In the spring of 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), in collaboration with its Education and Health and Human Services federal partners, is hosting three WIOA* National Convenings across the country, in Dallas April 18–20, San Diego May 8–10 and Washington, D.C. May 23–25, called "Continuing the Conversation."
These gatherings will continue to support WIOA implementation, building upon the regulations and guidance, virtual training and resources already available to the system.
At the San Diego convening, SDWP CEO Peter Callstrom, COO Andy Hall, Director of Programs Andrew Picard and board member Susie Harborth joined DOL representatives as speakers on a variety of panels and breakout sessions. Callstrom spoke on a panel discussing best practices of high performing boards; Hall spoke to strategic partnership engagements; Picard presented on how SDWP used human-centered design principles in program development; and Harborth, who is co-founder of BioLabs San Diego, participated in the closing plenary on business engagement.
“It is an honor for the DOL to request for us to present,” said Picard, who was a keynote speaker at the plenary session entitled “Design for Continuous Improvement” across the country at each of the convenings, joining DOL Regional Administrator Virginia Hamilton.
“We are proud to share SDWP’s efforts using human-centered design principles,” said Picard.
Picard also presented in Dallas on one-stop operations and will lead the plenary session on human-centered design in Washington, D.C.
SDWP had three teams tackle a programming area using the human-centered design process. The teams addressed how they might better connect laid off technology workers with new employers, how to better motivate the justice-involved to access workforce development programs, and how to reconnect opportunity youth to school and/or work. “Trust the process,” said Picard in San Diego. “It is all about how we can serve others better. Keep iterating and keep going.”
Attendees at these 2017 national convenings will walk away with a thorough understanding that:
- The regulations are the framework for the progress and change that we can make as a system.
- Program integration is not only a critical component of WIOA but a best practice for serving our customers.
- Designing and delivering services for those customers — job seekers and businesses alike — should be the foundation for accountability.
By the end of the convenings, Picard will have presented to thousands of workforce professionals on SDWP’s efforts on human-centered design, the successes of this work locally and key takeaways for other workforce leaders to implement in other regions.
*WIOA stands for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 22, 2014 and is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. It is the first legislative reform of this kind in 15 years.