Mission Critical – If You Have a Mission

May 24, 2013 by

Barnstable Patriot Column # 106
Written By: David Augustinho

Mission Critical – If You Have a Mission

A number of years ago, in a land far…well not really, I got carried away there!

Actually here on Cape Cod in 2002, a group of dedicated Workforce Investment Board members met to develop a mission statement for the organization.

We hired a facilitator to guide the process, thanks Janice Kinder. During that meeting  we wordsmithed until we could agree on each syllable in our statement. We imagined grandiose accomplishments driven by the work that we did that day. And, finally, we emerged with a mission statement that still guides our work today.

Our mission statement is:

The Cape and Islands Workforce Investment Board

Provides Leadership for Workforce Development Activities Through Private and Public Partnerships

That is a pretty succinct statement, but it says a lot about what we do and how we do it.

First of all it clearly states the arena within which we work; we are engaged in activities promoting workforce development. Now, we do engage in activities that are not exclusively related to workforce development. For example, we work with a number of economic development entities because the WIB believes that one method we can employ to help provide family sustaining wage jobs to Cape workers is by diversifying our economy. So we work, in partnership, with the Cape Cod Chamber, the Cape Cod Commission, the County EDC, Coastal Community Capital, and the Lower Cape Partnership, among others, to encourage economic development that is appropriate and beneficial to the region.

Our mission statement clearly delineates the method that we use to further our objectives. The WIB seeks out partners to work with so that we can leverage resources beyond our income streams to accomplish our goals. This is, by the way, always a two way street. We commit resources to the partnerships that we join or convene.

So, what other kinds of partnerships do we form? Well this chart, which we drew on the back of a napkin in 2002, shows many of the entities that the WIB still works with on various projects and programs.

WIB Collab

This is by no means the complete list of partners for WIB activities, as a matter of fact a few of them no longer exist. But I think that the chart gives you, in a glance, an idea of the scope of our partnerships.

Some of our partnerships are driven by grants that we seek from state, federal, or foundation sources. For example, a few years ago we competed for and received a grant to provide cross sector management training to over 160 Cape and Islands incumbent workers. We partnered with over 40 businesses, including municipal governments, to select the employees that we trained.

Over the years we have partnered with the Cape Cod Foundation, the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, the Cape Cod Museum of Art, Heritage Museums and Gardens, the ACCCESS program, nursing homes, Cape Cod Health Care, our two Career Vocational Technical High Schools, and many other groups and organizations to provide jobs and training to our workers.

The point is that your WIB has a clear understanding of what we should be focusing on and how we should be implementing our work. I am proud to say that we haven’t found the need to change our mission statement since it was developed. What good work the WIB Board accomplished in 2002!


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