabilities
  • Apprenticeship or Job Center OJT

Removal of Barriers to Work and Learning

  • Substance Abuse Recovery or other employer-based mental health assistance
  • On-site or employer-sponsored child care
  • Transportation Assistance

Where ASE Happens

To introduce the All-Star Employer network, the WIB targeted its service area to include the counties of Barry, Barton, Dade, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, and Newton. However, employers from neighboring counties in Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma are encouraged to apply as part of the larger Four-States Labor Market. The WIB plans an extensive public service campaign through local TV, radio, print, and social media throughout the Joplin media market.

Importance of the Employer Brand

Business brand strategy concept background.

According to Wikipedia, employer brand is the term commonly used to describe an organization’s reputation as an employer, and its value proposition to its employees, as opposed to its more general corporate brand reputation and value proposition to customers. Likewise, the marketing disciplines associated with branding and brand management have been increasingly applied to the human resources and talent management community to attract, engage and retain talented candidates and employees, in the same way, that marketing applies such tools to attracting and retaining clients, customers, and consumers.

The term was first used in the early 1990s, and has since become widely adopted by the global management community. Employer brand is “the image of your organization as a ‘great place to work’ in the mind of current employees and key stakeholders in the external market (active and passive candidates, clients, customers and other key stakeholders). Therefore, the art and science of employer branding is concerned with the attraction, engagement, and retention initiatives targeted at enhancing your company’s employer brand.”

How to Begin

The WIB is excited to expand services to local firms to boost their employer branding efforts. The All-Star Employer network aims to launch in March together with the debut of new career pathway tools atSectorReady.org. For more information, or to discuss ideas, contact Jasen Jones at the WIB, jjones@sectorready.org, or by phone to 417-206-1717, Extension 106.

Job Fest 2017 helps nearly 1,000 career seekers

Nearly 1,000 career seekers connected with 60+ exhibits at Job Fest 2017. Held January 31st at the Joplin Convention & Trade Center, Job Fest remains the Four-States’ largest hiring and resource fair.  The WIB appreciates the sponsorships of leading employers that make Job Fest possible. CFI is this year’s Platinum Sponsor, with Teleperformance at the Gold Level. Silver Sponsors include Owens Corning and Indigo Sky Casino.

For the listing of this year’s exhibiting employers and services, visit the Job Seeker page at gojobfest.com. For a recap of Job Fest, visit any of these news media links below.

The Job Genie hosted the 2nd annual Job Fest: The Workshop at the Missouri Job Center, 8th & Wall, Joplin.  Job seekers found out what it takes to succeed from local participating Employers. Full video of the workshop is provided below.

Job Fest THE WORKSHOP 2017 hosted by The Job Genie (Troy Roland) from WIB on Vimeo.

Happy Exhibitors and Attendees

The WIB collects extensive data on customer satisfaction for Job Fest, for both employer and job seeker customers.  Job seekers consistently rank the event as helpful with 91% of seekers reporting helpfulness.  Just under half of the attendees are currently employed with 14% working part time and 32% working full time.  Nearly a quarter of seekers aim for manufacturing as their career sector interest with remaining sectors noted above.

Employers were overall pleased as well with 97% rating the event either good or excellent.  Even with job seeker volume down somewhat due to tightening of the labor market, employers remain satisfied with the volume of seeker attendees as noted in the chart above.  Exhibiting employers also gave high marks to the quality of job seekers with 92% reporting either good, very good, or excellent ratings.  Additional survey results are available as a PDF online.

 

Thanks to our Sponsors

 

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Missouri improves in Rankings that Matter

The annual State of the States report from Site Selection magazine includes the third edition of  Rankings that Matter. Along with legislative, demographic, economic and education data points, the publisher also ranks all 50 states on elements relevant to corporate location decision-makers. Two of the six rankings cover workforce quality: Rank in total ACT National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRC) earned per capita among working-age adults (as of December 2016) and College Attainment with the percent of working-age population ages 18-65 holding a two-year degree or higher (using Summer 2016 data from the Lumina Foundation). With the NCRC, Joplin remains the best performing metro in Missouri.

With a 20% improvement in Missourians with the NCRC now surpassing 80 thousand, Missouri ranks 20th nationally on the NCRCs per capita. Neighboring Kansas and Arkansas have similar NCRC rankings at 23rd and 24th, respectively. Oklahoma, a long-time champion of NCRC, ranks 7th in this measure.

NCRCs Per Thousand

For local comparison, the WIB generated NCRC Per Thousand rankings of Missouri’s six metro areas and the totals overall for Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Joplin’s ranking of 49 NCRCs Per Thousand is four times the U.S. index overall, three times the index for the Show-Me State, and six times better than Missouri’s largest metros of St. Louis, Springfield, and Kansas City.

The WIB computed this index of each area’s population and the NCRCs recorded by ACT’s Work Ready Communities initiative (as of December 31, 2016). Metro populations are based on 2015 estimates while state populations are 2016 estimates.  Joplin’s MSA includes Ottawa County in Oklahoma together with the Missouri counties of Jasper and Newton. The St. Louis MSA includes additional Illinois counties and the Kansas City MSA includes additional Kansas counties.

