Community Works: The NOVA Model of Workforce Development

What makes a workforce development program successful? At the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, we’ve found that the strongest programs utilize the strength and resilience of community and place.  Programs that tailor trainings to existing employer needs, reach deep into community to find participants, and support participants by removing the obstacles that keep them from working have the best chance of moving people and places out of poverty.  

NOVA NELA is a highly successful job intermediary that connects the needs of employers, with training entities and local residents who are looking for living wage employment with benefits and a career path.  As an employer driven initiative, NOVA’s training efforts meet the local labor market while supporting participants in the program through case management, counseling, participant support groups, and mentoring.  

With only a three person staff, NOVA has advanced partnerships in the community to assist their participants in making a 3.2 million dollar wage impact on the community of Monroe, LA.  Seeing continued success in Monroe, NOVA is now expanding eastward into the Delta region of northeast Louisiana.

In this video, you will meet graduates helped by NOVA and see the deep impact the program is having on individual lives and on the economic health of communities. It is a place-based model that works.

To see other workforce development programs the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation is funding and learn more about our approach to moving people and places out of poverty, please visit our grants page.