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By Sarah Buckner on September 10, 2015
#NoblesvilleWORKS Soft Skills campaign is an initiative of the Noblesville Workforce Development Council, a council that includes the collaborative effort between schools (K-Ivy Tech), businesses, nonprofit organizations, and the City’s Economic Development Department, to accomplish the goal of providing strategies and collaborative approaches to improve workforce preparedness and training for individuals, in-turn enhancing the Noblesville business environment.
 
The #NoblesvilleWORKS Soft Skills Program was developed to foster collaboration between the city, businesses, and schools with a communitywide effort to increase awareness of soft skills throughout Noblesville and to help ensure our that our current and future residents are “work ready.”
 
Why is this important?   
 
All businesses look for different skill sets and experience when it comes to hiring. They have all expressed the frustration of finding employees with the right balance of hard and soft skills. It is no longer enough to be an expert in your field. Companies are looking to hire new (and retaining) employees who have the ability to combine soft skills, those personal qualities, habits, attitudes, and social graces that make someone a good employee, with hard skills, those teachable abilities that can be defined and measured.
 
Our workforce council heard them loud and clear and that’s why #NoblesvilleWORKS was launched.
 
Speaking from an Economic Development perspective, we know that a talented, well prepared workforce is vital to our communities ability to be competitive in both attraction and retention. Site selectors, CEO’s, and local businesses, have all expressed the immediate need for quantity and quality workforce ready employees. A community hoping to attract or retain a business will tip the scale favorably, while competing, if they show a pipeline of talent, training, and timing that provides the solution for their workforce needs.
 
All local educators and community leaders know it is vital to the success of our businesses, residents, and community to create and sustain “work ready” residents.
 
What you hope to do with the program?
 
Our goal is to grow awareness and buzz about the importance of soft skills in our collaborative community.
 
This important campaign will highlight a monthly soft skill category and theme through creative resources (in print, electronic and social media formats) for community organizations to display cooperatively. We have infused flexible and modifiable utilization so participants can tailor their message according to their audience.  We provide pre-prepared posters and social platform communication that can be delivered as presented or altered to their liking. #NobesvilleWORKS icons will remain consistent throughout all communication outlets in order to retain the strength of the initiatives branding.
 
The program will communicate the importance of 6 key soft skills categories in today’s technology-focused work environment. They are: Communication Skills, Work Ethic, Personal Ethics, Teamwork, Critical Thinking, and Higher Level Soft Skills.
 
Our overall concept is to create a communitywide campaign that features a specific soft skill, one per month, for the 2015/2016 academic year. The campaign’s goal is to increase awareness of the importance of soft skills for individual success and to identify the “Top 12” of those skills. We want to provide a toolkit for all community stakeholders for each monthly theme. They can use these tools to promote that month’s theme in their workplace, classroom or living room. We want to engage a broad spectrum of users so that this becomes a communitywide conversation on the importance of soft skills for individual success.

-Judi Johnson, Economic Development Director
City of Noblesville
Categories: "City of Noblesville", "Economic Development", "Hamilton County", Indiana, "Soft Skills"