WIOA - Certification of One-Stop-Centers

Thursday March 2nd, 2017 at 10:32am
Written by Terri Kaufman - Workforce Development Specialist

One-Stop Centers Vision - The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has issued many Training and Employment Guidance Letters (TEGLs) to guide states and Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDB) in the implementation and delivery of services under WIAO.

Since 1998, One-Stop Centers (now known as American Job Centers) have and continue to provide services that link job seekers with employers. Critical to the success of WIOA is having One-Stop Centers that have the tools and resources to deliver high quality career, education and training services needed to help jobseekers obtain jobs and help businesses find the skilled workers and access to training support for their current workforce.

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How to Grow Your Own Talent - ASE Talent Symposium Recording

Wednesday December 14th, 2016 at 8:30am
Written by Jim Bitterle - Consulting Managing Partner

Jim Bitterle, Managing Partner of EDSI Consulting, presented at ASE’s 2016 Talent Symposium on the topic of growing your own talent.  Check out the video recording if you were not able to join live!

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How to Think “Strategically” about Workforce Planning

Friday November 18th, 2016 at 10:00am
Written by Jennifer Giannosa - Senior Consultant

Have you heard the phrase workforce planning? What about strategic workforce planning? This catchphrase is changing the HR game and offering a glimmer of hope in the war for top talent. It’s also creating some important and interesting dialogue within the C-Suite.

How is this possible, you ask? Strategic workforce planning (SWP) helps connect a company’s core business goals with its most important asset: people!

In its most basic form, workforce planning determines what an organization needs in terms of the size, type, experience, quality, skills and knowledge of its workforce in order to achieve primary business goals. The term strategic further defines the timeframe of the planning activities. Think system-wide organization and strategy vs. work-unit issues at a supervisor level.

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How to Grow Your Own Talent

Monday October 17th, 2016 at 10:00am
Written by Jim Bitterle - Consulting Managing Partner

Jim Bitterle, Managing Partner of EDSI Consulting, was invited by Tom Borg Consulting to talk talent! Tune in to this podcast recording to learn more about EDSI and how to develop talent in your organization.

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Education and Workforce Development Partnerships

Monday October 3rd, 2016 at 10:00am
Written by Ed Quintavalle - Senior Consultant

There’s been a national call-to-action for two-year community colleges and career and technical high schools. Ultimately, educators are responsible for meeting the demand for skills in the global economy.

  1. There is consensus that the foundational academic knowledge needed for postsecondary education and for careers is virtually the same, with growing recognition that academic skills, employability and technical knowledge and skills are essential as well.
  2. We’re seeing widespread agreement that lifelong learning and ‘learning how to learn’ are key drivers of success in college, careers and civic life.
  3. Research shows collaborative efforts in states, districts and communities to strengthen their collective capacity to deliver results that matter.

The plan is for greater student success. It needs to be bolder and broader – “cradle-to-career” strategies – comprehensive, data-driven plans that begin early on and focus on improving measurable progress to career readiness. This new formula shows the most promise for success. Follow-up on the student’s outcome is also important to obtain the metrics to grow this philosophy.

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Construction Training and Internship Program for Detroit Students

Wednesday August 24th, 2016 at 7:12am
Written by Michelle Knierim - Associate Consultant

Over the past 3 years, The Construction Association of Michigan (CAM) has been approached by several of its member companies about the lack of young people entering the construction industry. During a series of roundtable discussions, workforce development continued to be a trending topic. To address this growing concern, CAM joined forces with EDSI to develop a pilot program called “3D.” 3D stands for develop, design and deliver.

EDSI just completed the first 3D boot camp training at the UAW Ford building in Detroit, Michigan. The training was a 5 day training that taught juniors in high school more about the construction industry. They learned about careers in the industry, workplace readiness skills, communication, construction terminology and overview, the construction process (development, design, bidding, pre-construction, close out), money management and basic finance, technology in the construction industry and safety requirements. We partnered with 6 different schools throughout the city of Detroit to include both charter and public schools.

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Workforce Development in the Public Transportation Industry

Wednesday July 13th, 2016 at 12:10pm
Written by Ken Mall - Managing Director

Every day millions of people travel from one place to another using buses, trains, subways, ferries or other forms of public transportation. The larger the city or urban area, the more likely that public transportation is a major driver of the economy and the primary way for a significant portion of the population to get to jobs. Most people don’t realize the agencies that run public transit organizations are in desperate need of new workers to operate and maintain the current transit systems and build new systems to meet the growing demand for transportation options.

Over the next decade, it is estimated that more than 1 million workers will be needed just to replace the workers who retire. The transit industry is also experiencing a technological evolution. Buses and rail cars are able to troubleshoot themselves and send messages to technicians to let them know about potential problems. Computers are now the primary tool in a mechanic’s tool box.

