Veterans Insert-blog

Workforce Center Offices will be CLOSED on Monday, May 29th for Memorial Day Holiday

The Fort Collins and Loveland Workforce Center Offices will be CLOSED to recognize Memorial Day on Monday, May 29, 2017.  Our offices will be closed from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM.  This closure includes all computer labs.  Our offices will re-open on Tuesday, May 30th at 8:00 AM.  For questions please call:

Fort Collins: (970) 498-6600
Loveland:  (970) 619-4650

Thank you!

Warehouse Setting-Business-blog

it’s your business, get connected: Business Newsletter May 2017

Service Spotlight-Fully-Funded Internship Helps Healing Warriors Solve Problems

Fully-Funded Internship Helps Healing Warriors Solve Problems

Charissa came to the Workforce Center to turbo-boost her job search. With her Bachelor’s Degree and a desire to work, she hadn’t identified opportunities in her areas of interest. Also, her specific needs in terms of hours, workspace, and contact with others offered a challenge to some employers.

She successfully applied for the ReHire Colorado internship program, and that’s when her momentum picked up. Internship Coordinator Theresa Zabala worked with Healing Warriors to offer Charissa an internship, fully funded by the Workforce Center, that utilized her skills and recognized her needs. The local nonprofit was a job site empathetic to providing accommodations to their clientele and staff.

After a successful internship, Healing Warriors, which serves area military veterans, was able to offer Charissa an employment contract. Realizing that they could not do without her administrative and accounting skills, they raised adequate funds to offer Charissa a full-time position.

Charissa says she couldn’t be happier with her employment and the opportunities she’s been given to grow and heal. Her site supervisor, Ana Yelen, stated that Charissa “always works from integrity and doing the right things. I wish everyone had Charissa’s positive, can-do attitude.”

For more information about how your organization can benefit from a fully-funded internship, contact the ReHire Colorado program at (970) 498-6665.

Elevate Your Workforce-The Common Business Blind Spot: Crisis Communication

The Common Business Blind Spot: Crisis Communication

When do many businesses think of developing their crisis plans? Right after they’ve had a crisis. That’s a shame, considering how easy it can be to prepare a crisis communication plan and how long-lasting that critical business continuity document can be.

And it’s why the Elevate Leadership and Workforce Development Training program offers this core essential course regularly to employers throughout Larimer County.

“This is the last planning piece that should be pushed to the back burner,” said Elevate Training Coordinator Mike Kohler. “Jokes are often made about strategic plans that gather dust on the shelf, but a crisis communication plan is no joking matter.”

Kohler, whose responsibilities for several large corporations included crisis planning, noted special concerns about smaller businesses who don’t contemplate worst-case scenarios. In a recent crisis comms workshop, attendees brainstormed case studies in which business disruption and even loss of life had devastated small businesses.

The next crisis workshop is scheduled for May 11 in Fort Collins. You may register for Crisis Communication: What Every Business Organization Should Know NOW .

However, Kohler notes that Crisis Comms and many other Elevate courses are now available to individual organizations or groups at any time, scheduled according to customer convenience.

For more information about Elevate Leadership and Workforce Development Training, contact Elevate at (970) 498-6658 or mkohler@larimer.org.

Business Insights-“A Layoff by Any Other Name …”Pick a name, any name. Reduction in force (RIF). Re-org. Workforce optimization. Layoff

“A Layoff by Any Other Name …”Pick a name, any name. Reduction in force (RIF). Re-org. Workforce optimization. Layoff.

Why so many euphemisms for what comes down to the same basic workforce challenge? No matter what we call these changes, they are common business realities, yet employers often struggle with the communication of them.

Sometimes those changes are seen as debilitating for both the company as well as the employees.  However, it doesn’t have to be that way.  The Larimer County Workforce Center (LCWC)offers a service to both parties called Rapid Response. If an employer is facing these adjustments, rapid response service helps change leaders minimize turbulence in the organization.

Many businesses recognize the fact that being proactive about changing situations can result in positive outcomes for their employees as well as themselves.  “We offer a no-cost option which is as good as or better than expensive outplacement services,” said Jackie Tuck, Rapid Response Coordinator.“Once an employer contacts us, we quickly provide information and even on-site visits. It is critical for an employee to leave the company with the best possible outlook and to know where to go for assistance.”

