Sep 21, 2016 by

One of the most important tasks that a WIB must accomplish is to select a career center operator for the region. In the Cape and Islands region, for the past 15 + years, we have certified the local non-profit JTEC (Job Training and Employment Corporation) as our Career Center Operator.

The new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is requiring that this year we conduct an RFP (Request for Proposals) process and award an Operators contract to a qualified responding entity. We are currently preparing the documents necessary to issue an RFP for a Career Center Operator.

One of the exercises that the WIB WIOA Committee engaged in, as we developed an RFP, was identifying Guiding Principles for the operation of our career center. These 8 principles say a lot about how we conduct our business and how we view our relationship with the community we serve.

Our Principles are:

Customer Driven – Businesses, Job Seekers, and Special Populations’ needs will be addressed

Data Driven and Proactive with a commitment to clear, timely and accurate communication of both data and operational issues with CIWIB on a regularly scheduled basis

Legal requirements and regulations of the Federal Government are the basis for the operator’s activities. The operator is expected to exceed minimum requirements to ensure a world-class customer experience for businesses and job seekers

Innovation in programming is encouraged to ensure access to, and expand opportunities for the employment, education, training and support services that individuals need to succeed in the labor market

Appropriate, effective, and judicious use of funding demonstrating transparency and integrity

Will lead a local collaborative with mandated partners and other stakeholders

Will be flexible in deploying human resources

Is responsive to WIB leadership and aligned with WIB strategic goals

I think that our first principle, being customer driven, is key to all of our activity. If you have been following my columns over the years, you know that the WIB develops strategic plans based on the needs of the businesses and job seekers in the region.

We do not sit in a room and try to decide what businesses want, we ask them! What a concept.

We have established sector partnerships in Health Care, Hospitality/Creative Economy, Technology (including Marine Science or the Blue Economy as it is now being referred to), and Construction. When we need information about the needs in these industries we convene our partners and find out what they need directly.

The WIB also has the capacity to generate significant data on our local economy, especially relating to the labor force. We apply this information as we develop programmatic responses to the issues developing in the region. So the WIB and our career center operator are both demand driven by our customers and data driven in our activities.

Providing a “world class” customer experience for our businesses and job seekers is a goal that requires us to constantly examine what we are doing. Our system has multiple built in feedback mechanism which ensure that continuous quality improvement is second nature, not something that we check out on an annual basis.

Innovative, transparent, collaborative and flexible are attributes that the WIB operates under. Of course we expect our career center operator to exhibit the same attributes.

For any interested parties, the WIB expects to issue our RFP for Career Center Operator Services in the middle of October. Please contact me directly if you have interest in this process.

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