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Addressing the Skill Shortage

Thursday June 16th, 2016 at 8:30am
Written by Kevin Watson - Director of Business Development

My wife and I are currently in full-on nesting mode as we prepare for the arrival of our second child. Throughout this nesting process, I have had the chance to reflect on the twenty months that have passed since our first son, Alexander, was born.

If I am being honest with myself, I was terribly inefficient at so many things during those first few months after our son was born. Everything from changing a diaper, to installing a car seat, to setting up and breaking down a pack-and-play took WAY longer than it does today. So what changed? Practice, practice, practice.

Luckily for me (and probably 95% of new parents), you don’t have to pass an interview or a test to get the job.

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How Webb's Depth of Knowledge Took Our Training to the Next Level

Wednesday April 20th, 2016 at 8:02am
Written by Kimberly Glenn - Director

For those of us formally trained in education or instructional design, “Bloom’s Taxonomy” is pretty familiar. This framework was introduced back in 1956 and was integral in guiding educators and instructional designers in the creation of learning objectives. Revised many times over the years, this framework consists of three domains and 5 levels within each domain.

Citation: http://educationaltaxonomy.weebly.com/home/may-02nd-20141

For years, this framework has guided instructors and educators as they design lessons and create learning objectives intended to pull learners through, to higher levels of learning. In my role as a Director and Instructional Designer, this framework had been a staple for me for many years. However, about 7 or so years ago, I was introduced to a new model, one created by Norman Webb. This model can be correlated to Bloom's Taxonomy, but focuses more on what is called the "cognitive demand" of a task.

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How to Develop a High-Impact Succession Plan

Wednesday March 23rd, 2016 at 9:01am
Written by Jennifer Giannosa - Senior Consultant

In its basic form, succession planning is a way to identify and develop professionals entering a leadership position. Transition is undoubtedly something every organization experiences - the ebb and flow of people entering and exiting various roles. Some organizations have mastered a process of continuous succession planning. Yet, many small and medium size businesses remain unprepared for sudden or imminent changes that require immediate action.

EDSI has identified a succession planning process to successfully address changes like retirement and loss of key people. The process focuses on the collection and analysis of specific data, allowing for highly customized solutions. One major focus of this process is certainly communication. Communication builds trust and subsequently reinforces a message to employees that their skills and experience are valued.

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Message from Michigan: Bet on Talent

Tuesday December 22nd, 2015 at 9:00am
Written by Will Owen - Regional Director of Operations

The casino floor at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort offers many gaming options for its loyal patrons; its variety presents the opportunity for customers to choose the way they may “hit it big.” At the Michigan Works annual conference, there was only one option that participants were able to bet on – PEOPLE. The clear message from Michigan Works was that employers and agencies must focus their efforts on developing, utilizing and retaining top talent to ensure future success.

Conference speakers provided constant reminders that employees and jobseekers need to be looked at individually to determine what strengths they bring to the organization. Jim Abbot told the crowd that talent can come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s the responsibility of the employer to utilize the unique talent properly. This thinking reminded workforce development professionals in attendance to see through the eyes of the jobseeker and to search for the true needs of the employers they assist.

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Designing Career Pathways within WIOA Guidelines

Tuesday December 15th, 2015 at 9:45am
Written by Terri Kaufman - Workforce Development Specialist

WIOA requires states and local Workforce Development Boards to work with adult education, post-secondary education and other community-based organizations to develop career pathways that will make it easier for all Americans to attain the skills and credentials needed for jobs.

What are career pathways? The US Department of Labor defines career pathways as a new way of doing business which operates at both a systems and an individual level. At the systems level, a career pathway is a broad approach for serving populations that may experience significant barriers to employment. The career pathway can substantively alter the way the workforce system delivers its services and the system’s relationship with partner organizations and stakeholders to better prepare the worker.

Career pathway programs should offer a sequence of education courses and training credentials which are aligned with work-ready standards and competencies which are validated by employers. Career pathways can also provide greater customer service at all levels by engaging employers, adult basic education, training providers, community organizations and service providers to design services that meet the needs of employers and job seekers.

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Career Sculpting

Wednesday November 18th, 2015 at 1:36pm
Written by Beth Seraydarian - Talent Development Specialist

Have you ever left a conversation with someone and thought, “she doesn’t get me?” Or, perhaps you have a customer you’ve tried to identify with in order to have more productive conversations. This was the situation Adria Strausbaugh found herself in when she was initially referred to Career Sculpting. Adria was, and still is today, a manager who we are interested in developing and retaining. Before we read more about Adria’s story, let’s take a closer look at Career Sculpting, one of EDSI’s talent development programs. 

