Working intensively across Minnesota to support grant-funded development
By Tom Lovering
A team from GovWebworks recently completed their second visit in recent weeks to Saint Paul, Minnesota, where they have been assisting the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in defining their new web-based employment and career development platform.
The new platform is being developed with the help of a U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) grant, which DEED was awarded in September of 2015. The WIF grant concept was developed to support states and tribal organizations in the development and testing of innovative solutions to deliver services to job seekers, employers and the numerous other stakeholders that support the labor market. The DEED award was part of the third round of grantees, and focuses on how technology can be leveraged to help grow and up-skill Minnesota’s workforce.
DEED expands reach
As work has progressed in defining the platform, efforts have focused on how it can support the state’s underserved communities, and how it can empower the many community organizations that work with these groups. By providing appropriate tools for collaboration, the platform seeks to improve the awareness and availability of support services, and deliver them to the right users, at the right time.
In her most recent update on the WIF grant project, the DEED Project Director, Julie Toskey, shares the vision of the new platform. Specifically with regard to underserved communities she says, “It will expand our reach to address needs specific to youth, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and disparity gaps, further ensuring that our solution and service offerings are available to diverse, underserved, and underprepared communities.”
The new platform is anticipated to launch in late September, with future enhancements likely, based on user feedback.