CIWIB Executive Director’s Annual Report FY15

Jul 2, 2015 by


To attain knowledge, add things everyday.
To attain wisdom, remove things every day.
~ Lao Tzu

I have heard it said that most great truths contain an apparent contradiction or paradox. Add things and remove things to gain knowledge and wisdom, hmmmmm.

As the workforce development system is trying to absorb and apply the elements of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) I think that we need to ask ourselves “what do we need to add and what do we need to remove”?

Of course before we can start to work on WIOA we need to fully implement the strategic plan that we developed in 2014. 2015 has been a year of initiating the strategic planning actions recommended in last year’s strategic planning process. Changes to our website, newsletter, marketing, and the structure of our Board of Directors meetings are a few of the areas that underwent major reconfiguration.

In addition to the strategic plan led changes, in 2015 the WIB continued to operate our Workforce Competitive Trust Fund Grant; which is a $350,000 grant focused on training health care workers; more about that later. We also instituted two new major youth activities, partnered with CCYP on their extensive mentoring program, and we redesigned our federal youth funding streams to reflect changes brought about by the early implementation of WIOA legislation, I think that one of the most visible changes for the Board has been the addition of Board member presentations at our meetings. We kicked off with Jamie Regan providing a great overview of the history and current state of the real estate sector of the Cape’s economy.

Next up was Chris Richards doing an overview of the banking industry, followed by Denise Deaver providing a close look at the home health component of the health care industry. Our final Board member presentation was Peter Karlson’s look at the technology sector.

Each of these presentations provided a bit of history of the sector in the region, Chris Richards’ pictures of the bank clerks come to mind as a great example of what that industry looked like years ago. All of the presentations also looked at the current situation within those industries especially as regards the workforce needs of the sector.
So, back to the Workforce Competitive Trust Fund Grant; this is a three year contract that is designed to provide two years of training activity with one year of follow-up. We have completed the training aspect of the grant and have trained 30 CNA’s, 3LPN’s, 1 RN, a number of Medical Assistants and Medical Coders. Next year we will continue to case manage the training participants who have been placed in jobs.

Last year I reported to you that we were granted a health care planning grant that we thought would lead to a training grant this year, unfortunately we did not receive the training grant. Subsequently the Governor eliminated the grants due to the budget shortfall and no grants were funded through that program.

The good news is that the training grant did allow us to examine the needs of our community health centers in the region and I believe that we are in a strong position to be able to apply for other grants as they may become available.
In 2015 we continued our collaboration with the 4 other WIB’s in the Southeast region in the area of advanced manufacturing. Onset Computer was a company that enthusiastically joined the collaborative and benefitted from the program.

We assisted a number of companies with the Workforce Training Fund Program. We hosted a training seminar on the program early in the year and held another session in June. We worked with Onset Computer and with Convention Data Services on substantial successful grant applications.

There is also a pending grant application from Benchmark Dental, Inc. to the WTFP. This application is a great example of how the WIB can work with a company over time.

Benchmark sent an employee to the Cape Area Management Program (CAMP) that we implemented from 2008 – 2011. In addition The Benchmark principal, Tom Gould, served on the steering committee for the project.
The employee that we trained for the company is now a manager at Benchmark, which has grown from 2 employees when the training program started to 13 employees today. The company just submitted their WTFP application that will help the company to grow by 3-5 employees per year for the next several years.

This year we continued our work in the creative economy sector. In FY’14 we partnered with the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod and the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce to create the Cape Cod Creative Economy Network. Our continuing role has been to supply data describing the size and sectors represented within the creative economy. As you can imagine the Network is reorganizing a bit since Kevin Howard departed to the Cape Cod Five, but the Cape is strongly supporting our Creative Economy businesses and individual artists.

In addition to our continuing work with the Creative Economy Network, we also worked with the Town of Barnstable providing data for their use in a housing needs study. We provided data on municipal employment and on the top industries in the town.

This year I continued my community service activity as a member of the Coastal Community Capital Board of Directors. Additionally I am serving my second year as chair of the Housing Assistance Corporation Board of Directors, which I have served on for the past three years. I continue to serve on the Center for Policy Analysis Advisory Committee at UMASS Dartmouth. I also still serve on the Cape Cod Chamber’s Economic Development Pillar and their Entrepreneur Resource Committee. I continue to serve on the Executive Committee of the state WIB Association, and am currently in my second year of service with the Workforce Solutions Group, a statewide entity working on legislative issues and host of the annual statewide workforce development conference.

I want to highlight one area of community involvement that has further developed this year and has been very advantageous for the WIB. Last year I was asked to serve on the Shape The Cape advisory group for the CCYP, which is by any measure one of the most dynamic non-profit groups in the region. That involvement led to our being asked to join the CCYP in a more visible role as a sponsor in their Cape wide mentoring effort.

The WIB filled a role as presenting sponsor for the Mentor Monday’s aspect of the program. In this role we attended each of the 10 Monday sessions; were recognized as the presenting sponsor at each gathering; placed our pop up banner prominently in the room where the sessions were held; spoke twice to identify the WIB and highlight the work that we do; served as a “table mentor” at each session at which an average of 65 individuals participated; attended and spoke at the graduation ceremony for the project.

Our Youth Council and School to Careers program was impacted by a change in personnel. Kara Galvin joined the WIB staff replacing Joan McDonald. Kara’s experience at a career center and at Commonwealth Corporation allowed her to hit the ground running. We have instituted two new events, a Leadership Academy that had its first activity this June, and a Construction Career Day that will be held in October.

We have a new Chairperson for the Youth Council, Ken Jenks, Principal at DY, will be leading our youth efforts. Ken has been a member of the Youth Council for several years. He was very active when our Youth Council was investigating and developing programs in the area of improving graduation rates across the region. We are delighted that Ken will be at the helm of the Youth Council.

The WIB is very appreciative of the effort that Beth Griffin brought to the leadership of the Youth Council for the past three years. Her steady presence and first hand knowledge of student issues allowed us to be able to ahead of the curve when it came to new initiatives and programs. Thank you Beth.

During 2015 I continued to write a monthly column for the Barnstable Patriot. I also continue to appear monthly on the Barnstable This Morning TV show. Also on a monthly basis I provide commentary to local radio and print media regarding unemployment trends and issues. This year I also appeared on two occasions with Chris Boyd on his financial services show. I expect that I will continue to appear on his show from time to time during the next year.
I upgraded my labor market information skills through attainment of certification in our data software from Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. The process combined attendance at a national conference and through a rigorous distance learning process.

This year the WIB continued collaborating with a large number of local organizations including:
Arts Foundation of Cape Cod (Funding for ArtWorks)
Barnstable County
Barnstable Patriot
Bridgewater State University
Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
CCYP (Cape Cod Young Professionals)
Cape Cod Foundation
Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank
Cape Business Magazine
Housing Assistance Corporation
Dennis-Yarmouth School District
Barnstable School District
Cape Cod Regional Technical School
Upper Cape Tech
Cape Cod Community College
Cape Cod Healthcare (funded our Leadership Academy)
Cape Cod Tech Council
Martha’s Vineyard Chamber
Martha’s Vineyard Commission
Massachusetts Workforce Board Association
Nantucket Community School
ACCESS Program
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council
We Can
Workforce Solutions Group

Finally I want to recognize the professionalism and productivity of the entire WIB staff. Razza Millard, Kara Galvin and Andrea Melvin make it possible to accomplish everything detailed above, thank you.

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