Career Sculpting helps EDSI develop the capabilities of current and future leaders. Two of the intended results of the program are increased engagement and retention of our team members.  

Career Sculpting provides team members with an opportunity to:

  • Connect with what drives and motivates them 
  • Change their perspectives through individual attention and learning
  • Focus on the future 
 

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WIOA - Eligible Training Provider List Requirements

Thursday October 22nd, 2015 at 8:01am

Written by Terri Kaufman - Workforce Development Specialist with EDSI

tkaufman@edsisolutions.com

 

WIOA provides Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) the opportunity to expand training and educational opportunities.  The goal is to help low income individuals, dislocated workers, individuals with limited skills and barriers to employment, and youth earn industry-recognized credentials and advance in the workplace.

LWDBs now can offer more training specifically targeted for high-demand occupations or industry sectors in addition to Individual Training Accounts (ITAs).  Local WDBs can now use WIOA funds to provide new training models that will lead to: 

  • industry-recognized credentials 
  • apprenticeships
  • integrated educational/training approaches 
  • career pathways 
  • industry partnerships
  • cohort-based training

LWDBs can now use a portion of their local Title I funds for pay-for-performance contracts for specific targeted populations.  They will be required to evaluate how each targeted population was selected, along with outcomes of training.

 

Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL) Requirements

WIOA has established an Eligible Training Provider process that will help support and ensure customer choice, performance accountability and continuous improvement.  States and LWDBs will identify Eligible Training Providers qualified to receive WIOA funds to train adult/dislocated workers and youth. 

 

An Eligible Training Provider is one who has met the eligibility requirements to receive WIOA Title Adult and Dislocated Worker funds to provide training services to eligible individuals.  In order to receive WIOA funds, the training provider must meet numerous ETPL numerous requirements and must be:

  1. Institutions of higher education that provide training that leads to post-secondary credentials
  2. Apprenticeship programs registered by the USDOL Office of Registered Apprenticeship
  3. Public or private training providers, including joint labor-management organizations, pre-apprenticeship programs and occupational/technical training providers
  4. Providers of adult education and literacy activities 

All training providers will be required to meet performance outcomes and ensure accountability, quality, and labor market-relevant programs and offerings. 

 

Training providers (both existing and new) will be required to submit an online application that includes all the documentation required by the states and LWDBs such as:

  • Information supporting a claim that an applicable training program leads to a post-secondary or industry-recognized credential, and a detailed description of the credential
  • Evidence of ability to provide services to incumbent workers and individuals with barriers to employment
  • Evidence of state licensure requirements and licensing status 
  • Program completion rate for all individuals participating in applicable programs
  • Employment and earning outcomes 
  • Cost of training (including supplies, books, fees)
  • Post-secondary credentials offered
  • Program costs per student by type of training 
  • Pre-Apprenticeship Program offerings

 

Training providers on the ETPL will also be required to report performance outcomes.  Each year they will be required to submit, at a minimum, the following:

  • Total number of participants enrolled in the program
  • Total number of participants completing the program
  • Entry into unsubsidized employment at second quarter after exit
  • Entry into unsubsidized employment at fourth quarter after exit
  • Median earnings
  • Attainment of post-secondary credentials
  • Measurable skills gains
  • Effectiveness in serving employers

All LWDBs are required to have training providers on the approved ETPL that are offering training programs aligned with their state and region in-demand occupations and sectors. They will be required to ensure training providers make all the above information available to their One-Stop Centers so eligible clients can make informed decisions on training offerings. They will be required to report performance and outcomes on training offerings, while ensuring individuals with barriers to employment are served.


Is your LWDB ready to review and advance training provider course offerings?  How are you going to determine if training is meeting the needs of in-demand occupations and sectors?  What steps are you taking to ensure that training services are meeting the requirements of WIOA?  We are here to help you.

If you are interested in gaining more information regarding WIOA implementation, please contact me at tkaufman@edsisolutions.com

Click here for more info about WIOA on our website. 

 

WIOA - The Role of Local WIBs in Career Pathways Development

Tuesday September 29th, 2015 at 7:40am

Written by Terri Kaufman - Workforce Development Specialist with EDSI

tkaufman@edsisolutions.com

 

WIOA requires Local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) to work with representatives from secondary and postsecondary education providers to develop and implement Career Pathways. This occurs by aligning employment, training, education and supportive services to meet the needs of adults and youth, focusing on those with barriers to employment.

What is a Career Pathway?

The National Career Pathways Network has defined a Career Pathway as a coherent, articulated sequence of rigorous academic and career/technical courses, commencing in ninth grade and leading to an Associate’s degree, Baccalaureate degree and beyond, an industry-recognized certificate and/or licensure. The Career Pathway is developed, implemented, and maintained in partnership with secondary and postsecondary education providers and employers.

