Noblesville Works: Community-wide Initiative to Improve Soft Skills Announced

Posted by Noblesville Economic Development under News

This morning, community leaders and officials announced the implementation of Noblesville Works, a community-wide initiative that will impact our citizens and workforce.

“What we do today will impact a lot of people’s tomorrows,” Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear said, adding that Noblesville Works has a large target audience: families, elementary through college students, businesses and perspective and current employees.

The Noblesville Works initiative is a product of the Workforce Development Council which is comprised of Noblesville Schools’ administrators and counselors, the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce, Ivy Tech and Work One, the Noblesville Economic Development Department, non-profit organizations and several local businesses. The council started in the fall of 2012 to provide strategies and a collaborative approach to improve workforce preparedness and training for individuals. One of the areas identified as critical to ensure a work-ready employee was soft skills enhancement.

“Soft skills are important because they are human element skills. Soft skills, like how you communicate or your ethics, might be the element that sets you aside from your competitor. Technical skills may get you a job interview, but soft skills will get you the job and help you retain it! We want to increase awareness of these soft skills so that we are growing a marketable workforce for the ever-changing and modern business environment,” Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear said.

Noblesville Works, which is partially funded by Duke Eenergy, also is the first time in the State of Indiana that a community has created this type of emphasis on soft skills enhancement and development.

“The Noblesville Works initiative is a grassroots effort from the community saying soft skills matter to us and we, collectively, are going to make them a priority. It is not one industry, grade level or a government program – it is truly a collaboration of the City of Noblesville,” Communications Manager Robert Herrington said.

The Workforce Development Council has an extensive catalog of skills needed for meaningful employment and has established criteria for each of those skills. The Noblesville Works initiative will focus on enhancing communication skills, work ethic, teamwork, personal ethics, critical thinking and high level soft skills.

“What really makes the Noblesville Works initiative so powerful is that these efforts we have been focused on within the schools will now be aligned with the community at large. There’s a strong synergy that comes from focusing on the same thing at the same time as a community, and this synergy will further student capabilities in this critical area,” said Noblesville Schools Superintendent Dr. Beth Niedermeyer.

The campaign features a specific soft skill, one per month, for the academic year. The community can get participate in this initiative by following the monthly schedule for each soft skill and incorporating them as part of your daily life and vocabulary with colleagues, children, family and friends.

Noblesville Works also provides tools for success in the workplace.

“We are laying a foundation that each individual or organization can customize and tailor to their needs. Noblesville Works provides a starting point and the freedom to incorporate the skills into their organization’s culture. We want businesses to use this base tool as they see fit in their companies, whether that is through charity events, employee appreciation, watercooler talks or other venues,” said Sarah Reed, Noblesville economic development specialist and project leader of the workforce development council. “The goal of Noblesville Works is to better our workforce and to make current employees feel more engaged and valued because their employer is reaching out and doing something for them.”

Noblesville Works also has a large technology piece to it to engage and educate more people and create excitement and interest in soft skills. The overall message will incorporate hashtag Noblesville Works  (#NoblesvilleWORKS) and each skill has its own icon, color-coded graphics and weekly social media message.

“Skilled trades are needing employees and the demand is growing rapidly in many areas for qualified individuals. Our industry is facing a severe shortage and we need folks that have the soft skills/the know how to be a great employee. We are the masters of training our technical field. We need the student to have the soft skills when they get here,” said Gaylor Electric President Chuck Goodrich.

Noblesville Works is an integral part of the city’s business retention and expansion initiative through Stay Here Grow Here.

“Workforce Development is important to economic development because it enhances the local economic stability by focusing on people. The further development of soft skills, skill more social than technical, is critical to the cultivation of a dynamic workforce. Whether you are a student, job seeker, or currently in the workforce, it is your soft skills that make your hard work shine.” Noblesville Economic Development Director Judi Johnson said.

Residents should see Noblesville Works throughout our community starting today.

 

Noblesville Works Information:

Noblesville Works Banner

Soft Skills Monthly Campaign Schedule

History of Noblesville Works

Social Media Promotion