Today, Collaborative Solutions for Communities, (CSC) attended the DC Workforce Investment Council’s Career Pathways Community of Practice training. The training was called “Foundations for the Future” and CSC was invited as a Workforce Investment Council, (WIC) grantee.
Courtney Snowden, the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity greeted the attendees and thanked everyone for helping to decrease the unemployment rate city-wide and especially in Wards 7 and 8. Diane Pabich, the Interim Executive Director of the WIC gave an overview of the Workforce Development System in DC which includes partnerships between the Department of Employment Services, (DOES), The Department of Human Services, (DHS), The Department of Disability Services, (DDS) which includes the Rehabilitation Services Administration, (RSA), the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, (OSSE), the University of the District of Columbia, (UDC), the WIC, and community-based organizations like CSC.
Next, Beth Brinly, the Vice President of Workforce Innovation at Maher and Maher gave an overview of Career Pathways which includes the system structure, labor market intelligence, the building and sustaining of employer relationships, change management, and measuring system change. All of this is guided by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which is a State plan implemented to assist hard-to-serve populations and create a single vision across service providers.
The morning ended with a panel discussion which was moderated by Ms. Brinly. The participants were: Odie Donald, Director of DOES, Andrew Reese, Director of DDS, Dr. Tony Summers, Chief Community College Officer of UDC, Antoinette Mitchell, Assistant Superintendent of OSSE, and Laura Zeilinger, Director of DHS.
A few takeaways included:
*DOES and WIC want to focus on six employment sectors, Construction, Hospitality, Law Enforcement and Security, Healthcare, IT and Business Administration, and Infrastructure.
*All of the government service providers access a common database called the “DC Data Vault” so that they all access the same customer information.
*Although OSSE can only award grants to public post-secondary education, (UDC), RSA is able to fund public AND private education for disabled clients and that funding is not limited geographically.
*DHS is using local dollars to do away with the automatic decrease of TANF support for customers who have been on TANF for 60 months or more.
This was a very informative training which included ample time for networking. Collaborative Solutions for Communities was honored to be invited and happy to attend!