Workforce Development Month: Helping Young Adults Build Skills and Find Employment


During September, we recognize Workforce Development Month, a nationwide observance to showcase how workforce development builds our economy, creates pipelines to well-paying, in-demand jobs, and supports underserved communities.  In Nevada, a significant focus for our state’s two local workforce development boards has been connecting with young adults ages 16 to 24.

Why? In 2022 Southern Nevada’s Industry Sector Partnerships were launched, one for each of our seven target sectors.  A common challenge across employers in every industry was the labor shortage.

In Clark County alone, an estimated 42,000 individuals in the 16 to 24 age group are disconnected from the workforce or education.  This represents a huge opportunity to help employers struggling to hire qualified workers while creating opportunities for what can be vulnerable population.  That’s because many of our “disconnected youth” face significant barriers such as educational deficiencies, financial insecurity, under-employment, disabilities, or juvenile justice system involvement.

We believe these youth are full of promise.

The first full-scale EmployNV Youth Hub, an American Job Center of Nevada, opened just over a year ago.  This specialized career hub focuses primarily on the 16 to 24 age group and their immediate family.  The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District provided space inside the West Charleston Library to host the new EmployNV Youth Hub, which offers one-on-one help with career coaching, career exploration, virtual reality learning opportunities, and various workshops and events to help young people with life skills, and leadership development. The goal is to place eligible young adults in paid internships, work experiences, and – ultimately – secure full-time employment.

Ribbon cutting for the EmployNV Youth Hub inside The Library District’s West Charleston Library on August 4, 2022.

In its first year, the EmployNV Youth Hub inside the West Charleston Library enabled nearly 400 young adults and their family members to explore careers, acquire skills, and enter gainful employment.  Among them, 28 people received assistance earning their high school diploma or equivalency. Currently, participants from the EmployNV Youth Hub are on pace to generate nearly $8.4M in annualized new wages over the next year.

Since then, we have embedded career coaches in Clark County’s The Harbor locations and have opened two additional full-scale EmployNV Youth Hubs to help make this no-cost help more accessible to our younger generation. This summer, the second EmployNV Youth Hub opened inside Movement Fitness, making the locally-owned full-service fitness club the first private business in the nation to host an American Job Center. The third EmployNV Youth Hub officially opened earlier this month inside the Alexander Library in North Las Vegas.

Expanding the network of EmployNV Youth Hubs is only the beginning.  We are grateful for partners like the Regional Transportation Commission, who are helping spread the word about these resources with a public awareness campaign that includes targeted bus shelters in areas with high unemployment for this demographic and messaging on buses encouraging young adults to seek career help.  As part of this campaign, the RTC even offers free bus passes to those who enroll in the program to help with transportation.

CCSD elementary school student with the NV My Future activity book.

Our commitment to partnering with the Clark County School District also pays dividends through initiatives like the NV My Future activity books that provide interactive and fun ways for kids to learn about Nevada’s in-demand careers.  Starting the conversation about workforce development as early as possible and educating children and their families about careers in Nevada’s target industries is crucial. Quarterly Student Showcase events at local high schools with excellent workforce readiness programs connect employers from our region’s Industry Sector Partnerships with talented young adults getting ready to graduate and enter the workforce. In fact, the next showcase events are taking place Oct. 3 at Mojave High School and Oct. 24 at Southeast Career Technical Academy.

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation recently rolled out LearnNV, a partnership with the global online learning platform Coursera, to provide online, no-cost training to unemployed and underemployed Nevadans.   The initial focus for LearnNV is to equip young adults ages 18 to 24 with the skills and credentials needed to align with employer demands.

Thanks to many first-of-its-kind partnerships in our region, there is much progress being made, which is worth celebrating!

As we celebrate Workforce Development Month, we encourage teens and young adults to take advantage of all the available resources at Our mission as Southern Nevada’s Local Workforce Development Board is “Connecting Employers to a Ready Workforce.” A robust and sustainable talent pipeline will ensure that our economy can remain strong and continue to grow.  We do this work together – as a region – with the help of our partners.  Our region is committed to building a more prosperous, inclusive, and ready workforce for the future.