Why Career Pathways?

Career Pathways can help Local WIBs, educators, jobseekers, youth and employers identify career options and the knowledge and skill requirements that individuals need for their careers. Career Pathways also help in identifying skill sets and job functions/roles needed across job families.  

Local WIBs need to be committed to working with educators, industries and economic development partners to develop a shared vision and strategy to support sector-based Career Pathways for youth and adults.

Career Pathways Strategies

There are many strategies that Local WIBS can use to support the development of Career Pathways:

  • Working with employers to determine their hiring needs
  • Working with educators to design training programs that meet the hiring needs of employers
  • Utilizing labor market data (local, state and national)
  • Measuring the success of existing training programs and outcomes
  • Measuring employer and earnings outcomes
  • Promoting seamless progress from one education step to another
  • Eliminating barriers to accessing training
  • Providing guidance through career coaching
  • Creating and supporting partnerships between workforce development, education, labor and non-profit organizations 
  • Supporting industry partnerships

What steps are you taking to ensure that your education and training providers, operators and partners are supporting Career Pathway services as required in WIOA? Do you need help getting started or help in completing the processes? Please let us know how we can assist you in your efforts.

If you are interested in gaining more information regarding WIOA implementation, please contact me at tkaufman@edsisolutions.com

Click here for more info about WIOA on our website. 


Reflections from a Professional Developer in Adult Education

Wednesday September 16th, 2015 at 7:19am

Written by Kim Harris - Director with EDSI

kharris@edsisolutions.com

 

Perhaps my favorite part of my job is traveling the nation, visiting other states, attending conferences and delivering presentations. This past year I was fortunate enough to present at a number of conferences for Adult Education, from state conferences in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and Georgia to the national Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) conference in Denver, CO. I had such an amazing time! Of course there is something incredibly powerful about sharing knowledge and motivating fellow educators to try new things and grow as professionals, but I truly think I learn more from them than they learn from me!

These conferences allow me to hear the needs of adult education professionals from across the country and reflect on how they impact my choices as a professional developer. To really impact the students, we as professional developers must listen to what our educators need and provide engaging and relevant professional development that sets them up for successful transfer of knowledge into the classroom. Now, more than ever, adult education professionals need to prepare our students for not only obtaining a high school equivalency, but also for their next steps —whatever they might be! Encouraging and preparing our students for college, careers, technical school, etc., is now a critical component in the field of adult education. I am excited to integrate all of the information I learned from the hundreds of teachers I met over the past year to design and deliver professional development opportunities that help both teachers and students. Thank you so much to all of the teachers I have interacted with for the wonderful opportunities to learn and grow with you!

Click here to learn more about our Adult Education Program Optimization Services.


National Association of Workforce Boards Annual Conference – Washington DC: Advancing Workforce Innovation

Wednesday June 10th, 2015 at 8:00am

Written by Ray Eibel - Director of New Business Development with EDSI 

reibel@edsisolutions.com

For the past twelve years I have had the pleasure of representing EDSI at the annual National Association of Workforce Boards Conference in Washington, D.C. This year, Terri Kaufman, Ken Mall and I had the opportunity to attend this premier event where workforce development professionals and leaders in business, government, labor and education gather to discuss the current state of our nation's workforce system and consider the goals and policy framework affecting the future of human capital development. Although the final numbers are not in, over 1,200 people registered for the conference which far exceeds last year’s attendance. 

 



Why do we exhibit at events like this? For one reason, it is a learning opportunity for us, especially with the implementation of WIOA right around the corner. Another reason to attend is the opportunity to talk with many of our current customers over the three-day period. Of course, we also appreciate the opportunity to talk with Workforce Board Executive Directors and board members in areas where we currently do not have contracts to learn and discuss best practices.

This year’s opening speaker was none other than Tom Perez, Secretary of the US Department of Labor. I was very glad to hear that Secretary Perez focused on the need for employer-focused training to assist in closing the skill gap. He spoke in detail about training being the number one concern for almost all employers and put an intense emphasis on developing an increased understanding of data-driven regional approaches to create sector strategies and coordinated partnerships. Consistent with the Secretary’s message, our own Ken Mall was part of a panel discussion about the skilled worker shortages plaguing the transportation industry.

Based on the people we talked with, the workforce board attendees came away from the conference looking for ways to incorporate industry partnerships, incumbent worker training, on the job training programs and youth programs that lead to steady employment. The good news is that EDSI has numerous programs to meet this demand. 

This conference generated a very positive energy; something I hadn’t felt in recent years when unemployment was high and clear direction seemed to be lacking. Perhaps it has something to do with WIOA.