Using rapid response service positions a business as one that cares about and respects its employees.  In the case of workforce reductions, LCWC can direct employees to valuable resources and help them manage the stress of change.

For more information on rapid response, please contact Jackie Tuck at the Larimer County Workforce Center at970.498.6647 or tuckje@co.larimer.co.us.

Adam Crowe (1)

The Big Picture-Jobseekers are “Thinking Outside the Box” – Are Employers?

Jobseekers are “Thinking Outside the Box” – Are Employers?

Our career counselors often advise their job search candidates to “think outside the box” and break away from the confinement of past job titles. By broadening the scope of their career visioning, our talented jobseekers discover that their innate characteristics, not their titles, make them good matches for more types of organizations.

In fact, we have an example on our team. One of our employees is enjoying a work role that he hadn’t imagined before coming to the Workforce Center. Nothing in his work history suggested a match, but his personal traits and aptitudes shouted “perfect fit.”

I’ll suggest that area employers would be well-served to employ the same kind of recalibration in their thinking and their visioning as they compete for top talent. As I discussed last month, conventional wisdom and conventional methods may not be giving employers the full picture of available talent. Some of the overlooked talent pools are veterans, workers with disabilities, and young adults exploring career pathways other than four-year college degrees.

“Over-posting” and keyword matching too often play a part in hiding these talented people from hiring managers. We see evidence of these missteps in the work we do with well-skilled, seasoned workers who get lumped into the “overqualified” bin.

Our Career Services workshops are seeing tremendous success in coaching jobseekers who are bumping into various biases working against them. In fact, more experienced professionals in our workshops are able to laugh at some of the misguided assumptions made about them. These include MBAs who must counter wrong judgments made about whether they are technology-savvy.

Quite amusing, I’m sure, to the recent workshop participant whose expertise is in creating technology platforms that young workers love to use!

As always, the Workforce Center tries to make it easier for candidates and employers to find the right match. Our jobseeker and employer coaching can provide big benefit to both sides of the employment equation. We encourage you to collaborate with us.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Elevate Training Events

Learn more at our Business Services Page.

May 10  WY-CO Regional Partnership Job Fair Loveland

May 11  Crisis Comms: Prepare for Anything          Fort Collins

May 18  Keep Your Top Talent on Board
Estes Park

May 24  Managing Multi-Generations
Fort Collins

Vision Image-blog

SAVE the DATE! Workforce Symposium 2017

The 32nd Annual Workforce Symposium returns this year with its best lineup of keynote speakers, interactive breakout sessions, and popular Elevate Bytes! This year’s themes: recruitment as marketing … and vice versa,  skills-based recruitment, hiring, and training, and purpose-driven engagement and recruitment. Mark your calendar NOW! We’ll convene from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on another fabulous 5th Friday! Keep a sharp eye out – Registration will open soon.

Save the Date Symposium 17

Click to download flyer [pdf]

Warehouse Setting-Business-blog

it’s your business, get connected: Business Newsletter March 2017

Service Spotlight-New Series Gives Employers and Jobseekers the “Inside Edge

New Series Gives Employers and Jobseekers the “Inside Edge”Loveland Public Library

In almost any business endeavor, who doesn’t want to gain an inside edge?

It’s a natural tendency, and it probably applies to most things in our personal lives as well.

In current marketplace conditions, it makes great sense to have insider knowledge about the best employment opportunities and the talent pool needed to fill them. And that’s what the “Inside Edge on Hiring” series is all about.

Inside Edge and a wide array of other hiring-related events are designed to match the mutual interests of employers and well-qualified career explorers.

That’s why Loveland Business Librarian Amanda Armstrong and Workforce Center Business Consultant Jackie Tuck crafted Inside Edge. “Our goal was to design something more than standard speed interviewing,” said Tuck. “We wanted a forum that would allow employers to tell why candidates should want to work for them.”

The first Inside Edge, for example, featured a panel of recruiters and attracted an audience of job seekers exploring new career pathways. The next Inside Edge will be held at the Loveland Library on March 22.

