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The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), represents the first major reform of the public workforce system in more than 15 years. Achieving WIOA’s ambitious goals requires significant changes to workforce development programs, including improved collaboration across agencies, workforce boards, employers, and educational institutions; a greater focus on outcomes and efficiency; and better engagement with job seekers and employers.  
 
The Governing Institute surveyed workforce officials from across the country to assess the progress made and top-challenges states still face as they implement WIOA. Listen to the archived webinar recording to learn about the key findings from the survey. PLUS: hear from state leaders and workforce experts about their WIOA programs. 
 
 

Speakers:

Sara Dunnigan
Executive Director
Virginia Board of Workforce Development

Catherine Starghill
Executive Director
New Jersey Workforce
Operations and Business Services

Alice Sweeney
Director
Massachusetts Department of Career Services, Labor and Workforce Development

Bruce Stephen
Director of Real-Time Labor Intelligence Market Research
Monster Government Solutions

Moderator:

Mark Funkhouser
Publisher
Governing

Listen now to learn more about what states are doing and add your perspective to this vital conversation!

 
 
 
 

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By John Dodge GLOBE CORRESPONDENT  FEBRUARY 19, 2016
 
How fierce is the competition for technical talent in Massachusetts?
 
Software developers right out of college can command starting salaries of up to $90,000. Once in their jobs, they can get as many as 20 recruiting calls a day trying to convince them to leave for another company. And when they do, a 20 percent to 25 percent bump in salary is not unusual.
 
The shortage of skilled technology workers has become the No. 1 issue for many Massachusetts companies and a growing concern for the state’s innovation economy. Tech executives describe the hiring environment as brutal — worse even than the dot-com boom in the late 1990s — and a threat to their ability to expand, develop new technologies, and keep growing.
 
An index published by the Massachusetts High Technology Council, a trade group in Waltham, ranks Massachusetts as the most difficult state in the country to hire tech workers, along with Maryland and Virginia. The index, compiled with Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the employment site Monster.com, and the New York research firm Wanted Analytics, is based on a variety of data, including job postings and local unemployment rates.
 
View the entire article here
 

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By Steve Cooker - Executive Vice President of Monster Worldwide’s Monster Government Solutions
Originally appeared on The Huffington Post

Back in 2011, the employment situation for our nation's veterans was substandard. Post-911 vets were facing an unemployment rate of more than 12 percent, and onlythree out of ten believed they had the ability to achieve career success outside of the military. Employers, for the most part, had little experience and knowledge of the skills veterans bring to a business environment, and had difficulty translating military roles into the private sector.

Fast-forward four years and we have an overall veteran unemployment that is almost half of what it was in 2011. According to the Monster Veterans Talent Index (VTI), a comprehensive analysis of transitioning military service members, veterans and their employers, two-thirds of employers report they hire veterans not to be patriotic, but because they believe they are the most qualified people for the job. The July 2015 VTIalso found more veterans are confident in their ability to compete and achieve success in the civilian sector. What does all of this mean? The employment situation for our veterans has improved drastically.

This success can be attributed to a variety of stakeholders -- from veterans to government to business leaders -- working together to find solutions to these critical challenges.

  • Government: In 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden came together to launch Joining Forces, a nationwide veteran employment initiative. Joining Forces has served as a rallying cry to all Americans to support service members, veterans, and their families through wellness, education, and employment opportunities. Joining Forces has worked collaboratively with the public and private sector to provide the tools necessary for success in transitioning to civilian life and beyond.
  • Business-Led Non-Profits: Locally and nationally businesses-led non-profits are helping veterans find meaningful employment in a big way. A great example of this is the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) Veteran Employment Initiative. NVTC, the nation's largest association of technology employers, began this initiative in 2013 with a focus on connecting veterans with employment opportunities within Virginia's technology community. Since then NVTC VEI has connected thousands of veterans with regional tech employers. With a similar local community focus, New England Tech Vets is working in the New England region to assist our nation's veterans. This site, which was designed to connect Post 9/11 Veterans with technology employers and jobs throughout New England, is a part of the national TechVets Network. Using the same platform, U.S. Tech VETS offers a nation-wide, free industry career portal for veterans. Since U.S. Tech VETS was launched in 2014, this collaborative effort of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), NVTC, along with Monster and Military.com, has helped countless veterans, transitioning military personnel and their family members find meaningful jobs in America's tech industry.
  • Veterans: Transitioning service members must often adapt to unfamiliar work environments, new cultural norms, and even entirely new ways to communicate with and relate to others. Many veterans have reported that their transitionswhere among the most difficult things they have ever done. Coming from people who have experienced the challenges of military life and even combat, that is saying a lot. But, our service members have risen to the occasion and embraced the transition with inspiring mission focus, enthusiasm and determination.

Everyone who has committed time, talent, money and effort to finding solutions to veteran unemployment should take pride that we're making progress as a nation. But, it is important to remember that we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Unemployment amongst our youngest veterans (18-24 years old) is still stubbornly high at over 18 percent, and female veteran unemployment remains higher than that of their male counterparts. As one out of every three veterans return to civilian life with a service connect disability, the challenges will persist. By continuing to collaborate with one another and across the private and public sector we can continue to make positive changes and ensure our veterans return to meaningful jobs at home. Doing so will be good for veterans, good for businesses and good for America!