Reflections from the HCI 2015 Annual Summit

Tuesday May 5th, 2015 at 9:10am

Written by Jim Bitterle - Managing Partner with EDSI 

jbitterle@edsisolutions.com

Once again, EDSI sponsored and participated in the Human Capital Institute’s 2015 Annual Summit. This year’s HCI event was an excellent opportunity to listen to a variety of professionals discuss the broad spectrum of talent issues that are facing our country. Attendees and speakers discussed a variety of best practices to manage the various issues.

 

Although there were many excellent speakers, one speaker was most memorable to me. Her name was Sheryl Connelly. She is the Chief Futurist for Ford Motor Company. At one point in her presentation, she said “ask yourself, what are the big, long lasting, slow moving trends? These are the things you can do something about.” 

 

She then went on to list ten trends that we can do something about. Here is the list:

  1. World population is growing, and it will continue to grow.
  2. Birth rates are declining on a per woman basis.
  3. The population is aging.
  4. The number of retired persons per working person is increasing.
  5. The greatest growth opportunities will continue to be in both China and India.
  6. People will continue to migrate towards cities (“Urbanization”).
  7. The global talent shortage will get worse.
  8. Women will have increasing influence in corporations well into the future (“Girl Power”).
  9. Connectivity will continue to increase.
  10. Multi-tasking will increase. (However, it has been proven that people have lower applied IQs when multitasking).

 

I thought about it relative to our company, EDSI. It strikes me that the big, long-lasting, slow moving trends are:

  1. Skill gaps for our clients will continue to grow.
  2. Online education/training will continue to grow.
  3. Out of necessity, the number of companies that grow their own talent will increase.
  4. The workforce will continue to age.
  5. Millennials, as a percentage of the workforce, will continue to grow.

 

I also thought about our work with Kraft (Mondelez). We helped Kraft (Mondelez) build their own apprenticeship program. Although it didn’t seem like it at the time, Kraft (Mondelez) was significantly ahead of their time. They’re obviously smart enough to recognize the investment in their people was well worth the cost. Instead of waiting for the growing skills gap, combined with an aging population, to create significant talent issues in their organization, they decided to proactively do something about it.

Sadly, for every proactive company such as Kraft (Mondelez), I can think of hundreds of organizations that are doing nothing. In the end, these companies are going to struggle with skill gap and aging workforce issues. These issues will cost them dearly in terms of high costs, excessive overtime, poor service consistency and inferior product quality. Let’s hope Mrs. Connelly’s message gets to all corporate leaders. It’s time to start looking at these trends, then acting. To start, building your own talent pipeline is going to be a critical capability of American companies. I believe the companies that do this effectively will have a significant competitive advantage!

Remember, organizations with the best teams will win! It’s time to start growing your own talent.

 

There's No Training Manual for Being a New Parent...Or a New Employee (usually)

Wednesday April 8th, 2015 at 8:10am

Written by Kevin Watson - Director of Business Development with EDSI Consulting

kwatson@edsisolutions.com

 

*Original article written in July 2014

My wife and I welcomed our first child into the world 14 days ago, and it has been the most exciting two weeks of our lives.  I would be lying if I told you that it has been entirely stress free though.  Aside from joy and happiness, we have experienced a myriad of emotions (helpless, confused, anxious, frustrated, etc.).  

When friends/family ask how things are going, we generally tell them the same thing, “every day we get a little bit better at this whole parenthood thing.”  Sure we are sleep deprived and running on fumes.  Sure my son has gone to the bathroom on me multiple times, and I have already changed well over 100 diapers.  With each day that passes though, we pick up on more and more of our son’s verbal and non-verbal cues.  We get more efficient at changing diapers, getting his little outfits on, giving sponge baths, at helping him to relax, and  getting him to fall asleep.

Over the years I have heard people say, “Well, there’s no training manual for being a parent,” and it is true.  You get a little bit of on-the-job training by watching the nurses during the two to three days you are in the hospital and by asking them for advice, suggestions, best practices, etc.  Of course there are countless parenting books and online parenting forums, but parenting is really more baptism by fire than anything else. 

It struck me that the same is often true in the business world.  When new hires shows up to work on their first day, they have most likely been through some variation of this process: (1) They have probably responded to a broad brush-stroke job description (that may or may not be up-to-date…and may or may not be an accurate portrayal of what they will be doing once hired), (2) They have probably submitted their resume, or filled out the electronic equivalent of a resume, (3) They have probably been through a phone screen and/or a face-to-face interview (possibly several rounds of interviews), and they may have completed some type of personality profile assessment.   

On day one, they probably spend time getting acclimated, meeting their co-workers and filling out new hire paperwork.  Even if your company has a world-class training program, I’m sure that from time-to-time, some of your new hires will experience the same range of emotions that first-time parents do (helpless, confused, anxious, frustrated, etc.). 

