Noblesville WORKS Program to Launch in August
Writer / Keeley Miller
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
At the start of the school year, the City of Noblesville’s Workforce Development Council will be launching #NoblesvilleWORKS, a community-wide campaign focusing on the development of soft skills. Soft skills, such as communication and attitude, are non-technical skills that are essential in the workplace. The initiative will be supported through the collaboration with local schools, community organizations and local businesses by sharing a monthly focus on these themes to heighten awareness.
“The goal of the #NoblesvilleWORKS is to increase awareness of how important soft skills are for an individual’s success in the workplace and as a citizen,” said Sarah Reed, City of Noblesville economic development specialist. “The 12 soft skills themes are initiative, teamwork, flexibility, honesty, respect, commitment, communication, attitude, dependability, motivation, problem solving and determination.”
This focus on soft skills is relevant because of their importance in and out of the workplace. A majority of the curriculum in education and the workplace is technical, but knowledge and understanding of soft skills can be crucial.
“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,” said Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear. “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.”
#NoblesvilleWORKS is able to launch due to the concentrated efforts of more than two dozen leaders within the city’s Workforce Development Council. After many months of discussion, formal research and case study review, the council’s master Soft Skills Standards document was finalized to be used as a working plan for this initiative. The council worked to identify and then define what the community felt were the most important skill sets needed to maximize success.
Chuck Goodrich, president of Gaylor Electric Inc. headquartered in Noblesville, served on this council and eagerly supports the #NoblesvilleWORKS campaign.
“This skill-focused campaign will benefit our community by giving young folks opportunities to grow, develop and become vital citizens for Noblesville and the surrounding areas,” said Goodrich.
The soft skill categories featured in #NoblesvilleWORKS focus on characteristics one can develop and maintain to be an exemplary person – inside and out of the workplace environment.
“Skilled trades are in need of employees, and the demand is growing rapidly for qualified individuals,” adds Goodrich. “Our industry is facing a shortage of qualified staff. We need folks that have these ‘soft’ skills and the know-how to be a great employee. We need our employees to have these soft skills when they get here.”
Goodrich and his fellow Workforce Development Council members are serving on this initiative because they want to see more businesses help incubate ideas. They also hope #NoblesvilleWORKS will inspire more opportunities for students to grow through internships and with access to environments where they can utilize skills that lean on work ethic, communication and higher learning. To take this strategy to the streets, the City of Noblesville and the Workforce Development Council identified the need to work closely with local marketing team, Hot House Marketing Group, to programmatically roll out the promotional strategy for #NoblesvilleWORKS. Duke Energy provided funding to create monthly resources kits to discuss and promote each month’s skill through themed posters and social media postings. Also a partnership with the weekly Current in Noblesville will include a monthly student editorial and highlight.
“The Noblesville WORKS campaign will be held physically and virtually with our partners and social media networks,” said Reed. “#NoblesvilleWORKS has been designated as the campaign hashtag so that the outreach effort can utilize metrics for sharing, posting and ‘liking’ of the social media material.” Organizations participating in the program include Noblesville Schools, Ivy Tech Community College, Noblesville Chamber of Commerce, area businesses, government agencies and local sports and faith-based organizations. These groups will promote soft skills in a way that fits within their culture. The whole community is encouraged to join in this important effort.
“The community can get involved by participating in this initiative and following the monthly schedule for each soft skill,” said Noblesville Schools Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer. “Talk about these skills with your colleagues, children, family and friends. Have fun recognizing those who model these skills. Make these skills a part of your daily life and vocabulary.”
#NoblesvilleWORKS will be a feature of the First Friday Back To School Bash on July 31 in Downtown Noblesville. The first soft skill, Initiative, will begin Aug. 1. September will focus on the skill Teamwork and October will highlight Flexibility.
NoblesvilleWORKS is a campaign within the city’s new Stay Here Grow Here Program. A business development and retention program launched in 2015 and led by the City of Noblesville Economic Development Department.
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#NoblesvilleWORKS Homework Assignment:
Look for #NoblesvilleWORKS on display in your school, workplace or community facilities throughout the city. Each month, Noblesville Magazine will highlight the theme and ask you to get in engaged in the campaign.
Let’s Talk About the #NoblesvilleWORKS Monthly Theme at Home:
• Follow the initiative on social media
• Ask your family members to share with you how they have used that month’s skill theme in school, at work or in a day-to-day setting
• Discuss how you could strengthen the monthly skill
• Share your discussions with the initiative by posting with #NoblesvilleWORKS on Noblesville Magazine’s Facebook and Twitter page