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Of the many ongoing initiatives to build a more cyber-savvy federal workforce, project leaders at the U.S. Cyber Challenge and Monster Government Solutions think they have something different in an online portal for trainees to network and display their credentials.

The virtual community, known as CyberCompEx, keeps users apprised of cyber skills competitions and offers advice on landing jobs in the field. Site registrants set up a profile, which is aligned with skills sought by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education. The profile highlights credits earned in competitions and, further down the road, employers will be able to search the site for candidates based on different skillsets.

The program, which is partially funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, is still nascent. Organizers are aiming to have 1,000 online registrants by year’s end. They envision the virtual community as a trusted place “for qualified employers and partners and those that want to engage with these job-seekers, to be able to see their profile [and] learn more about them,” said Susan Fallon, vice president of business development at Monster Government Solutions.

“It’s more than just helping someone get a job,” Fallon added. “We’re talking about cultivating a pipeline of talent [for] this cyber workforce of the future.”

CyberCompEx is backed by the U.S. Cyber Challenge, a broader initiative to recruit 10,000 Americans as cybersecurity professionals. Karen Evans, the program’s national director and a former Office of Management and Budget official, said online users are attracted to the customized nature of CyberCompEx, making them willing to share information in the portal that they might not share elsewhere.

The online portal is closely linked with U.S. Cyber Challenge’s “cyber camps,” which offer a week of training that ends with a capture-the-flag contest. Those who perform well in camp can qualify to be teaching assistants there. It’s all part of an effort to build a fertile community of cyber talent.

“On paper, you can say on a résumé, well sure, I have all of these hard skills and certs and training, but the beauty of this profile … is that you can really build that out and you can see examples of where they’ve put these talents and capabilities and competencies into action,” Fallon said.

Read the original article

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Monster’s Veterans Talent Index indicates more veterans than not are confident in their ability to achieve success in the civilian sector

MCLEAN, Va.—July 28 2015—Monster (NYSE: MWW) and Military.com released the results of their most recent national Veterans Talent Index (VTI) today, indicating veterans and employer confidence is up.

The overall veteran unemployment rate is half that of the rate in 2011 which was nearly 10 percent. According to the VTI, a comprehensive analysis of transitioning military service members, veterans, and their employers, two-thirds of employers report they hire veterans not out of a patriotic obligation, but because employers believe veterans are the best qualified within the candidate pool.

“Generally, the process of changing attitudes and building confidence in a population tends to be slow,” said Greg Smith, President of Military.com and retired Navy Rear Admiral. “However, in four short years, both employers and veterans have done so with great results. Veteran unemployment is down and confidence in their ability to achieve success in the civilian sector is up, thanks to the tireless efforts of many.”

Some key findings in the VTI indicate location could influence the chances of a veteran finding a job. The best veteran employment rates are in Ohio, Virginia, and Texas while veteran unemployment rates in Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Ohio, and Connecticut are lower than non-veteran rates in those same states.

The report also included information on veterans’ desire to further their skill sets through on-the-job training or enrolling in a college or advanced degree program. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed indicated they planned to use their GI Bill benefits to assist in paying for further education. The VTI study also found that there are still gaps in skills translation and transferring military credentials to civilian occupations.

Some veterans have compared the difficulty and stress of moving from military service to civilian life with what people might experience when immigrating to a new country. Transitioning service members must often adapt to unfamiliar work environments, new cultural norms, and even entirely new ways to communicate with others. Many veterans have reported their transitions were among one of the most difficult things they have ever done. “Everyone who has committed time, talent, money, and effort to finding solutions to veteran unemployment should take pride that their efforts have contributed to a national solution that is working,” said Smith. “However, before we declare victory, we still have much to do. Unemployment among our youngest veterans, 18-24 years old, is still stubbornly high at over 18%; female veteran unemployment is higher than that of their male counterparts; and one out of every three veterans return to civilian life with a service connected disability. I challenge all to redouble our efforts to ensure every returning veteran has a meaningful job.”

The July 2015 Veteran Talent Index contains a wealth of useful data and findings related to the current veteran employment situation. To view the complete VTI report and results, visit www.monster.com/about/veterans-talent-index.

About Monster Worldwide

Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:MWW), is a global leader in successfully connecting people and job opportunities. Monster uses the world's most advanced technology to help people Find Better, matching job seekers to opportunities via digital, social, and mobile solutions includingmonster.com®, our flagship website, and employers to the best talent using a vast array of products and services. As an Internet pioneer, more than 200 million people have registered on the Monster Worldwide network. Today, with operations in more than 40 countries, Monster provides the broadest, most sophisticated job seeking, career management, recruitment, and talent management capabilities globally. For more information, visit monster.com/about.

About Military.com

Military.com is the nation's largest online military destination serving over ten million members, including active duty personnel, reservists, guard members, retirees, veterans, family members, defense workers, and those considering military careers. Military.com enables the 30 million Americans with military affinity to access information about their benefits, advance their careers, enjoy military discounts, and stay connected for life. Military.com develops efficient affinity marketing and communications programs for government agencies and companies serving this market. Military.com is a business unit of Monster Worldwide, Inc. More information is available at www.military.com.

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