The News-Star, Monroe, La., on NOVA making a difference

Oct. 14: The News-Star, Monroe, La., on NOVA making a difference

When you look for what works in our community, you don’t have to look far. In fact, we’ve developed an entire series of stories sharing the good news of viable government programs and nonprofits that make a difference.

Among those is the NOVA Workforce Institute of Northeast Louisiana.

NOVA’s mission is to identify and connect the workforce needs of employers with training agencies and those seeking living-wage jobs.

In the long run, its goal is to elevate people who are struggling to pay their bills and feed their children into good jobs with good benefits in our community so they can join the middle class and work toward achieving the American dream.

Last week, we heard the story of Tavia Starks.

Starks was adrift economically, struggling to find a job and feed her children when her cousin told her about NOVA. She made the contact, and after graduating from NOVA’s career readiness program and completing the academic training requirements, she has a job as an administrative medical assistant at University Health Conway. ...

In five years, the program led by executive director Paul West has placed 307 of its graduates into the workforce who are now earning more than $5 million in annual wages and benefits. ...

Chamber President Sue Nicholson said NOVA is molding workers for many jobs employers have said they couldn’t fill. ...

They say a rising tide lifts all boats. Today, more than 300 people and their families have been lifted out of the cycle of poverty by NOVA’s efforts to connect people, training and available jobs.

That’s something in our community that works. And works well.



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