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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
Warehouse Setting-Business-blog

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

Service Spotlight -Why Wait? Work on Professional Development "Resolutions" Now

Why Wait? Work on Professional Development “Resolutions” Now! elevate_Blue

With the holiday season looming, many businesses already have New Year’s resolutions in mind. Every organization that measures progress by calendar year hopes for a turbo-boost at year-end to propel them into a strong first quarter.

On the expense side, some businesses already have a handle on year-end results and take advantage of investing now, providing a cushion for first quarter.

Those are two nuts-and-bolts reasons for investing in professional development now, but they aren’t the best reasons. The real turbo-boost comes from highly-motivated, well-trained leaders who coach their teams to higher levels of productivity.

And that’s why the Workforce Center’s Elevate Training program has a full slate of activity through November and December. Topics range from communication to team management, and you’re bound to find workshops that match your needs at our Elevate Workshops Page.

It’s time to get ahead of your competitors and conquer your business resolutions in time for a strong start to 2017.

Business Insights -Technology Intern Pays Debt to Society... and Then Some

Technology Intern Pays Debt to Society … and Then Somerehire-colorado-logo

When someone has paid their debt to society, shouldn’t that be enough to earn a second chance at maximizing their potential?

Anthony was referred to the Workforce Center by our partners at Community Corrections. Believing that Anthony would benefit from an internship to build job experience, they encouraged him to apply for the ReHire Colorado program. Working with Internship Coordinator Theresa Zabala, Anthony had a reason for choosing a role with Catholic Charities: “I want to give something back.

He began working at Catholic Charities in the kitchen, but not for long. The organization soon discovered that Anthony had an untapped talent for all things technology. He began spending part of his internship in the office working with computers. Anthony’s self-confidence grew, and he applied to the IT Program at Front Range Community College (FRCC). He was accepted!

Anthony began his training classes at FRCC in August. He reports that school is challenging. He said he is working hard, yet feels more accomplished and able to handle anything life throws at him.

Anthony’s plans are to attain his IT Tech Certification and become employed full-time doing what he loves while earning a wage that will support his children.

Strengthening the Workforce -Manager Training “Hits the Road”

Manager Training “Hits 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.

And now Elevate is taking its shows on the road!

Employers may arrange for tailored workshops scheduled at their convenience and even at their business locations, addressing their needs in three 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 -An Open Mind Helps Job Seekers and Employers

Adam Crowe (1)

An Open Mind Helps Job Seekers and Employers

In one of the Workforce Center’s most popular training workshops, our career counselors advise job candidates to think more broadly about what they bring to the table in their career pursuit. The coaches urge their clients to look beyond the titles they once held or the industry they most recently served.

Instead, a typical candidate is urged to self-examine their strengths, including their basic aptitudes, core competencies and, perhaps most important, their passions. Candidates often are surprised to discover what else they are “cut out for,” as opposed to the role that they may have allowed to define them.

As a result, candidates in our internship program, for example, may wind up in a new role that hadn’t been on their radar before. One recent client discovered that his strength in interpersonal communication and presenting proved to be vital traits for a training position, though his career history didn’t show any experience in that area.

That type of open-mindedness can prove valuable on the employer side of the coin. As our partnership with Skillful shows, looking at the “back story” of a candidate’s skills and interests can yield greater rewards than the standard credentials and career timeline of traditional resumes.

While the unemployment rate in northern Colorado is low, it doesn’t mean the talent pool has reduced, especially in terms of quality. Well-qualified candidates may be employed in positions that aren’t optimizing their talents. Plus, certain populations are overlooked, such as people with disabilities.

The Skillful initiative encourages employers to consider innate talents and finely-honed skills in filling positions. I encourage you to visit the Skillful website and examine their approach to skills-based recruitment and hiring.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events!

  • November 8       Crisis Communications— Fort Collins
  • November 17    Strengths-Based Leadership—Fort Collins
  • November 21    Employees as Brand Champions—Loveland
  • November 30    Elevate Talent through Coaching—Fort Collins
  • December 8       Platinum Rules of Communication—Fort Collins
  • December 13     Neuroscience of Conversation—Fort Collins

Business Group-Blog

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

Service Spotlight -Great Job Postings Promote Your Brand

Great Job Postings Promote Your Brand   

In a hotly competitive talent search marketplace, how can employers stand out from the crowd?

Posting an attractive, attention ­getting position description is a good first start, says Marie Meier of the Workforce Center’s Business Services Team. Meier regularly assists Larimer County employers with their postings on Connecting Colorado, the statewide database used by employers and job candidates alike.

“With the unemployment rate so low, candidates may be more selective in their search,” said Meier. “That’s why it’s important for employers to develop a job posting that speaks most positively for the organization’s brand.”

Often employers list lengthy job descriptions which imply unrealistic workloads, said Meier, resulting in unsatisfactory applicant results, especially when the wage is being listed at $8.31 per hour or “Negotiable.”

