Skillful-West End began as the first rural pilot project of its kind through an initiative of the Telluride Foundation and supported by the Markle Foundation, through a non-profit initiative called Skillful. Skillful works in collaboration with state governments, local employers, educators and workforce development organizations to secure jobs in the changing economy, providing pathways to education, information and skills-based jobs. Skillful’s focus is primarily on individual skill rather than background and credentials.
Since beginning in the west end region of San Miguel and Montrose Counties in November 2018, Skillful-West End has garnered many followers, clients, and valued partnerships making it a huge success story for this rural area!
To date, 58 people have been served in some fashion as it relates to obtaining employment; either by having a cover letter/resume written for them, participating in a mock interview to prepare for a job, or receiving career coaching and mentoring. This includes some coal mine/power plant workers who were displaced and needed additional assistance in finding work elsewhere. Out of those 58 people, 32 have been placed in positions for which they’ve applied. Did we mention too, that Skillful-West End’s resume writing has seen a 100% success rate; meaning that, if a resume was written and submitted, that individual received an interview!
18 businesses in the West End region have learned more about Skills-based hiring practices through Skillful’s services; not to mention the job postings of nearly every area business being shared to Skillful-West End Facebook page, making it easier for job searches for those seeking and filling positions for those hiring.
Skillful-West End lead a steering committee that produced a more robust Apprenticeship Program, which also allowed the Norwood High School to begin participating. The Nucla/Norwood high schools had 16 students participating in the program until the pandemic forced school closures.
During the COVID-19 economic shutdown, Skillful-West End pivoted it’s focus to become the expert in all things Unemployment and by doing so, 41 businesses/ individuals were assisted in filing for unemployment, pandemic unemployment assistance or given assistance with furlough/layoff or work share questions.
Skillful West-End also participated on weekly non-profit calls, KOTO radio, and in several Zoom meetings with Town council members or County Commissioners in order to stay informed and keep others informed during this trying time.
Skillful West-End recognizes the need in the communities and is proud of the success story, where community members have been served in a meaningful way!