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Workforce Innovation Submitted By:
Denver Office of Economic Development

Power Prep Workshop: Hospitality

Community Challenge/Problem

Jobseekers sometimes lack a focused approach to finding work in a chosen field, including identifying an industry, realistically matching their skills and qualifications, and targeting their search to likely employers. Meanwhile, typical job readiness training (resume writing, interviewing, and so on) is usually generic by necessity and designed for a very general audience. Besides, workforce center staff believes that people don't come in to spend time in different training sessions; they ultimately come to find a job. So the center wanted to offer highly focused sessions that would be short, immediately useful, lively, and exciting, including storytelling from people working locally in the specific industry themselves.

Board Solution/Innovation

The Workforce Center developed a series of "Power Prep" workshops exclusively for people with skills and interests in an industry of focus. The first was one was on retail/hospitality (other industries of focus are manufacturing, information technology, and health care). The curriculum packed a great mix of storytelling, insider tips, industry jargon, and motivational encouragement into this initial half-day session to give jobseekers every advantage to set expectations, open up doors and direct them to a range of immediate opportunities in retail/hospitality. The workshop included time for one-on-one coaching and resume reviews in addition to a lively panel of industry employers.

Outcomes & Results

The Workforce Center received some local news coverage to help promote this fresh, targeted approach that was different from its usual curriculum. Real-life employers in retail and hospitality talked to the 30 participants about what to expect, what they were looking for, what a career path could look like, how they got their start, and also gave insider tips for successful interviews. Local Workforce Investment Board members in the industry participated as well. The session got excellent post-event feedback and plans are proceeding now for additional "Power Prep" sessions on a quarterly basis in additional industries. Health care is next on the list.

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