“When employers fail to indicate an accurate wage, they may defeat the purpose of the posting,” said Meier. “In a low­ unemployment market, a job seeker may quickly pass on the low wage and look for postings that have a reasonable wage for their experience.” Additionally, wages are sometimes set based upon a national wage which may be under­compensating for our area due to a higher cost of living.

The Workforce Center can help you overcome this dilemma by providing you with regional and local Labor Market Information. Offering a realistic starting point will get more views to your job posting, bringing more qualified applicants. For more information about recruitment services, contact Business Services at (970) 498­6665 or email us at business@larimer.org.

Business Insights -Get Paid to Hire and Train Your Next Employee

Get Paid to Hire and Train Your Next Employee

OJT is not new. But Martha Hargraves is … and so is her offer to pay employers to use her On­the­Job Training program.

OJT may be an ideal hiring solution if your organization has a position budgeted at a later date and could benefit from the position now. Through Martha’s OJT program, employers can fill key positions with skilled employees and get funding support from the Workforce Center.

Martha joined the Business Services Team (BST) this year to champion the OJT program. She is a nationally recognized expert in program and community development. In her new role, Martha is targeting employers in manufacturing, healthcare, IT and transportation.

OJT benefits to employers include:

  • Wage reimbursement to employers for up to 50% of wages for new hires as they are being trained.
  • Decreased cost ­per­ hire.
  • Ongoing support from Martha and the BST staff during the hiring and reimbursement period

Meanwhile, the newly­ hired OJT employee enjoys added skills and a jump­start into an exciting career pathway with a new employer. That’s a win/win outcome for all involved. If you’re interested in exploring the OJT Program, contact Martha at (970) 498-­6651 or at mhargraves@larimer.org.

Strengthening the Workforce -LinkedIn Leader, ELEVATE Instructors Head Symposium Lineup

LinkedIn Leader, ELEVATE Instructors Head Symposium Lineup

As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn is synonymous with workforce. As a featured speaker at the 2016 Workforce Symposium, Laura Williams of LinkedIn will share insights on how the social network is aiding a national movement toward developing a skills­ based workforce.

Williams is one of the dozens of thought leaders who will gather at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins on September 30 for “ELEVATE Your Workforce,” the 31st Annual Workforce Symposium.

The event’s breakout and speakers lineup will feature presentations by some of the region’s workforce experts who lend their training expertise to the Workforce Center’s ELEVATE Leadership and Workforce Development Training program.

Already slated to speak are:

  • Melissa Luna of Strategic Advancement on individual career plans.
  • Chris Cooley of The Breakaway Business on harnessing Millennial ambitions in the workforce.
  • Katy Piotrowski of Career Solutions Group partnering with Doreen Kemp of the City of Fort Collins on “Stay Interviews” to improve employee engagement.
  • Paulette Hansen of The Neenan Company on “managing up” through fear ­free feedback.
  • Chris Hutchinson of The Trebuchet Group on out come ­based organizational thinking.

These are just a few of the program highlights for this year’s Workforce Symposium. The cost for a day of professional development, with breakfast and lunch provided, is just $39!

Register for Symposium today!

The Big Picture -What Is a Workforce Symposium?

Adam Crowe (1)

What Is a Workforce Symposium?

This being our 31st annual event, we have a pretty good idea of how to define our 2016 Workforce Symposium.

A dictionary definition, though accurate, doesn’t really capture the feel of it: “a meeting or conference for the discussion of some subject at which several speakers talk on a topic before an audience.”

Accurate? Yes. Alluring? Not quite.

Ancient Greece and Rome had a pretty good notion: “a convivial meeting for drinking and intellectual conversation.” Given that our September 30 event is on a 5th Friday and ends at 2:30 in downtown Fort Collins, this one may come closer.

Here’s my definition: Gathering the smartest workforce minds in northern Colorado for lively discussions of today’s most important workforce challenges and amazing opportunities to address them.

Together we’ll take on the topics that confront us today and are looming in the future. A few that interest me most are:

  • Recruiting from “overlooked populations”
  • Diversity in the workforce
  • Millennials as employees and leaders

Don’t forget – we’ll break bread together during the day and adjourn in time for great socializing.

This year we are returning to a classic symposium format featuring keynotes, breakouts and ELEVATE Bytes, high­ energy 10­ minute talks. Every session will offer interactivity, so we urge every attendee to share questions and their best ideas.

See you at the Lincoln Center on September 30!

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events!

August 23  Millennial Leaders ­ Fort Collins

August 25 Thinking Like a Leader ­  Fort Collins  

August 30 Platinum Rules ­ Fort Collins

September 20 WY­CO Job Fair ­ Loveland

September 30 Annual Workforce Symposium ­  Fort Collins

Business Group-Blog

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

Service Spotlight -Elevate Your Workforce – Coming September 30

Elevate Your Workforce – Coming September 30  

Save the date – September 30. That’s when northern Colorado’s workforce experts convene at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins for “Elevate Your Workforce,” the Larimer County Workforce Center’s 31st annual Workforce Symposium.

