Workforce Development Professionals Affinity Group
(A different professional affinity group will be highlighted each month.)
Since its inception in February, the Workforce Development Professionals Affinity Group has convened 3 times. The group also had the opportunity to meet face-to-face at the Network’s 2019 Annual Conference in Atlanta.
During the first call members introduced one another and brainstormed a list of topics that they could address in upcoming calls: effective client and employer engagement, working with challenging clients, service delivery for clients with disabilities, immigrants and refugees, formerly incarcerated clients and other underserved populations, program development and quality assurance, developing strategic community partnerships, advancing advocacy and setting appropriate regulation and compliance standards, and exploring state-of-the art trends in the field.
In March the meeting was focused on The Meaning of Work which included a short TED Talk clip accompanied by a facilitated discussion that encapsulated so much of what Workforce Development Professionals do in their work and in their field; advocating for and focusing on dignity and connection in work.
Amy Mazur, Lead Career Counselor at JVS Boston lead the discussion and is one of the group co-facilitators. Sarah Welch, Director of JFCS Philadelphia Career Development Center in Pittsburgh, also co-facilitates, and the two enjoy working together and look forward to the continued development of the group. Both Amy and Sarah want workforce development professionals to enjoy their jobs and feel that the affinity group enables members to grow and develop offering the opportunity to discuss best practices and to learn what other agencies are doing. Idea sharing of successful models leads to developing programming that is replicable across the Network.
On June 17th, the Workforce Development Professionals Affinity Group has invited Jerry Rubin, CEO of JVS Boston and author of
The Catapult Papers – The Future of Workforce Development
, to discuss his findings. The Catapult Papers are a series of four essays on the future of workforce development and what workforce organizations need to do to expand opportunity for lower-income individuals and create competitive advantages for businesses in need of workers. Based on the innovative and field-proven practices of JVS Boston’s own transition experience and produced as a partnership between JVS Boston, SkillWorks and the Boston Foundation, these four papers tackle the key features organizations will need to embrace to succeed in the changing economy.
Click here to learn more about the papers and read them
In the future, Amy and Sarah hope to invite other affinity groups as well as other Network affiliates to participate in calls. They hope to see the group grow as members discuss relevant workforce development issues and trends.