A Promising Practices Guide to Workforce Boards
Reality Check: Promoting Self-Sufficiency in the Public Workforce System
About This Guide
Workforce boards that have successfully integrated the lens of self-sufficiency into their work possess shared characteristics. While mindful of WIA requirements, these boards have often articulated broader goals for their work, aiming to improve both the economy and the overall quality of life in their area. In some instances Boards are willing to invest in long range client and community goals that are likely to pay off down the road even if it is at the expense of excelling at the defined WIA performance goals directed to short-term aggregate measures. For instance, a workforce board goal may encourage providing intensive or longer training to prepare workers for placement in better or quality jobs rather than encouraging quick placements in less desirable jobs.
The ability of a board to stay the course often depends on a strong commitment by either appointed WIB members or key WIB staff and, in the best of circumstances, when both WIB members and WIB staff work together to drive the process.
Reality Check documents 22 case studies of state and local WIBs that are using Self-Sufficiency Standards or similar measures as a defining characteristic in their work. While this list is not meant to be exhaustive, the practices described here represent some of the most promising practices in the field.
This project was made possible by the Ford Foundation.
Seven Areas of Promising Pratices
The case studies are organized into seven areas of promising practice.
1. Choosing a High Definition of Self-Sufficiency
2. Counseling Customers About Income Goals, Career Paths and Work Supports
3. Employing Sector Strategies
4. Negotiating On the Job Training Contracts and Customized Training Services
5. Increasing Access to Work Supports
6. Assessing Outcomes through Data Collection and Establishing Benchmarking Goals
7. Responding to the Demographics of a Community