Workforce development life cycle important to job seekers

EDITOR NOTE: Ardell Galbreth passed away on May 12, 2017. He had served as executive director of Workforce Connections since September 2012. This article was written prior to his passing. For more on Galbreth’s life, visit

Now that our economy is back to full swing with regards to increased revenues and a much-improved job market in Southern Nevada, employers are looking more and more to job seekers’ skills set along with quality in the scope of experience. For example, many jobs go unfilled every day and employers’ demand for fresh quality talent with solid experience simply is often not available.

Far too few job seekers, particularly young people between the ages 18 and 30, lack the workforce development qualifications to compete for jobs leading to lasting careers. According to some, the words “workforce development” are viewed as another form of education for individuals entering the workforce and not seeking higher education. On the contrary, workforce development applies to all job seekers at all levels of experience and careers.

I understand that workforce development means different things to different people, however, I have outlined what I consider the life cycle of workforce development. I have identified four key points that I believe start and complete workforce development as it pertains to job seekers’ quest for lifelong careers.

The following initiatives are what I consider essential components of the workforce development life cycle model:

1. Skills building. Though basic skills building is a critical part of the workforce development life cycle, some scientific studies have shown that the earlier individuals start building their employment/work skills of any kind (starting at an appropriate age based on the individual’s already developed basic skills and abilities), the dividends received come much sooner with significantly increased benefits. This especially applies to youth as they seek and explore all kinds of jobs growing up, from completing chores around the house to on-the-job learning activities with their parents.

It is so very important that parents challenge their children to be accountable with whatever task they are assigned. Such accountability will prove to be young job seekers’ hallmark or linchpin that grows with them through the workforce development life cycle.

2. Refined skills. After one understands his or her basic skills, professional workforce development guidance should be sought for receipt of directional guidance as to the next steps and techniques in refining an individual’s skill set. Guidance and career counselors can be made available via access through any workforce development system.

Individuals or job seekers can receive clear-cut guidance and directions along with needed resources through accessing workforce development employment and training services at any One-Stop Career Center or affiliate center in Southern Nevada. Refining skills is so very important as they established job seekers’ work quality which employers constantly seek.

3. Growing experience or expanding the scope of experience. While an individual’s skills refinement is at the top of the most any workforce development list, such skills need growth. To stay abreast with changing times and technology, the only way one can to grow his or her experience or expand the scope of experience is to seek and gain, at best, a general understanding of as many disciplines as possible related to his or her chosen profession.

4. Positioning oneself for gainful employment. While growing their experience, it is imperative that job seekers make sure that they secure appropriate certifications, validation, education or training credentials that support their experience in a comprehensive way. After a job seeker is equipped with all the necessary credentials he or she needs, it is then time to seek out and look to employ that talent with an employer who stands to benefit from the skills and abilities.

This is the part of the workforce development life cycle where individuals must work hard, very hard to show off their skills and abilities so that employers can recognize their worth or potential worth to their business. Other than working very hard after learning virtually every aspect of one’s career objectives, I cannot sum up all of the specifics as to what job seekers must do to position themselves for gainful employment, but one thing for sure is to become prepared and stay prepared by establishing oneself as a good, reliable, dedicated individual who is willing to take on most any task and produce quality work. Most notable would be for individuals to take on failing projects or difficult tasks and turn them around into successful outcomes.

With the workforce development life cycle in play, job seekers can map out their careers and employment objectives by outlining specific tactics and strategies they will need to complete or achieve to become successful in their chosen profession. I challenge all job seekers or career seekers to take heed to this workforce development life cycle and look to the future with high expectations.

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