2~Workforce Development
Workforce Development
Workforce Matters 9.2017
Workforce Matters is a quarterly newsletter from the North Dakota Department of Commerce Workforce Development Division that informs partners about the latest workforce news.
Use this as a resource for tips on how to recruit talent for your business, ways to engage newly hired employees and success stories from companies who have used state programs to achieve a goal. The Workforce Leadership Team has developed a resource to lessen any possible confusion on various state and federal workforce development programs in North Dakota.

Learn more at Available Workforce Projects/Programs.

Not Your Typical Engineering Firm: KLJ’s Chief Value Officer Ensures Exceptional Experience

KLJ_1920x1080002.jpgFor nearly 80 years, KLJ has been committed to planning, designing and supporting infrastructure, such as roads, runways, pipelines and parks across the country. “At KLJ, we love what we do, care about our communities and work together to improve the quality of life for future generations. We do this by living our brand promise — an Exceptional Experience,” said CEO Dean Anagnost.

KLJ’s team of engineers, planners, and technical and professional staff collaborate to positively change our nation by engineering infrastructure that connects and sustains society. “Our business model puts our clients first, providing an exceptional experience that truly reimagines what their project can become,” said Anagnost.
KLJ understands that to ensure a successful future, business practices and models must evolve, like any natural organism does to remain in its environment. One of the most recent changes KLJ made was adding the role of Chief Value Officer (CVO) to their organizational design.  “We made active moves to position us ourselves to ensure we keep our promise of an exceptional experience to our clients and to fuel our growth strategy for the future,” said Anagnost.

Barry Schuchard serves as KLJ’s CVO, a role dedicated to promoting and evolving process-focused value advancement for the company’s clients. “This role puts our clients first, listening to their needs and then taking action to better their experience,” said Schuchard. KLJ’s CVO guides and encourages all staff within KLJ to identify improvements to the client experience and actively carry out the company’s brand promise of an exceptional experience.

NDUS Degree Completion Initiatives

North Dakota University System (NDUS) launched the first of two initiatives last imgres.jpgfall to increase degree completion in the state. The first initiative coordinated a system-wide effort to contact students who had previously enrolled at a NDUS two-year institution, completed a substantial number of credit hours and had transferred to a four-year institution prior to completion of an associate degree.

The purpose of the initiative was to encourage students, for the betterment of their career, to complete the associate degree at the two-year institution so they would be able to have that accomplishment on their resume, while still working toward their four-year baccalaureate programs.

NDUS director of academic affairs Lisa Johnson said, “Students have invested significant time and money in their initial pursuit of an associate degree. Our outreach is to those who have made substantial progress towards the award of an associate degree, but have transferred to a four-year institution prior to the award of the associate degree.  Most notable about this initiative is that we are not asking students to physically return to the community college to complete the remaining coursework. Rather, our community colleges are working with students on an individual basis to determine remaining coursework that can be taken at the four-year institution and transferred back to the community college.”

The initiative was designed for students to complete and transfer coursework back from the four-year to the two-year institution—thus the name, Reverse Transfer. Previously, reverse transfer broadly described students who withdrew from a four-year institution to pursue an associate degree at a two-year institution. Today, more formal Reverse Transfer initiatives encourage students to remain at the four-year institution while concurrently completing both an associate and a baccalaureate degree.

The second and more recent initiative has been developed at the request of NDUS campuses to identify and contact students who began their studies at any NDUS institution, completed a substantial number of credits towards an associate or baccalaureate degree and are no longer enrolled anywhere in the state. Johnson said, “The success of initiatives like these rely heavily on committed staff who make the additional effort to follow up on inquiries and complement the system’s original outreach.”

Kene Miller, an academic records specialist at Bismarck State College (BSC), has been involved in both initiatives. Miller promotes the idea at her campus by emphasizing the phrase “life happens.”  Miller said, “It may be the students’ intent to finish a four-year degree; however, it is not unusual that things occur that are beyond their control.  By documenting the completion of a two-year degree, it is a permanent record of the students’ academic progression.” She continued, “Our campus strives to recognize students’ accomplishments and to award the important credential(s) that each student deserves.” 

According to Job Service North Dakota, the annual average job openings for 2016 totaled 14,262, of which 4,117 typically required a credential beyond a high school diploma. Of the 4,117 job openings, roughly 34% required a vocational certificate, associate’s degree or similar credential, while the remaining 66% required a bachelor’s degree or higher. NDUS, like many other institutions and educational systems in the United States, are stepping up efforts and outreach to encourage current and former students to successfully complete degrees along their educational pathway to ensure students are ready to be effective in their chosen careers.

