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Top Concerns for Workforce Development in a COVID-19 Economy

May 15, 2020 3:04:39 PM

Workforce Development experts provide insight on job placement, communication, and reopening

When career fairs have been canceled, offices are barely planning on reopening, and the unemployment rate is the worst since the Great Depression, how do workforce development agencies tackle these challenging conditions?

In Train by Cell's recent webinar, industry experts Rebecca Kusner, Chief Strategist at R4 Workforce and Clair Minson, Assistant Vice President of Talent Development at New Orleans Business Development, discussed today’s top concerns for workforce development.With high unemployment, inequities, a struggling social safety net, and funding issues, Kusner stated, “How we deploy technology is going to be one of the top concerns because not everyone has access to the same information and resources when it comes to tech.”

As face-to-face contact has come to an immediate halt, many job seekers do not have the technology hardware, internet access, or even the skills to access content and participate in video conferences. To overcome communication barriers, Kusner recommends organizations like PCs for People that provide computers and internet to low-income individuals.

To be seen as a trusted partner, an organization has the responsibility to provide accurate and timely information with their stakeholders. Now is the time to over communicate. — Clair Minson


“There’s a ton of information out there. To be seen as a trusted partner, an organization has the responsibility to provide accurate and timely information with their stakeholders. Now is the time to over communicate with the individuals we are serving,” added Minson.

Kusner recommends not relying on traditional email and phone calling. Other communication tools may be more effective such as YouTube videos, social media, or Train by Cell’s text messaging platform.

As organizations plan for reopening, virtual training will play a key component in skill development and job placement. Plus, workforce development professionals will need training to help formulate creative solutions for various logistical concerns: face-to-face interactions, staggered re-employment, health issues, and more.

On a positive note, both Kusner and Minson agree that workforce development agencies can use the current climate as an opportunity for re-thinking. Although everyone is adapting in real time, there is hope that workforce can lead the way to recovery.

 

 

 

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