Programs help prepare local workforce

Jul 11th, 2014

By Bill Allen

Chamber President/CEO

What a wonderful problem to have – new companies are coming to our region all Jon to career readiness bootcampJon to careee readiness bootcampbringing with them the kind of higher pay­ing jobs that we are looking for. Union Pacific, Certoplast, Franco Whole Foods and CN Wire have all either officially opened for busi­ness or announced their intentions to relocate to Doña Ana County.

With these organizations will come more than 1,000 jobs. How do we best fill those po­sitions?

Workforce readiness is a problem all over the country.

Thankfully, we have both short-term and long-term plans to deal with this issue.

Start with the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance’s (MVEDA) Job to Career Readiness Boot Camp being held two times this month and then again in September. The event will focus on bridging the gap be­tween incoming and existing companies and the workforce available within the Doña Ana County community.

It will also provide training on landing in­terviews, demonstrating workplace do’s and don’ts as well as highlighting proper workplace etiquette.

The boot camp will be hosted from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (check in starts at 7:30 a.m.) on the following days and locations:

• July 16 at the DACC East Mesa Campus

• July 30 at the DACC Gadsden Campus

• Sept. 17 at the DACC Sunland Park Campus Interested parties must register for one of the three boot camps offered by calling MVEDA at 575-527-7538.

Seating will be limited to 100 participants per session.

Also, the Greater Las Cruces Chamber’s Skill-Ready Doña Ana (SRDA) program is a proven option that can be utilized by work­ers looking for that next step in their careers. What is Skill-Ready Doña Ana? It is a pro­gram that impacts both employers and em­ployees by incorporating a quantifiable testing process that measures the skills needed in a particular job.

It is really about matching job seekers with positions that they have the skillset for. It is designed to help both parties find a good, long-term fit; to find a balance between a sat­isfi ed employee and a happy employer. Each job requires a different skillset, so each test will measure different skills that are vital for that position.

Those skills can be assessed using the WorkKeys® system of testing. WorkKeys® was developed by ACT, the folks that do col­lege entrance examinations. Prospective em­ployees that are not satisfied with their test scores can utilize another component of the system - KeyTrain® - an online program that allows a person to “skill up” and later retake the tests.

In most cases scores improve.

The testing is being conducted at Doña Ana Community College, our local Workforce Solutions office and at Tresco, Inc. and it is free! If you are interested in finding out more about WorkKeys® or KeyTrain®, contact the Chamber at 575-524-1968.

Both programs are frree to the public.

It just takes a little initiative. Encourage employees to go out and earn a great wage.