What if there was a way to get closer to the desired state?  Here are a few best practices you can implement to make your onboarding and new hire training process more impactful. 


At a high-level, start by getting applicants and employers to speak the same language.  In addition to using job descriptions, we recommend interviewing subject matter experts (your best employees in that particular role or position), to identify all of the granular responsibilities and tasks associated with performing a specific job. 

Once these interviews are completed, a Job Task Analysis (JTA) profile can be created for each unique position.  The JTA profile essentially lists all of the keywords, responsibilities and tasks associated with performing a specific job.  Once the JTA is completed, Skill Surveys can be created and distributed to potential new hires and/or the incumbent workforce. 

  • 4 – Able to instruct others on this task
  • 3 – Able to perform this task on my own
  • 2 – Able to perform this task with assistance
  • 1 – Aware of, but unable to perform this task
  • 0 – Not aware of this task
  • N/A - Not applicable 

Once the applicants have completed the Skill Surveys, Individual Skill Gap Reports can be created (a red, yellow, green matrix) showing where the skill gaps are the most prevalent.   This report can then be used as a road map to create a customized, structured on-the-job training plan (job shadowing, mentoring, etc.).

Once you know where the skill gaps are the most prevalent, you can expedite the amount of time it takes to get someone ramped up because you are able to be more laser-focused from a training standpoint.   

We have found that this process also helps to set/manage realistic expectations from day one.  If a new employee doesn’t have the requisite skill level to perform a specific task on their first day of work, front-line supervisors can’t get frustrated with them on the 10th day, 10th week, or 10th month if they still can’t perform that task (if they still haven’t been trained how to perform the task).

Oh yeah, and if there is a magical handbook for new parents that I don’t know about…please let me know.  There is always room to get a little bit better at this whole parenting thing!


Developing Your Hardworking Workforce

Thursday June 12th, 2014 at 8:30am

Written by Roe Falcone - Regional Director of Operations with EDSI

RFalcone@edsisolutions.com 

Do you have the right people on the bus and are they in the right seats?

In today’s workforce, the answers to these questions can often be the difference between success and failure. Having the right people on the bus, a term coined from Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great,” is one of the key factors.  It is important that your employees fit your culture and have the necessary skill sets. 

In any employer setting, the culture and values for your organization are paramount. A culture whose foundation is constructed on training and professional development helps to build and sustain a high performing organization. Understanding the skill sets of your employees allows an opportunity for targeted, deliberate recruitment and creates a mechanism for professional growth.



Targeted Recruitment

Having a balanced, diverse workforce is critical; by truly understanding the skills sets of your current employees, your recruitment efforts can be deliberate. Hiring is an expense and by targeting for specific needs, you can reduce that expense. Conducting a Job Task Analysis for the positions to be filled will clearly define and clarify the skills needed to be successful in a job. 

For more information on Job Task Analysis please visit: http://www.edsisolutions.com/skills-analysis

Customized Training

Have you ever spent thousands of dollars on training for your employees only to find out later that half of them already knew the information? Focused training on the specific skills that are critical to a job position will decrease training time and free up your budget. On-the-Job training is a great way to increase the skill level of employees! Identify a subject matter expert for that job and pair him/her with an employee that needs more experience.

Professional Growth and Development

In many of our training projects, the initial need discussion has stemmed from employees asking for more training and development. The majority of employees want to learn more, become an integral part of the company and pursue appropriate career paths.

Company Culture/Fit

While at a conference this past week on Workforce Planning and Analytics, I heard a lot of statistics presented and discussed regarding training, skill gaps and hiring. Out of all of the numbers, percentages and key information, the one critical piece to hiring that many executive level HR professionals agreed upon was “did they fit the company culture?” You can train almost anyone on the skills needed to perform a job well, but once you find that potential hire who fits your company culture and sees your vision and mission statement, hire him/her and invest in the training time.

Do you have the right people on the bus and are they in the right seats?  If not, what are you planning to do about it?


Attracting and Retaining Skilled Talent

Saturday May 10th, 2014 at 10:34am

Written by Karin Knutson - Director of Sales with EDSI Consulting

kknutson@edsisolutions.com

Finding talent is difficult.  Finding specifically skilled talent is even harder.  With fewer young adults pursuing manufacturing careers, this challenge is not going to go away in the near future.  Many factors and misperceptions can shed light on reasons why fewer young adults seem to be pursuing manufacturing jobs as careers: it’s dirty, parents aren’t encouraging it, schools are pushing college degrees, it doesn’t pay well, no flexibility, etc. But many communities and companies are working hard to reverse this thought process. This article provides a few tips on how you can attract and retain the skilled talent you need now.



