Demand Driven 2.0

Jun 13, 2016 by

Barnstable Patriot Column # 136

Demand- driven 2.0

Catchy title, eh? The subtitle is One Stop Career Center Business Engagement Model. Really catchy!

So, what is Demand-driven 2.0? Well, it is the state’s new effort to foster interaction between our existing Career Centers (Career Opportunities here on the Cape) and the business community.

Is it a good idea? Well yes it is, and that’s why we have been doing what the state is suggesting for years. Some of the elements of 2.0 have been talked about before, but not well executed. For example, the state wants to coordinate efforts by multiple state agencies that may be assisting a business. Most likely a business would be receiving assistance from a local career center (overseen by a WIB and the Division of Career Services), the Mass. Office of Business Development, and the Department of Higher Education. The service delivery should be seamless to the business, which shouldn’t have to meet with multiple entities, multiple times.

To accomplish this task, the state has put together a BizWorks Team that is made up of representatives of the agencies mentioned above. The state is especially interested in serving businesses that provide services in multiple WIB areas across the state. Businesses like National Grid, Clean Harbors and Amazon, which is currently siting a million square foot warehouse in Fall River and will be hiring about 500 workers.

The state is currently piloting their Demand 2.0 system in two sectors, Healthcare and Banking. The team is working in the greater Boston area with 10 healthcare providers and Citizens Bank in the Framingham and Quincy WIB regions.

Hopefully there will be lessons learned and best practices that can be adopted by local WIBs to better serve these sectors. That will be a very positive outcome from this state level activity.

The state is not only putting in place a team for dealing with large statewide employers. There is also going to be a Business Engagement Team (BET) which will work together to service business which may have offices that cover more than one WIB area.

The BET may consist of a Job Developer, Case Counselor, Job Counselor or other local, hands on career center staff. The Team will support the single Business Services Representative who is working directly with the company. Again, the intent is to ensure that companies do not have to deal with multiple state personnel to engage with our system.

Another area of interest for the BizWorks team is to ensure that state agencies that are hiring use the career center system. For example, if the Registry of Motor Vehicles is hiring state wide each local RMV office can source jobseekers through the local career center. This is a good plan, hopefully the state will be able to compel local offices of state agencies to use the existing Career Center system.

All in all I believe that the state is on the right track. The only issue I have with the philosophy behind the effort is that the state is saying that local Career Centers have not been engaging the business community in a demand-driven method, when in fact we have been doing that for quite some time. The Cape and islands WIB has several sector partnerships where we engage local businesses to determine their short and long term human resource needs so that we can organize our interior activity to meet their needs. We also use the information that we get from the companies to ensure, as much as possible, that local educational institutions are matching graduates with local business needs.

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