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Workforce³One & Communities of Practice (CoPs)

In 2003, the Department of Labor/Employment & Training Administration (DOL/ETA) required a web tool for engaging with the workforce system and its education, economic development, industry, and other partners and stakeholders to convey information on its key policy directions; offer a sophisticated knowledge management system that provides fully-researched and vetted material; and provide a showcase for promising and best practices, as well as tools and other resources that help transform and improve State, regional, and local workforce, education, and economic systems. 

Since 2003 when Maher & Maher, in partnership with ETA, launched Workforce3One, the virtual learning community has grown to include over 100,000 registrants. The site has grown to house the largest, most diverse, and best-catalogued resource repository in the workforce development field.  Content is organized in five areas:

  1. Resources
  2. Solutions-Based Tools
  3. Real-World Innovative Practices
  4. Multimedia Information—Webinars, Podcasts, and Self-Paced Learning
  5. A comprehensive searchable database of grantees’ replicable grant products and tools. 

Workforce3One also serves as the platform for over 20 targeted Communities of Practice, such as Green Jobs and Apprenticeship.  The website is ETA’s premier tool for engaging with the workforce system and its education, economic development, industry, and other partners and stakeholders to:

  • Convey messaging for its key policy directions;
  • Offer a sophisticated knowledge management system that provides fully-researched and vetted material designed to help system personnel understand the benefits of transforming their operations;
  • Provide a showcase for qualified promising and best practices, as well as tools and other resources that help transform State, regional, and local workforce, education, and economic systems. 

The range of content posted on the site spans all ETA and many Education programs- most notably the Workforce Investment Act, including Title II Adult Education programs, Apprenticeship Programs, the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act, Older Americans Act, Vocational Rehabilitation programs, Adult Literacy programs and the Wagner-Peyser Act.  Key tools on the site are a series of Quick Start Action Planners (QSAPs), online tools designed to assist Workforce Investment Boards, One Stop Career Centers and community colleges to self-assess their institutions’ readiness to engage in regional planning approaches. Our most recent QSAP deals with the Role of the Community College System in Regional Economic and Workforce Development. 

Workforce3One has become a key communications vehicle for ETA, through the use of regular webinars to share information on new grant opportunities and policies.  The Communities of Practice are employing Web 2.0 technologies and blended learning opportunities, including the use of wikis, blogs, and discussion threads.  Using these technology advancements allows users to share information and communicate in real time while working collaboratively on projects.