In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Milpitas’ Office of Economic Development retained federally funded nonprofit employment and training agency NOVAworks to implement and execute the City’s COVID-19 Workforce Recovery Program known as Milpitas My Plan in a two phased approach in 2021 and 2022. The City Council approved $40,000 for the program to provide Milpitas residents with a suite of customized training workshops, assessments, career navigation and counseling to support their efforts in seeking new employment and enhancing career growth opportunities.
Program participants participated in career advisor meetings and workshops focused on personal assessments, career exploration, training options, resume development, job search strategies, interview fundamentals, and communication essentials that resulted in participants starting and interviewing for new jobs, negotiating salaries and enrolling in additional services with NOVAworks. View the final report for full details.
In spring 2021, Hummingbird Impact Advisors interviewed business representatives and owners to understand the state of Milpitas’ labor market in the pandemic economy. NOVAworks supplemented this data with resident and business surveys and interviews including a stakeholder working group composed of eleven industry and workforce development community leaders. Employers from advanced manufacturing, professional and medical services to retail, entertainment, fitness and personal services were interviewed. This information helped develop and recommend workforce training interventions for implementation in Phase 2 Ninety-nine individuals responded to the resident survey and 75 individuals responded to the business survey and revealed the following:
Based on the Phase 1 findings, the City Council on October 19, 2021, approved the Milpitas My Plan Career Accelerator Program. This three-week career navigation program provided 25 Milpitas residents with customized access to job search tools and information. Services included workshops, assessments, and career navigation and counseling focused on underemployed workers and young adult learners in Milpitas impacted by COVID-19.
The 25 residents participated in two cohorts in February (15 participants) and April 2022 (10 participants). Those services included 52 career advisor meetings and eight workshops. The majority of participants reported that the Phase 2 training exceeded their expectations and seven individuals enrolled with NOVAworks for additional services related to resume development, interview preparation, and accessing online training platforms.
The core of the Milpitas MyPlan Career Accelerator Program was based on NOVAworks’ nationally recognized job search plan organized in four phases:
As a result, NOVAworks recommended that the City of Milpitas consider investing in a slimmed-down version of the Milpitas MyPlan Career Accelerator Program that can be embedded within community-based organizations, schools and other institutions and would prepare participants to enroll with NOVAworks for a more intense and focused job search and career development experience.