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Sunday, July 21, 2024 at 12:47 PM

GOED Launches Career Program

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development has launched a career mapping and training program to benefit underserved rural and urban Nevada populations.
GOED Launches Career Program
BUS_Workforce Innovations for the new Governors Office of Economic Development. Image courtesy of GOED.

GOED announced last week that it had initiated the Individual Career Mapping and Training Delivery Model program, which is based on a groundbreaking methodology developed by the agency. 

The program aims to close gaps in career navigation and training for underrepresented groups by enhancing access to career exposure, skill assessments, training programs, and employer connections. The project funds of $1,559,500 and the associated contract approved on Tuesday by the Nevada Board of Examiners come from a 2019 settlement with T-Mobile. “The money that our settlement with T-Mobile brought into the state included a charitable contribution of $30 million earmarked for enhancing opportunities for women, minorities, and women and minority-owned businesses,” Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford said. “With this third GOED-led settlement project, the agency has again demonstrated highly innovative ways to open previously closed doors for underserved communities. These efforts address crucial elements in the state’s workforce development challenges, which will help Nevada businesses access untapped talent and bolster economic growth in the Silver State.” 

The two-year program will improve labor market literacy and understanding of job market trends, skill requirements, and opportunities. 

“Pathways to economic opportunity are too frequently blocked for minority and women populations, and the overarching goal of this project is to give those individuals agency for informed decision-making over their career decisions,” said Karsten Heise, who heads GOED’s Innovation Based Economic Development division, which will oversee the project. “This project is based on a validated methodology developed by the GOED team, which at its core is integrating the state’s public libraries while reaching deep into underserved communities comprising minorities, women, veterans, people in homeless shelters, re-entry from incarceration, and at-risk youth between the ages of 16-24.” 

Central to this initiative is deploying two Senior Workforce Development Professionals (SWDP) through the Strategic Workforce Program-in-Residence Partnership with library partners. The first residencies are within the Carson City Library and the North Las Vegas Library District, delivering ten hours per month of individual career mapping professional development to underserved communities. The remaining hours will support libraries statewide. 

Utilizing STEM-focused resources and virtual reality experiences as part of this project will provide immersive job exploration experiences across Nevada’s Circular Lithium Economy. These tools will provide librarians and outreach partners with Individual Career Maps, empowering job seekers and future entrepreneurs to make informed decisions in an increasingly complex AI- and automation-driven environment. 

“This initiative not only seeks to elevate the professional development of library staff and patrons’ understanding of the labor market but also fosters a mutually beneficial relationship between workforce professionals and the communities that libraries serve,” said Senior Workforce Development Librarian-in-Residence and former State Librarian Tammy Westergard. 

“As an early adopter of innovative workforce development strategies, we are excited to see the Senior Workforce Librarian-in-Residence program come to fruition,” said North Las Vegas Library District Director Forrest Lewis. “This initiative will significantly enhance our ability to serve the community and connect individuals with the resources they need to succeed in today’s competitive job market.” 

Carson City Library Director Joy Holt said she is thrilled to be part of this groundbreaking initiative. “This enables us to provide valuable career mapping and professional development services to our community partners such as FISH, Western Nevada College, Eddy House, our municipal courts, and others, helping to bridge the gap for those who need it most,” she said. 

For more information about the grant and the Individual Career Mapping and Training Delivery Model program, contact the Governor’s Office of Economic Development at [email protected].