Symposium participants will share and collaborate on innovative strategies in

  • Recruiting and retaining highly-skilled talent.
  • Understanding, leading and managing the evolving multi-generation workforce.
  • Organizational communication that builds strong cultures.
  • Partnerships and strategic alliances that add up to win/win for the regional workforce.

We’re seeking speakers and presenters for the event. If you’ve been inspired by a speaker at a recent event, we hope you’ll nominate that speaker.

And yes – that speaker may be you!

Calling all experts! If you or someone you know would be ideal as a guest speaker or panelist, please respond to or share this Request for Speaking Proposals form.

Mark your calendar now … we’ll see you there!

Business Insights -New Fort Collins Resident Finds New Career Pathway

New Fort Collins Resident Finds New Career Pathway

Tamao, a transplant from Tokyo, was working two part-time jobs and seeking assistance from Project Self-Sufficiency when she heard about the Workforce Center’s ReHire internship program. Supporting a young son, Tamao was looking for a career, not just a stop-gap job.

Her goal was employment that offered benefits to help her provide a life for her son here in the United States.  Tamao and Internship Coordinator Theresa Zabala got to work on that goal.

Determined to improve her employment situation, Tamao asked Zabala for employment counseling, support, and guidance.  Over the past four months, she and Zabala targeted her resumes, wrote cover letters, and perfected the online application process.  Collaborating with Project Self-Sufficiency to address her transportation needs, Tamao worked diligently toward her goal of a career with benefits.

Her perseverance proved successful. Tamao was hired recently by Colorado State University (her first choice of employers!) as a Dining Services Production Assistant Trainee on campus.  She will be making more per month than the two part-time jobs combined along with health and retirement benefits. She’ll also enjoy up to 9 free credits of schooling per year and 50% tuition reduction for her son should he choose to attend C.S.U. when of age.

Project Self-Sufficiency was able to provide a donated car for Tamao so she now has reliable transportation. Tamao is also at the top of the CARE Housing list and will receive the next housing assignment in Fort Collins.

Tamao said she is excited and grateful for the assistance she received from the ReHire Program and Project Self-Sufficiency in “starting my life.”

Strengthening the Workforce -Leading from Strength Improves Productivity

Leading from Strength Improves Productivity  

Many business leaders talk about working and leading from strengths instead of weaknesses, but do they really implement this philosophy?  When they do, says Bert Robinson teachingRobinson of The Corporate Core, they bring out the best in themselves and in others.

Just as important, they avoid awkward and even counter-productive interactions that focus on things people don’t do well. Focusing on strengths helps leaders cast team members in the right roles and assign tasks that tap their strengths.

Robinson invites area business leaders to join in collaborative brainstorming in a July 26 workshop, “Leading from Your Strengths.” In a facilitated discussion of not more than 12 leaders, participants will uncover their personal top core competencies that lead to improved productivity, enhanced communication and employee retention.

“Understanding your strengths will move you from what you can do to what you should do,” says Robinson. “We’ll spend time showing how each participant can effectively leverage their strengths in leadership.”

Every registrant will receive a customized Strengths-Finder profile and report to guide them beyond the workshop.

If you’re interesting in building on your leadership strengths, register for this workshop at our Workshops Page.

The Big Picture -What Good is Labelling in a Multi-Generation Workforce?

Adam Crowe (1)

What Good is Labelling in a Multi-Generation Workforce?  

I have a pet peeve – labelling.

Not the kind of labelling that helps you find what you need at the grocery store. That’s useful labelling.

But labelling people? Not useful.

And I find it especially annoying when labelling is used in the context of confining groups of people by age and other characteristics in the workforce.

The most recent example surfaced in an industry magazine article attributing communication gaps to age. The article showed a timeline of the birth dates of the various generations in today’s evolving workforce. The timeline, of course, identified age groups by their commonly-used labels, such as Boomers and Millennials.

The labels alone are bad enough, but the assumptions made for their descriptions were unfair. The timeline suggested Millennials “are said to be entitled and narcissistic.” This from an author who is not likely a Millennial.

Boomers, said the timeline, were “hippie kids” protesting with rock ‘n’ music blaring in the background. Were they all at Woodstock? I don’t think so.

During a round of self-introductions at a recent multi-generational training workshop, several Millennials said they prefer not to identify as Millennials, or as anything. Which I find interesting, since the article says that view is characteristic of Gen X.

So if we have to use labels, let’s consider meaning and purpose.

As our training workshops often show, business is the universal language of the workforce. Any employee, young or old, wants to know how their contributions are making a difference to the organization.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events – Save the Date!  Workforce Symposium 2016-September 30th!