January 29 marked the launch of a regional Business Services Collaborative convened by the San Diego Workforce Partnership. This collaborative marks the first of its kind to bring together people who serve businesses in the Southern Border Region, which includes San Diego County and Imperial County. The group welcomes all business services representatives, consultants, job developers, managers, and the like, from any program or organization across the region who are interested in participating.
The collaborative kicked off with the first in a series of quarterly professional development and collaboration events. This day-long training by national trainers PGC and the Center for Work Ethic Development highlighted:
- Business engagement as community leadership
- Strategies for working with business
- Partner mapping to coordinate regional business engagement strategies
- Business leaders and industry engagement strategies
It also set the groundwork for leveraging talent and funding to create a cohesive network of business serving entities. It does so by linking hundreds of business development professionals through co-developed promotion and consumer education and data sharing. “This is a great opportunity to focus our efforts to expand our reach on businesses,” says Workforce Partnership Business Partnership Specialist Robert Chu.
“The most helpful thing for us to understand is that we are all a community,” shares Myriam Sanchez, also a Business Partnerships Specialist at the Workforce Partnership. “And that if the community needs support, they should reach out to us so we can create a more collaborative and complementary environment.”
One of the most valuable elements of the collaborative is its blend of focusing on long-term, system-wide improvements along with more tactical training and discussion, which can be implemented immediately.
Here are some of the ready to rock takeaways from the kick off training:
Think service first and performance will follow
We must cross the divide from a “professional visitor” to a “trusted advisor.” If you work solely to increase the quality of your service to the business owners, the numbers will come.
Relationships are everything
Business Partnership Specialist Pamela Gomez-Adams says her biggest takeaway was that “sometimes you need to take a personal path to help a business owner with other things in order to be trusted to help them for their business.”
Deliver what you promise and only promise what you can deliver
Rationalizing does not often lead to success—most situations can be resolved with a yes or no answer. If you are working with a business owner, do not overpromise something that you are not 100% sure you can deliver.
“It was incredible to come together with over 100 of my peers to collaborate around serving businesses more efficiently as a network,” says Business Partnerships Manager Angel Stancer. “We need a coordinated approach to employer outreach in the Southern Border Region, and now we have the right people at the table to accomplish that. I cannot hide my excitement!”
The collaborative concluded with a call to action for attendees to join smaller working groups to keep the momentum going between larger meetings. The Business Services Collaborative will continue to convene on a quarterly basis with a focus on different topics of improvement. If you’d like to get involved, email email@example.com.