Last week, several team members from DirectEmployers Association traveled to Birmingham, AL, to support our partner, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA). Several highlights happened while we were there and we’re anxious to share them with you!
What did our team experience?
- DE is providing the job feed content to Apprenticeship.gov and were very excited when we received a shout out from the mainstage from Scott Sanders, Executive Director at NASWA and John Ladd, the Director of the Office of Apprenticeship. The project has taken almost a year and gave us the chance to work closely with Booz Allen Hamilton, NASWA, and the Department of Labor to get the site and the Apprenticeship Finder Tool off the ground. As many of you know, apprenticeships are top of mind with the OFCCP and current Presidential administration so the site launch could not have been timelier. (See the full USDOL press release for details)
- Christy Merriman, NLx Operations Manager, and Jen Bernhardt, Director of Member Engagement, presented on DirectEmployers membership, NASWA, the National Labor Exchange (NLx), and the success DirectEmployers has shown its Members through partnerships with NASWA and the local workforce agencies. Over the course of 50 minutes, Christy and Jen answered questions, provided insight into the inner-workings of the NLx, and illustrated examples of the success companies and states have experienced through this unique partnership. Want to see what was discussed? Get a recap of the presentation in the Connect Community.
- The State of Indiana was honored for their work in launching a successful Ex-Offender Employment Program at the Workforce Innovation Awards Dinner and Reception. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) along with the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC), and other local and statewide partners created the Hoosier Initiative for Re-Entry or HIRE. HIRE works with both sides of employment by helping employees become more employable, and companies to address misconceptions with hiring ex-offenders. Of course, DirectEmployers is proud of all states that receive recognition, but we’re especially proud of this one as Indiana is our home state. Woot woot!
- One of DirectEmployers Member-Affiliates was also honored at the event. Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) was announced as the 2018 National Business of the Year. Newport News–a division of Huntington-Ingalls Shipbuilding and a DirectEmployers Member–added over 2,000 jobs in the past two years and anticipates adding 2,000 more over the next five years. In addition to creating jobs, NNS contributes over $2 million dollars annually to the local community, and their employees raise over $1 million in United Way Funding each year. NNS’ parent company, Huntington Ingalls, places considerable emphasis on Veteran hiring and supports the NLx through membership with DirectEmployers. (See the full press release for details)
Overall, our team came, saw and conquered yet another opportunity to meet our state partners. Not only does this face-to-face time help us develop relationships with individuals outside of our main contacts, these conversations also help create lasting relationships that benefit our Members long-term. Here’s to next time and our next conference adventure!
Side note: if you find yourself wanting to get further involved with the strategic development of the National Labor Exchange, we’d love to have your input and collaboration on the NLx Steering Committee. Contact Christy Merriman to learn more about the requirements and how to get involved.
Jen Bernhardt is Director of Membership Engagement at DirectEmployers Association. Known for her high-energy and motivated personality, Jen has been assisting and educating Members of the Association on VEVRAA and Section 503 OFCCP compliance regulations for over six years. Full Bio »