In fact, a surge in hiring is expected in the March-May time period with several job fairs scheduled across Larimer County, from the Estes Park Job Fair, also on March 22, to the WY-CO Workforce Partnership Regional Job Fair on May 10.

A full schedule is listed below in Upcoming Events. For more information about job fairs and hiring events, contact Workforce Center Business Services at (970) 498-6665 or business@larimer.org .

Elevate Your Workforce-Elevate Training Provides “Special Delivery” to Larimer Employers

Elevate Training Provides “Special Delivery” to Larimer EmployersAmerimax

Amerimax Plant Manager David McCarthy deals with logistical issues every day. As the manufacturer of high-quality doors and windows, McCarthy’s Loveland-based company coordinates a web of complex processes that achieve high productivity.

So when it came to coordinating a training program for an Amerimax leadership group, McCarthy needed a solution that maximized efficiency in terms of both time and location. His company was interested in the Elevate Training Program’s offerings, but surrendering a large group of leaders for several mornings of training in Fort Collins wasn’t feasible.

The solution was custom-designed training on-site at Amerimax.

“We believe the professional development of our supervisors is a good investment, but we need it to fit our business model,” said McCarthy. “That’s why working with the Workforce Center made sense for the training we needed.”

Estes Park businesses feel that way, too. With the Big Thompson Canyon closed to through traffic, recent field training at the Estes Valley Library attracted businesses large and small for a focus on managing employee performance issues. The Workforce Center will be following up with additional Estes Park training workshops in until high season gets under way.

Elevate Training Coordinator Mike Kohler notes that workshops will still be offered on a publicly-published basis, but the trend is toward responsive scheduling. “We want Larimer employers to know that our workshops can be scheduled at their convenience,” said Kohler. “Not only that, we’ll work with employers to customize training topics according to their specific needs.”

For more information about Elevate Leadership and Workforce Development Training, contact Elevate at (970) 498-6658 or mkohler@larimer.org .

Business Insights-Workforce Trainees Upskill Quickly to Strengthen the Local Talent Pool

Workforce Trainees Upskill Quickly to Strengthen the Local Talent PoolDigital Workshop Center

In a skills-based recruitment environment, employers posting positions that demand technical skills hope to identify qualified candidates – quickly!

At the same time, the local talent pool includes otherwise well-qualified candidates in need of upskilling to fill those positions. To those candidates, a new career pathway may seem like a long journey.

Christa Menning, Career Transition Counselor with the Workforce Center, has good news for both sides.

“Through local training partnerships, our team is often able to address the upskilling needs of our customers rapidly,” said Menning. “In many cases, we can equip candidates with highly marketable skills within months or even weeks, which is a big benefit to employers who need those talents.”

One such partnership is the alliance between the Workforce Center and the Digital Workshop Center (DWC), a training outlet that arms enrollees with tech skills ranging from graphic design to web development.

DWC founder Stu Crair said many trainees quickly align with employers in a timely manner. “Sometimes people assume that retraining for a career change may be a long, arduous process, but in the digital marketplace, that’s not the case,” said Crair.

Menning urges both employers and people exploring new career pathways to investigate the advantages of the Workforce Center’s various training and retraining programs.

Learn more about these programs by contacting Menning and the Career Transition Team at (970) 498-6694.

Adam Crowe (1)

The Big Picture-To “Hire for Fit,” Maximize the Bookend Interview Questions

To “Hire for Fit,” Maximize the Bookend Interview Questions

With the rebound of the economy and unemployment at the lowest rates in years, we are entering a time of significant labor shortage. In northern Colorado specifically, the labor shortage is particularly critical for employers and sectors that require middle skills training and experience.

Given these conditions, it’s not surprising that our Business Services Team commonly engages in dialogue with area employers who ask:

• Where do I find the best available talent?
• How do I attract them to my business and keep them on board?

The BST can help employers address those questions through a variety of services. In the months ahead, articles in this newsletter will highlight those services and the most effective ways to leverage them in strengthening your workforce.