Other Rankings That Matter

Other rankings in the report include Rank in the Tax Foundation’s 2016 State Business Tax Climate Index (Oct. 2016), Rank in 2015 Higher Education R&D Expenditure (Total in $000s in parentheses), Rank by Lowest Industrial Electric Power Cost (¢/kWh), and Fiscal Condition Index (Mercatus Center at George Mason University, June 2016). The online version of the report indexes each state profile as a downloadable/viewable PDF. In the print edition of the magazine, the report begins on page 94.

 

Joplin’s Vision 2022 connects job growth and literacy strategies

The Joplin Globe newspaper provided strong coverage of Joplin’s Vision 2022 efforts, including WIB perspectives on education and job growth. Today’s edition featured Vision 2022’s Job Growth team that kicked off Tuesday night.

Update on Monday, January 30th:  Joplin Globe covered the second meeting of the Job Growth Team with analysis of occupation growth projections and economic factors that might affect projections and outcomes.

The goal of the Job Growth team is to support the citizens’ desire for a vibrant economy with a thriving workforce by growing the job market. The group’s first meeting Tuesday examined labor market and sector trends with discussions around key priorities. The group meets again January 26th to dig deeper on skill gap trends and issues. Globe journalist Jordan Larimore interviewed Job Growth Team co-chair Ryan Melton, Adam Bokker of Home Instead Senior Care, and Jasen Jones with the SW MO WIB.

The Education team met Monday, as noted in a separate article from the Globe. This team has two components of K-12 and adult education (including post-secondary). This team’s mission is to support the citizens’ desire for Quality Schools by developing a community of learners rooted in strong communications, collaboration, critical thinking, and creative thought to ensure an engaged and informed community.

More about Vision 2022 is available online or through their Facebook page. KCGS-TV at Missouri Southern State University also covered Vision 2022 in its Newsmakers program with video available online as well.  Other teams within Vision 2022 include Governance, Healthy Living/Wellness, Positive Marketing/Branding, and Quality of Life.

 

 

 

KODE-TV showcases progress at new training center

Gretchen Bolander with KODE-TV reported on progress at Joplin’s new Advanced Training and Technology Center during Monday evening’s newscast. Gretchen interviewed Rob O’Brian with the Joplin Chamber and Bubba Evansco with the WIB on the developments. The WIB’s regional headquarters took residence at the Center in October and tenants are beginning to fill in business incubator portions as an extension of the Newman Innovation Center. Additional work continues on a new parking lot just south of the building along with the arrival and installation of new equipment. Crowder College is set to begin classes at the center in August. Check out the full article and video online from KODE-TV.

WorkforceZone Fall 2016: Expanding the Labor Market with Opportunities for All

wfz-cover-fall-2016The Fall edition of the WorkforceZone, the region’s quarterly journal for workforce development, features the theme of Expanding the Labor Market with Workforce Opportunities for All. The 16-page magazine-style format may be downloaded as a printer-friendly and tablet-friendly PDF. Check out individual articles online here at WorkforceZone.net as well.

Save the Date and Register for Job Fest 2017

job-fest-2017-logoRegistration is now open for the 2017 Job Fest. The region’s largest hiring and resource event happens January 31st at the Joplin Convention Center, located near Range Line and Interstate 44.

Register Now Online

Sponsorship recruitment is underway with CFI confirmed as 2017’s platinum sponsor. Teleperformance is a gold level sponsor along with Owens-Corning as a silver sponsor. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Tom “Bubba” Evansco at the WIB, 417-206-1717 or by email.

More than 60 employers and exhibitors took part in last year’s Job Fest. Job Fest organizers implemented more research tools that provided insights on the success of the event.  Over 95% of attendees said Job Fest was helpful.  Greater than 35% of participants are currently employed either full or part-time, confirming the degree of under-employment throughout the region.  Employers rated JobFest as 90% good to excellent.  More than 70% of exhibitors gave high ratings with the volume of attendees.

 

WIB Outreach Coordinator named Regional Man of Distinction

jrbj-men-2016The Joplin Regional Business Journal named its 4th class of Regional Men of Distinction. The WIB is pleased to announce that WIB Outreach Coordinator, Thomas “Bubba” Evansco, is among the honorees. While different roads have taken these men to this very place in time and history, these community leaders have much in common, as noted in the November 7th issue of the journal. Their desire to make a difference is commendable as they serve and give of themselves while juggling the demands of work, community, and home. Nominated by their peers and chosen by a panel of judges, Regional Men of Distinction boast resumes that are filled with awards, community service, service to our country and more. Read More→

Fiber-Ready + Work-Ready = McDonald County

One of Missouri’s newest Certified Work Ready Communities also attained its Fiber-Ready designation. McDonald County business and community leaders celebrated the accomplishments in ceremonies held September 30th at the Crowder College campus in the Jane/Pineville area.

“Today’s announcements serve as milestones in McDonald County’s strategic efforts to strengthen and grow its economy,” said Mike Downing, director of DED. “A talented workforce and state-of-the-art infrastructure are absolutely necessary in all corners of Missouri—from the rural areas to the urban areas—for the state’s economy to grow and thrive.”

The fiber-ready certification shows that the Pineville and Anderson communities are capable of serving world-class clientele, such as Wal-Mart, which has a large digital storage presence in McDonald County.

Read More→