24 Apr Workforce Services in the Time of Corona
One of the hallmarks of the workforce development industry is sitting down face to face with customers to help them identify education or training resources to help them advance in their career or connect them to employment opportunities. But with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, all of that came to a halt as one by one, career centers around the country closed. Unfortunately, with the economic impact of the pandemic—the closing of businesses that has led to upwards of 26 million newly unemployed workers across the country—those workforce services are more critical now than ever before. Companies like Grant Associates who deliver those services have had to dig deep into their innovation reserves to figure out the best ways to continue delivering high-quality career services through new platforms and delivery models. Innovation is second nature at Grant Associates where we’ve been hard at work aggressively building out our resources to help our career offices provide workshops, training, and skill-building remotely.
While we cannot meet our customers in person, we have converted out training to virtual content and are offering it via ImpactU, our open-source learning management system. Beginning this week, customers in Pittsburgh can begin taking workshops via their personal computers or cell phones. This asynchronous format allows customers to access courses on their schedule and without having to leave home. Customers who complete their ImpactU courses will then have the option of taking advanced skill-building courses from a catalog of over 6,000 courses, ranging from IT to pre-project management certification, matched to their career profiles and interests. We will continue to expand the number of courses that customers can take and even after the eventual return to the physical office, we plan to offer supplemental resources online. Additional programs in New York and Memphis will soon have this same access to online courses.
Here are a few other ways we’re continuing to provide career services to our customers across the country during this critical time:
- Remote Individual Career Advisement: Career Advisors offer individual career advisement sessions over the phone or via video conference.
- Online Resume Development: Career Advisors use a web-based platform called “Myperfectresume” to develop customer resumes. This platform allows for resumes to be exported in several formats and matches the customer’s resume to potential job opportunities that fit their experience.
- Job Matching: Career Advisors continue to reach out to currently enrolled customers to refer them to available employment opportunities via phone or email.
- Online Credential-Aligned Training: Clients interested in developing their skills beyond the job readiness workshop offerings will be able to access thousands of courses and over 125 credential-aligned online training offerings. Customers will have unlimited access to the materials for six months.
- Online ITA/Credential-Based Training: Customers interested in pursuing an ITA-based training from training providers that have moved to distance learning models may still be vetted for training opportunities if they have successfully completed a series of courses recommended by their Career Advisor. This demonstrates the customer’s ability to be successful in an online learning environment that is self-paced and further prepares the client to complete a longer-term ITA curriculum.
We’re proud to be helping several of the government funders we work with identify new ways to provide services to the growing number of customers in need of career services. To learn more about our services and where we operate, or to request assistance, submit a Contact Request form and we’ll be happy to follow up with you.