Perhaps the most significant new dynamic in a changed employment marketplace is a role reversal between employers and jobseekers. Employers used to enjoy a “seller” position in the market, but they now find themselves competing for skilled candidates who can be more selective than before.

Also, what was previously a “hidden job market” is now offset by an equally strong “hidden talent pool.”

Therefore, it makes good business sense for recruiters and hiring managers to consider new methods and areas in their searches. For example, more employers are discovering the loyalty and reliability of specially-skilled candidates who were formerly labeled as disabled.
Keep an eye on these pages and our various hiring and training events in the months ahead. We can help you manage today’s hiring and training challenges.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Elevate Training Events

Learn more at our Business Services Page.

March 10  Building Better Bosses    Fort Collins

March 22  Crisis Communication Planning  Loveland

March 22  Estes Park Job Fair    Estes Park

March 22  Inside Edge on Hiring   Loveland

March 24  Successful Manager Series, Part 1 Fort Collins

March 29  Find and Keep the Best Talent  Fort Collins

March 30  Front Range Comm College Job Fair Fort
Collins

April 4   Build Colorado/Construction Panel Fort Collins

April 5    Healthcare in Your Future Job Fair Loveland

April 13  Your Brain at Work    Fort Collins

April 24  NoCoNet Job Fair    Fort Collins

Peer-to-Peer-Business-blog

it’s your business, get connected: Business Newsletter January 2017

Employers Bulletin

Effective January 1, 2017, the State of Colorado Minimum Wage is $9.30 per hour. For more information, see the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment poster site.

Service Spotlight-Connecting Colorado, a Community of Employers and Jobseekers

Connecting Colorado, a Community of Employers and Jobseekersconnecting-colorado-logo 

Wouldn’t it be great if someone hosted an internet site where you could post job descriptions at no charge and attract well-qualified candidates who also accessed the site at no charge?
Good news – that site exists!

It’s called Connecting Colorado, and the “someone” hosting the site is the consortium of Workforce Centers statewide.

Connecting Colorado is a community where both sides of the state’s talent pool gather. Smart recruiters and hiring managers statewide include this resource in their talent arsenal. It’s easy to use and free of charge to employers. Employers may create their own accounts at Connecting Colorado, and they are always welcome to receive assistance from the Business Services Team (BST) at the Larimer County Workforce Center.

The same easy approach applies to job candidates. At the Jobseeker portal, candidates can post their résumés, apply for specific jobs or do a self-directed job search through Colorado’s most extensive jobs database.

For more information about this service, contact the BST web page or by phone at (970) 498-6650.

Business Insights-Bonding Program Protects Employers Who Hire Second-Chance Jobseekers

Bonding Program Protects Employers Who Hire Second-Chance Jobseekers cdle-logo

From time to time, a hiring manager encounters a tricky dilemma in which a candidate may have the right job skills for a position but may have question marks surrounding a life challenge. That pause for concern could range from something as ordinary as a poor credit history to a brush with the justice system.

The Federal Bonding Program (FBP) was designed to bridge the gap between concerned employers and candidates with questionable backgrounds. Available through the Workforce Center at no cost to employers, the fidelity bond is insurance coverage that protects the employer and ensures worker honesty.

Bonding can be provided for any job and any employer offering seasonal, temporary, part-time or full-time employment. There are no age requirements for the job candidate other than the State legal working age.

To learn more or to receive assistance in submitting the FBP application, employers may contact the Business Services Team of the Workforce Center at (970) 498-6650.

Elevate Your Workforce-Family-Owned Trebuchet Propels Organizations to Success

Family-Owned Trebuchet Propels Organizations to Successhutchinsons

“It’s like being on vacation every day.”

That’s how Chris and Diana Hutchinson describe their work together as the Abundance Influencer and Success Enabler at the Trebuchet Group.

The key to their success as a husband/wife ownership team? “Our values are the same, but our approaches are different,” said Chris. “We want to work here. It’s what we choose to do.”

Making other organizations the kinds of places where people want to work is just one of Trebuchet’s business goals. Chris founded Trebuchet after personally observing and feeling, as a corporation employee, the impact that one leader can make in an organization.

