Career Readiness Partnership
Nashville's construction industry is booming, as are the Metro area's healthcare and hospitality industries. The challenge for the city is to connect companies hiring in these industries with qualified job seekers.
Davidson County residents are eager for jobs to go to local candidates. In 2015, there was a measure on the ballet requiring large public improvement projects to use Davidson County residents for 40% of the construction work. It was approved, with 57.8% of residents in support of the measure.
But, in order to hire local people for construction, employers need to be able to readily find and hire qualified candidates. The Nashville Construction Readiness Partnership (NCRP) was started to address this challenge. In its first year, it provided residents with necessary training as well as using the site JOBS4TN.gov to connect qualified candidates with potential employers (and vice versa).
For Davidson County's low- and middle-income residents, the NRCP helps provide jobs and career paths that would be otherwise inaccessible.
After its first year, the NCRP had successfully helped more than 100 Davidson County residents enrolled in construction training programs. Of that group, 76 have successfully landed jobs. For the second year of this Public Investment Plan (PIP), NCRP will change what the "C" in its name stands for, expanding from "construction" to "careers" and broadening the program's reach to additional industries.
Why It Matters
A Construction Boom
Look around the Nashville skyline, and you'll see cranes. The Metro area has a vibrant construction industry, but residents are not always aware of the employment opportunities that are available.
A Training Gap
The JOB4TN website connects potential employees and candidates. Through training programs, low income and unemployed residents can learn the skills necessary to work in construction.
"Hospitality and healthcare careers will join with construction training and recruiting efforts to round out and complete the mission of the Nashville Career Readiness Partnership. Goals for the coming year will include adding more community partners to enhance program awareness, and assist with recruiting efforts, while continuing to develop relationships with area employers to identify their specific hiring needs including the basic training required."— Clay Faircloth, Career Coach, MA, GCDF
How It Works
NCRP bridged the gap between skilled construction workers and companies with open construction positions by:
- Leveraging JOBS4TN.com: The website, where employers can list jobs and candidates can post their resumes, already existed and served the entire state of Tennessee. Through this PIP, NCRP trained community-based organizations (CBOs), employers, and candidates on how to take advantage of the system. NCRP's employer representative worked with hiring companies one-on-one to learn the Job Order process. As well, NCRP met with employers and labor unions to determine their new hire needs.
- Partnering with local organizations: NCRP connected with the Nashville Workforce Network (NWN), Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH), and other CBOs to make them aware of JOBS4TN, and the potential career opportunities for residents. These organizations all recruited Nashville residents to participate in skills training and job-matching with the construction industry.
In the first year of this PIP, the focus was on matchmaking between construction candidates and construction jobs. In the upcoming year, the program will operate similarly, but in additional industries beyond construction: hospitality and healthcare.
Programs for Job Seekers
Navigating job search boards isn't always easy, even for qualified candidates. NCRP and its partners helped local candidates create and post resumes on JOB4TN.com.
NCRP partnered with Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Project Return, and 4:13 Strong to provide eligible Davidson County residents with Nashville Construction Readiness training program, introducing basic safety rules, power tools, blueprints, and other essential skills, as well as providing certification options.
The testimonials below come from graduates of Goodwill Industry of Middle Tennessee's Construction Skills Training Program, which trains participants in basic construction skills as well as providing graduates with OSHA-10 and other essential certifications.
"Goodwill is a one-stop shop. You’ll get what you need if you’re willing to put in the work. I never realized that hard work could be so fulfilling and give you a sense of pride. Goodwill has given me my confidence back." —Rashad
"I saw help at Goodwill, so I reached out and grabbed it. Goodwill has been a turning point in my life." —Ernesto
"Goodwill helped me get past my fear of putting my face out there despite the obstacles from my past. They helped me refine my thinking and my way of doing things." —Theotis
Measures of Success
One year in, construction jobs continue to outpace the number of qualified candidates. However, our community partners who provide the nationally recognized National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Construction Certification, are helping us bridge the gap. Here are some metrics from the previous year:
- 104 Davidson County residents enrolled in training programs
- 81 Davidson County residents completed training and received NCCER certification
- 76 Davidson County residents were employed in construction after training
- 115 construction resumes are posted on JOBS4TN.gov
- 451 construction job orders are available on JOBS4TN.gov
- 15 community-based organizations trained as JOBS4TN.gov community access points
What's next? NCRP's second year will see expansion to candidates and companies in the hospitality and healthcare industries, as well as ongoing support for potential construction industry employees. The goal is to add more community partners while continuing to develop relationships with area employers. This will help ensure candidates receive the necessary basic training and allow NCRP to make successful matches between candidates and jobs.
Lorrie graduated from the Nashville Career Advancement Center's Construction Readiness Program in December 2016, and quickly hit the ground running with her job search. Thanks to NCRP, Lorrie now has a full-time job as a Groundskeeper/Maintenance Tech at the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency in Nashville.
- Ashford Hughes – Senior Adviser, Workforce, Diversity and Inclusion
- Patrick Combs – Nashville Career Advancement Center (NCAC)
- Nashville Workforce Network (NWN), which is made up of 80 non-profits, 46 government entities, 14 educational providers, and 26 employers
- Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH)
- Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee
- Project Return
- 4:13 Strong
- Nashville American Job Center
See More PIP Projects
Public Investment Planning is an innovative approach to budgeting, launched in 2016, that challenges Metro departments and agencies to think creatively about how they can collaborate on pilot initiatives to better serve Nashville-Davidson County residents. Learn more at http://www.nashville.gov/Finance/Public-Investment-Plans.aspx.