For now, Miller’s efforts and those of the faculty and staff at BSC appear to be paying off—particularly surrounding the Reverse Transfer initiative. In the three terms since the initial planned pilot, each semester an average of 25 students have responded to the initial communication they received. Additional students continue to emerge and express interest in Reverse Transfer after learning about it via word of mouth. NDUS will assess the success of the second initiative and the response of students who return to NDUS colleges and universities when more data becomes available.

Workforce Development Council Initiates Strategic Plan

In May 2017, the Governor’s Workforce Development Council participated in strategic planning facilitated by Maher and Maher. As a result of this exercise, the Council identified three major challenges to address and several strategic initiatives to address each challenge:
  1. Lack of educational alignment to employer needs.
  2. Retention and attraction of employees to the North Dakota talent pipeline.
  3. Supporting innovation through policy reform.
Many of the initiatives can be addressed with little or no resources; others are considered long-term and may require additional resources, and possibly, legislative action.

Collaboration across Workforce Development Council partners will develop specific action items, time frames and metrics, which will be collected through a series of regional meetings organized by Job Service North Dakota and the North Dakota Department of Commerce, led by Workforce Development Council members and local private sector leaders. These regional meetings have been scheduled to occur October 17th in Grand Forks, October 19th in Bismarck, November 1st in Williston and November 15th in Fargo.

If you would like to be invited to participate in any of these regional meetings, please contact Susan Gunsch, sgunsch@nd.gov, with Job Service North Dakota or Wayde Sick, wsick@nd.gov, with the North Dakota Department of Commerce.

2017 Governor’s Workforce & HR Conference

NDDOCHRConf500x500DigAdProduction.jpgSeptember 20-22, 2017 | Fargo at the Holiday Inn

Registration is open at NDWorkforceandHR.com

Why Attend This Conference?
Learn from your peers and presenters on hot topics critical to enhancing today's workforce opportunities and engaging your workforce in new ways; develop your influence and knowledge base on topics such as remote workers, internships and cooperative work experiences, innovation in the workplace, social media, hiring veterans and company culture; and Connect with over 500 HR professionals and industry leaders from across the state and around the region.

Those looking for continuing education credits for their HR Certification will be able to obtain 14 credits. This event is a collaborative effort of Governor Doug Burgum, the North Dakota Department of Commerce and the North Dakota Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) State Council.
Check out the full agenda and list of presenting keynotes. 

What is ND Cares?

The North Dakota Cares Coalition (ND Cares) began in May 2013 after a team from ndcareslogo.jpgNorth Dakota attended an academy hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In January 2015, the ND Cares Coalition was formalized under Governors’ Executive Order 2015-01.
ND Cares is not a provider of services; rather, it is dedicated to improving understanding of the needs and services required by our heroes who should be able to access them close to home. ND Cares includes a broad spectrum of more than 45 military and civilian professionals dedicated to the care and support of North Dakota Service Members, Veterans, Families, and Survivors (SMVFS). The coalition uses the broadest definition of Veteran and is working to encompass all individuals who have served–the “total force.”
The coalition’s priority is behavioral health, defined as a state of mental and emotional being and/or choices and actions that affect wellness. Experts estimate that by 2020, mental health and substance use disorders will surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide. The coalition’s interest in behavioral health services focuses on promotion of emotional health, prevention of mental health disorders, prevention of substance use disorders, treatment, and recovery support.
The purpose of ND Cares is to resolve barriers or gaps in services to ensure those serving and those who have served, their families and survivors receive the care and assistance they need.  In 2017, North Dakota had 52,035 veterans.
ND Cares is working to broaden community support through its ND Cares Community Program and recently launched Business Initiative.  More details about these programs will be presented in the Workforce Matters December edition.  For additional information, visit ndcares.org or email  ndcares@nd.gov.

AmeriCorps in Rural North Dakota

0americorps.jpgThe AmeriCorps program works in rural North Dakota to help meet community needs. The AmeriCorps funds help rural community programs recruit, train and supervise AmeriCorps members to provide needed services in Education, Environmental Stewardship and Healthy Futures.  To help meet the community need in your area, contact Ryan Volk rdvolk@nd.gov at the North Dakota Department of Commerce.

The currently funded Rural AmeriCorps Project is the Cooperstown Community Activities Authority (CCAA). CCAA has members in Cooperstown, Carrington and the surrounding communities. CCAA offers youth alternative programs focusing on health and education.  Fourteen AmeriCorps members serve in  four after school programs,  one child care program and  three parks and recreation programs. Additionally, the AmeriCorps members will leverage 40 additional volunteers. The goals of the program include guiding children to academic improvement through healthy behavior and effective study habits and strengthening early childhood developmental areas such as social, emotional, physical, and cognitive and language development. For more information, contact Michelle Zaun at 701-789-0921 or at rccooperathletics@gmail.com.

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Bismarck, ND 58503 | 701.328.5300
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