That experience motivated him to start his own firm. Others encouraged him to consult, but Chris felt “if I’m going to help CEOs, then I’d better be one.”

The firm name derives from a simple propulsion mechanism that revolutionized warfare in the Middle Age. The trebuchet did more than batter city walls. It results in treaty negotiations and led to the end of feudalism.

That concept – the impact of a simple mechanism – intrigued the Hutchinsons, who share both engineering and military backgrounds. Professionally, they help their clients overcome team challenges and leverage clear and simple methods of strategic planning.

Diana, Chris, and their Trebuchet colleagues share their expertise as frequent guest instructors in the Elevate Leadership and Workforce Development Training program. Visit the Trebuchet site to learn more about them, and visit our Elevate Workshops page to find them in our list of upcoming courses.

In fact, Diane is hosting a January 12 workshop called “Meetings That Work: Holding the Kind that People Actually Want to Attend.” Wouldn’t that be a good start to the new business year?

The Big Picture-With a Labor Shortage Looming Being an Employer of Choice Matters

Adam Crowe (1)

With a Labor Shortage Looming, Being an Employer of Choice Matters

With the rebound of the economy and unemployment at the lowest rates in years, we are entering a time of significant labor shortage. In northern Colorado specifically, the labor shortage is particularly critical for employers and sectors that require middle skills training and experience.

Given these conditions, it’s not surprising that our Business Services Team commonly engages in dialogue with area employers who ask:

• Where do I find the best available talent?
• How do I attract them to my business and keep them on board?

The BST can help employers address those questions through a variety of services. In the months ahead, articles in this newsletter will highlight those services and the most effective ways to leverage them in strengthening your workforce.

Perhaps the most significant new dynamic in a changed employment marketplace is a role reversal between employers and jobseekers. Employers used to enjoy a “seller” position in the market, but they now find themselves competing for skilled candidates who can be more selective than before.

Also, what was previously a “hidden job market” is now offset by an equally strong “hidden talent pool.”

Therefore, it makes good business sense for recruiters and hiring managers to consider new methods and areas in their searches. For example, more employers are discovering the loyalty and reliability of specially-skilled candidates who were formerly labeled as disabled.
Keep an eye on these pages and our various hiring and training events in the months ahead. We can help you manage today’s hiring and training challenges.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Elevate Training Events

January 12
Meetings That Work   Fort Collins 

January 13
Leading from Strengths   Fort Collins

January 17
Skills-Based Hiring   Fort Collins

January 20
Thinking Like a Leader  Fort Collins

January 27
Workplace Conflict   Fort Collins

February 3
Employee Brand Champions Fort Collins

February 10
Hope at the Workplace   Fort Collins

February 15
Succeed with MORE Conflict Fort Collins

February 23
Managing Performance Issues  Estes Park

February 24
Multi-Generational Workforce Fort Collins

Peer-to-Peer-Business-blog

it’s your business, get connected: Business Newsletter December 2016

Service Spotlight-Fort Collins Nonprofit Opens New Career Pathways for Interns

Fort Collins Nonprofit Opens New Career Pathways for Interns

Sandie Cogswell, Volunteer Coordinator at Elderhaus, has worked with interns from Larimer County Workforce Center for more than five years.  In that time, she has worked with 65 interns who came from diverse walks of life; some newly relocated to Colorado, some newly divorced, some with criminal backgrounds needing a new start, and some single mothers seeking a career path to independence.

Most interns at Elderhaus join as Activities Assistants helping program directors with outings and projects that support Elderhaus’ clientele.  Supervising an cogswell-picintern has many challenges and rewards – it’s not just overseeing a trainee.  While interns need varying degrees of guidance, it’s good for the organization as they discover their strengths and shore up weaknesses.

Sandie noted that “the best reward is watching someone bloom as they discover themselves, realize their strengths, overcome their weaknesses, and develop a plan that will improve their future.”

An outstanding intern moment for Sandie was working with a challenging intern who was “very stubborn and head-strong.”  They worked together to turn those qualities into strengths.  That intern is now an integral member of Elderhaus’ management team!

Sandie offered a piece of advice for businesses considering offering internships: “Be realistic in accepting that some interns need an investment of your time and effort to fulfill the potential you see in them.  It is well worth the work!”

