Governor Sandoval has expressed a strategic vision of building a new Nevada characterized by a dynamic and diverse 21st century economy that is sustained by a skilled, talented, and equipped workforce. After the historic successes in education reform achieved during the 2015 legislative session, Governor Sandoval has identified workforce readiness as a next major step toward strengthening the state for generations to come. Recently, a dedicated team of hard-working professionals from a variety of state agencies and local workforce boards completed a critical task related to workforce development in Nevada when they finalized and submitted Nevada’s Unified State Plan for workforce development, as required by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Governor Sandoval is pleased to shine the spotlight on this team and recognize their outstanding performance in preparing the state’s plan for long-term workforce development.
Federal WIOA legislation, enacted in 2014, requires each state in the nation to develop a plan for aligning workforce development and support efforts in order to streamline programs and maximize efficiencies across multiple programs and state agencies. After more than a year of meetings and deliberations to prepare Nevada’s plan, a talented team submitted an exceptional document to Governor Sandoval for his approval and submission to the U.S. Secretary of Labor.
The WIOA Governance Workgroup, comprised of more than a dozen state employees representing core programs in the areas of health and human services, education, employment and training development, and vocational rehabilitation met regularly throughout the past year to develop and draft a statewide strategy for Nevada’s workforce development efforts for years to come.
The finished product submitted by the WIOA Governance Workgroup was nothing short of remarkable. The plan, more than 230 pages in length, describes the significant steps that state agencies and stakeholders will take to increase collaboration and partnerships, promote alignment of services, and maximize efficiencies that will result in more Nevadans having access to the employment training that they need to compete for 21st century job opportunities. The plan reflects the Governor’s vision of closing skills gaps and creating career pathways that will allow Nevada to continue to attract and retain dynamic new industries in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, autonomous vehicle systems, and health care delivery that will help to strengthen, diversify, and fortify the state’s economy well into the future.
Not only did the WIOA Governance Workgroup compile a truly impressive and comprehensive plan, but the team was able to do so well before the federal deadline, submitting Nevada’s Unified Plan more than a month before it was due to the U.S. Department of Labor. The workgroup was led by Administrator Steve Fisher of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and Deputy Director Dennis Perea of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). The team was also comprised of representatives from the Nevada Department of Education, local workforce boards, the Governor’s staff, and other state agencies and programs with oversight over workforce development and support functions. Each core agency was responsible for making revisions and suggestions for the plan, which was drafted by DETR’s Kris Nelson and Mae Worthy, who completed multiple drafts of the plan and whose efforts were critical to submitting a comprehensive document before the deadline.
“The performance by the WIOA Governance Workgroup team was simply outstanding, and the team is currently engaged in the modification period of the State Plan, and ensuring that it complies with federal guidelines as they continue to be issued from the U.S. Department of Labor. Nevada’s Unified State Plan represents a monumental step forward in the state’s efforts to meet the needs of employers, reintegrate displaced workers, and provide the skills and training to prospective employees who will need to compete for 21st century job opportunities,” said Nevada’s Chief Strategy Officer Dale Erquiaga, who advises the Governor on workforce development and education initiatives.
Governor Sandoval is extremely proud of the exceptional work performed by the WIOA Governance Workgroup team, and extends his appreciation to each of the team members and their agencies for their efforts to help develop the new Nevada workforce.
SPECIAL THANKS TO EACH OF THE MEMBERS OF THE WIOA GOVERNANCE WORKGROUP TEAM:
Steve Fisher, Div. of Welfare and Supportive Services, DHHS
Sandra Chamberlin, Div. of Welfare and Supportive Services, DHHS
Dennis Perea, DETR
Kris Nelson, DETR
Renee Olson, DETR
Coralie Peterson, DETR
Grant Nielson, DETR
Mae Worthey, DETR
Shelley Hendren, Rehabilitation Division, DETR
John Thurman, Nevadaworks
Ardell Galbreth, Workforce Connections
Jaime Cruz, Workforce Connections
Mike Raponi, Nevada Department of Education
Ken Zutter, Nevada Department of Education
Brad Deeds, Nevada Department of Education