Attracting Talent

Working Environment/Company Culture – A defined company culture will assist in developing a team atmosphere. This, along with an updated working environment, can add huge benefits to employee morale. Take a picture of your break room. Would you want to have your lunch there?  

Internships – This is a fantastic way for you to “try before you buy” with different candidates and see how they work in your company environment, while allowing them to demonstrate work ethic and potential.

Developing the Local Pipeline – Look to your local community colleges and tech schools and build relationships with the faculty and curriculum staff. They know their students best and can help to identify which ones could be good candidates for your organization. They also should be open to hearing your company’s specific workforce needs and adding any needed essential skills to their curriculum. Also, consider committing to hiring a certain number of their graduates for internships to deepen the relationship.


Retaining Champion Employees

Keeping Your Seasoned Employees on to Train Newer Employees – There is no better way to train new or less seasoned employees than with On-the-Job training with your subject matter experts. As a possible added benefit, your subject matter experts are sometimes open to continued employment on as part-time basis, saving you money.

Career Ladders – This lets your employees know that once they hit a certain level of skill competency, they can move up the company ladder. Knowing there are opportunities to grow with the company can create significant self-motivation. Show your employees the skill attainment they need with a simple check list and have their supervisors confirm when skills and responsibilities have changed.

Up-Skilling and Training Incumbents – Don’t only look externally for candidates when you just might have your own great pipeline in your entry level employees. Assess who has gained the most skill since joining your team and up-skill them to replace any open or needed job position. Invest time and resources into your current employees.


We know that many companies are facing the reality of low or shrinking training budgets. But, think about the cost to your company of losing a long-time client over poor quality or having an injured employee due to inefficient training. (It is guaranteed that good, quality training will cost much less!) Pull the numbers from a manufacturing line being down for a day, or even an hour, without your one “go to” employee there to fix it. Look at the profits from getting that huge order because production is on time and quality is at its benchmark. The majority of these situations are a direct reflection of decisions on hiring and training employees. By hiring the appropriate candidates, properly training your existing team, and providing a quality culture and work environment, your company is making an investment in its future success!


4 Things to Consider with Your Aging Workforce

Monday February 10th, 2014 at 8:22am

Written by Ken Mall - Managing Director with EDSI Consulting

kmall@edsisolutions.com

Do you know what your workforce is going to look like in 5 years?  

During the recession, a large group of retirement-eligible employees put their plans on hold. For an employer, when experienced employees stay to help manage a successful path as they anticipate retirement, it is certainly a benefit. However, impending retirements and the increasing use of technology in the workplace have most organizations wondering what their workforces will look like in the near future. The picture may not be clear, but that doesn’t mean that organizations can’t start planning for the future. 



Here are four things to consider with your aging workforce:

1) Do you know who and how many of your seasoned employees will retire in the next year?  Within three years?  Within five years?

2) Do you have a way to capture the knowledge and experience of your soon-to-retire employees?

3) Do you have a plan to transfer knowledge from retiring workers to current or new workers who will be their successors?

4) Do you have a plan for recruiting new employees to either replace the retiring workers, or backfill positions current employees will vacate as they assume positions of retiring workers?


Most people close to retirement are hesitant to provide an exact retirement date, but a simple calculation based on the person’s age and years of service can give you an idea. More importantly, instead of looking at just one or two employees, look at the whole department or company and load all employee data into a spreadsheet. This will show you who’s near the top of the list for retirement, and more importantly, what his/her role is in the organization. Knowing this information will give you a true roadmap for proper training plans and hiring decisions.

It is important to know when people will be eligible to retire.  Many of these key baby boomer employees are the people who know all of the in’s and out’s of the business; it often takes 2 or 3 new people to do their jobs – they are critical to your company’s success.

So, what if you just found out that one of your key employees, who has been with your company for 30+ years, is retiring?  This person has been with you through all of the company changes, good and bad.  He/she knows exactly what needs to be done in almost every situation.  Implementing a process to gather and catalog this person’s knowledge and experience is vital for a seamless transition to his/her successor, and keeping the business operating as smoothly as possible. 

With high unemployment numbers, many organizations think recruiting new talent is as easy as placing a want ad.  But if your goal is to find someone who fits the job requirements and your company culture, the process will become more complicated and take longer than anticipated. Creating a training plan and using it to evaluate the skills of new hires will help ensure they have the required skills. Cataloging the skills of the internal experts before they retire will give you the key puzzle pieces to develop your training plan.


5 Things to Know about Job Analysis and Knowledge Transfer

Friday January 10th, 2014 at 8:15am

Written by Ken Mall - Managing Director with EDSI Consulting

kmall@edsisolutions.com

Are you prepared to answer the questions, “What are the current skill sets of our employees?”  or “What specific training do our employees need?”