Business Insights-Free Candidate Assessments Save Employers Time and Money

Free Candidate Assessments Save Employers Time and Money

Enterprise Holdings Inc. (EHI) has discovered what more Larimer County employers need to know – the value of free candidate assessment services provided by the Larimer County Workforce Center.

According to EHI’s James Walters, “The Workforce Center’s free assessments work especially well when we want to expedite our recruitment process. They save us and the candidates valuable time.” In addition, notes Walters, the risk management nature of EHI’s business demands a high degree of certainty about candidate credentials.

Offered at no charge, the Workforce Center’s free assessments help employers more efficiently screen candidate pools when they post positions. For example, if an EHI posting requires computer skills at an intermediate level or higher, the free assessments validate their candidates’ skills, alleviating uncomfortable conversations at a later date.

More than 1,200 tools are available and cover a broad range of topics, including internet, sales, office, computer and behavioral skills, said the Workforce Center’s Marie Meier.  Meier noted that these evaluations are recognized as the standard test throughout the United States.

To find out more about these assessment services, please contact Marie Meier at 970-498-6650 or via email at mmeier@larimer.org.

Strengthening the Workforce-ELEVATE Training Solutions “Hit the Road”

ELEVATE Training Solutions “Hit the Road” 

Each month, the Workforce Center offers leadership and management training opportunities to employers throughout Larimer County. The Elevate Training program publishes a schedule at its Elevate Workshops page and invites area managers and supervisors to enroll.

But those are just the ELEVATE “showroom models!” elevate_Blue

ELEVATE offers training in three curriculum areas:

  • Communication and Employee Engagement: Teaching and brainstorming best practices in productivity and team motivation. How to maximize employee satisfaction and productively lead today’s dynamic multi-generational workforce.
  • Workforce Management: A focus on the basic HR “blocking and tackling.” Conducting meaningful performance reviews, navigating workplace conflict and refining effective recruitment strategies.
  • Leadership Development: Personal professional growth opportunities for Larimer County’s leaders and leaders-to-be.

For a catalog of training workshops and to schedule a free consultation on your organization’s needs, please contact Mike Kohler, Elevate Training Coordinator, at (970) 498-6658 or mkohler@larimer.org.

The Big Picture-SBDC/Workforce Center Strategic Alliance Aids Area Employers

Adam Crowe (1)

SBDC/Workforce Center Strategic Alliance Aids Area Employers 

Strategic partnerships are critical success factors for any business organization, private or public. The Workforce Center happens to enjoy an excellent alliance with an outstanding partner in the Larimer Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Larimer SBDC Director Mike O’Connell, instrumental in his leadership role on our Workforce Development Board, frequently cites the strength of the alliance.

The Larimer SBDC’s mission is simple and straightforward: To help small businesses in Larimer County start, grow, and prosper. They do that, Mike said, through three different methods:

  1. Free one-on-one consulting to both existing businesses and prospective startups.
  2. Classes and workshops designed to improve business operations.
  3. Connections to all kind of resources: legal, bookkeepers, banking resources, and more.

Larimer SBDC’s one-on-one consulting is free to any clients who contact them. Their classes and workshops are low-cost offerings led by area experts.

The SBDC and Workforce Center enjoy a productive work relationship marked by clear understanding of our complementary goals. “The Workforce Center is really our strategic partner as far as anything related to human resources, the employee/employer interface and managerial training,” says Mike. “At the same time, the SBDC provides operating, consulting, financial and accounting, and sales and marketing support.”

The SBDC and Workforce Center are committed to making sure employers have the talent they need and that area workers find skilled work at a productive wage. As a key link between our two organizations, seasoned HR professional Stacy Stolen is part of the SBDC consulting team and now provides one-on-one business HR consulting help for SBDC’s business owner clients.

For more information about SBDC’s services, call (970) 498-9295 or visit www.larimersbdc.org.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events!

  • December 8       Employees for Profit Growth                      Fort Collins
  • December 13     Your Brain at Work in Conversation         Fort Collins
  • December 20     Prepare for Anything: Crisis Comms        Fort Collins