As of July 2018, the national unemployment rate was 3.9%, the Alameda County unemployment rate was 3.2%, and the Tri-Valley area unemployment rate was 2.7%.
Recruiting and hiring during this period of record low unemployment is creating new challenges for organizations, according to Sarah Holtzclaw, Program Manager for Tri-Valley One Stop Career Center in Dublin.
Through leadership, innovation, and collaboration, Las Positas College in Livermore is responding to this labor challenge by creating clear pathways to improve the workforce and economy of the region in a variety of ways. Las Positas College invites Hacienda employers to explore its new Internship and Job Board for finding skilled talent.
More than 400 employers and 900 students and alumni are already registered. Employers can search resumes and also learn about campus-sponsored job and internship fairs, which typically are scheduled once a month during the semester. Employers can register for this useful service by visiting http://laspositascollege.edu/internship-job-board .
In 2017, Los Positas established a Work-Based Learning Initiative. This collaboration with local business and industry is designed to develop career and work experience opportunities, internships and mentoring programs, and community work and study placements directly related to a vocational field of training.
"In the Work-Based Learning Program, we are passionate about student success - in the classroom and beyond," say Mary Lauffer, Work-Based Learning Program Coordinator/Business and Marketing Instructor. "We support students as they pursue their academic and career goals and we help them chart clear pathways to careers. Local employers are our valued partners in this achievement. When employers provide mentorship and jobs, they change lives. Never underestimate the power of opportunity in improving a single life, a family and a community."
Employers benefit from partnering with Los Positas and its Work-Based Learning Initiative in a number of ways, according to the college. The initiative and its related programs help employers obtain an expanded pool of qualified applicants, recruit and screen potential employees, evaluate potential employees in work settings prior to actual hiring, and develop a quick, reliable source of skilled labor.
"Offering internships is a wise way to develop a talent pipeline of employees," notes Lauffer. "Employers get to test-drive the talent as well as improve employee retention rates, which increase dramatically when hiring through an internship program."
Additionally, participation allows employers to meet any contractual or legal obligations they may have for Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunities, reduce turnover of entry-level employees, and, importantly, influence curriculum development to meet industry requirements.
The Work-Based Learning Initiative at Las Positas College serves industry sectors important to the Tri-Valley and greater Bay Area regions. Under Public Safety and Health Sciences, they include Administration of Justice, Administrative Medical Assistant, Biomedical Sciences, and Fire Sciences/Paramedic/Emergency Medical Services.
Under Business and Entrepreneurship, the Initiative includes Business, Marketing, and Accounting; Early Childhood Development; Interior Design; and Viticulture and Enology. Advanced Manufacturing and Transportation areas include Automotive Technologies, Engineering Technology, Welding and Fabrication, and Occupational Safety and Health.
Naturally, technology has not been neglected. Under Information, Communication, and Technology, the Initiative includes Computer Sciences, Mass Communication, Theater Technician, and Visual Communications/Digital Media.
The Work-Based Learning Initiative can succeed only if it benefits students as well as employers. It is designed to do exactly that by helping students earn income and gain work experience while attending college, get access to good jobs, develop contacts to broaden employment options, build self-confidence and experience success at college and work, and gain individualized support for educational and professional needs and goals.
Hacienda employees and managers might also benefit from a Work Experience course taught at Los Positas. "Many students have told me they have developed stronger relationships with their supervisors and gotten raises and promotions because of the class," says Lauffer, who teaches the course. "Supervisors have shared with me that, because of the class, they have become better managers. They are invested in supporting the student's success and the results benefit them and the organization."
There are many ways in which employers can work with Las Positas to both attract talent and help develop a labor pool of skilled workers in their industry. Hacienda employers may want to consider supporting the college's Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in an advisory capacity. These program prepare students for skilled trades in a wide range of occupations and offer students a career path that starts in a high-wage, middle-skilled job, the kind of jobs that employers often find hard to fill.
Each of the CTE programs includes an advisory committee. "In today's rapidly changing work environment, the College uses these committees to keep a pulse on changes in the workplace, both in technologies and industry developments," according to Las Positas.
"Information that is brought forth in these committees is used to improve the program curriculum, making our students that much more employable. In order for these advisory committees to work as they are proposed, each program needs to have participation from industry representatives. They meet only once or twice a year and are a great opportunity to both gain and impart insight for the betterment of the programs," the college notes.
Employers are welcome recruit on campus, which can be arranged for a small fee. They are also encouraged to participate in job fairs held on campus with the partnership of the Tri-Valley One-Stop Career Center. These can be large, multi-discipline job fairs or smaller ones dedicated to a particular department, according to Las Positas.
The next general job fair is scheduled for Tuesday, September 25, from 3 pm to 7 pm at the Robert Livermore Community Center in Livermore. While it is too late to register to participate as an employer, it will be a great opportunity to explore how a participating in a future job fair might help your business.
For more information about the Las Positas Work-Based Learning Initiative, please visit http://www.laspositascollege.edu/careercenter/work-based.php .
To learn more about the Las Positas Career and Technical Education programs, please visit http://www.laspositascollege.edu/careereducation/index.php .
For more information about Work Experience classes, please visit http://www.laspositascollege.edu/workexperience .
To learn more about upcoming Las Positas and Tri-Valley job fairs, please visit Tri-Valley One-Stop Career Center at http://www.trivalleyonestop.org .