For those companies who are already having these discussions internally, it is an important topic that deserves a lot of attention.  To meet long-term strategic objectives, many companies are concerned about concurrently increasing the skill level of their existing staff, while developing the skills and bench strength for their future needs. 

Sales professionals know that it’s easier to develop a great relationship with a current customer than it is to create a relationship with a new customer. The same is true for organizational talent; it’s easier to develop from within than to reach outside their organization. Today most organizations have to do both; fortunately, the steps to develop current and new workers are the same.  It is important to identify strengths and areas for improvement among your current employees and use that information to develop training for future employees.


Here are the 5 things you should know about Job Analysis and Knowledge Transfer:

1) Identify

Internal subject matter experts are the “go to” people who have been with the company for a long time and have full understanding of a job position. Picking the right subject matter experts is critical; they are your content experts and future mentors. 

2) Analyze

Conducting a job task analysis helps to document the relevant responsibilities and tasks needed to successfully perform a job, and is also used to develop training for new hires, or identify training needs of current workers. The job task analysis becomes the foundation for all skill assessments and training. 

3) Prioritize

Are there key tasks that only a few people in the organization are capable of performing? The job task analysis becomes the “score card” to identify critical tasks and prioritize knowledge transfer needs. Prioritizing the need will keep knowledge transfer initiatives focused.  

4) Implement

What is your organization’s track record for implementing a program and following it through to completion? What has worked for you in the past? What hasn’t worked? Creating a solid implementation plan with clear measurables, and ensuring high level management commitment will help make your program successful. 

5) Follow-up

Were your training priorities achieved? Did you measure results and were your outcomes realized? U.S. firms spent $156 billion on employee learning in 2011, according to the American Society for Training and Development. Research suggests that with little follow-up or meaningful assessments, 90% of new skills are lost within a year. 

A well thought-out and implemented program will result in a culture of learning that will benefit both the employees and the organization.

 

 

4 Critical Steps in Knowledge Retention

Tuesday December 10th, 2013 at 8:23am

Written by Brian Lester - Senior Consultant with EDSI Consulting

blester@edsisolutions.com

As America's population ages, so does its workforce. In fact, in the first decade of the new millennium, the number of workers aged 55 to 64 increased by 52%. Unfortunately, most companies are unprepared to manage the loss of many highly skilled, older workers. The situation is even more serious in organizations with a culture of employee retention, higher than average ages, or that still offer traditional pension plans. 

The challenge is to identify the skills and knowledge of your workforce and put the right plans in place to ensure your organization's future success. Very few companies will take a systematic approach to this problem since the full scope of risk isn’t immediately apparent, but an ad-hoc approach that may have worked in the past is not sustainable as the turnover in critical positions increases with the age of the workforce. Taking the time to carefully assess your knowledge loss risks can be an important competitive advantage.



1) Identify

Identifying and prioritizing the specific knowledge and skills at risk – When you identify the specific knowledge that is about to be lost when highly experienced employees leave for retirement, you are taking the first step in bridging a potential skills gap.  Identifying the deep, tacit knowledge (“Know-why” and “know-how” instead of just “know-what”) is the most critical step. This knowledge is the reason you value the employees’ performance, and is the risk you face with their departure.  This can save production, customers, and quality of service. Do you have a senior manager with a unique approach that needs to be documented? Is a high % of your experienced employees on the cusp of retiring?

2) Capture

Capturing processes, responsibilities, and tasks of subject matter experts – Capturing this information is critical to transferring experience and tribal knowledge that is crucial to the successful of your business.  Documenting the responsibilities and tasks will give you a play book on how to up skill incumbent workers and train new employees. This process may uncover best practices and successes that have yet to be communicated through your organization.

3) Communicate

Analyzing and communicating areas of risk and skill gaps within the organization – Take the information from the above items and develop a way to communicate it throughout your organization.  There are methods of creating a dashboard of critical information on projected retirements and knowledge loss by location and job role. There needs to be a buy-in factor with upper level management through to the jobs that are in jeopardy of being lost.  This creates accountability and responsibility.

4) Connect 

Developing concrete, actionable responses to mitigate knowledge loss and connect people, tools – This will be a road map on how to be successful in your organization.  This might include skill assessments, job analysis, and training plans.  Utilize on-the-job training or your local community college and work together to up skill your present employees and/or hire qualified applicants. Job shadowing, mentoring, and rehire after retirement programs may also be a part of these solutions.


 

Founded in 1979, EDSI is a national leader in workforce development, customized training and consulting.

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The Tooling and Manufacturing Association would strongly suggest EDSI be selected for any workforce related initiative with the goal of developing a structured pipeline of employee candidates or improving the productivity of incumbent employees. Daniel Kiraly; Director of Education - Tooling and Manufacturing Association

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