The objective of this project was to examine and reengineer the workflow and service delivery processes in New Jersey’s One-Stop Career Centers so as to make those processes more efficient and effective, and increase the value received by customers. Deliverables were as follows:
In 2001, the National Association of State Workforce Boards (NASWA/CESER) contracted with Maher and Maher for the first OSPIP project, a statewide analysis of customer service processes in its One-Stop Career Centers. In 2003 and through June of 2004, the project was implemented in One-Stop Centers throughout Atlantic, Hudson, and Mercer Counties under the contract discussed here.
OSPIP was a change management initiative based on forming, convening and facilitating a series of cross-functional Steering Council and Core Teams in each county. Since we were dealing with ALL One-Stop partners on a regular basis, facilitation and service process mapping required a firm foundational knowledge in the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), Wagner-Peyser Act, Trade Act, Family Support Act, Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act, and the Adult Education Act. (The resources and operating systems involved in these programs will be crucial in advising the Leadership Group on methods of closing skills gaps identified in our research.)
In addition to Steering Committee meetings, we held three three-day Core Team meetings in each of the three workforce areas, to map all processes, identify problems and their root causes, and reach consensus on low-cost solutions. For example, in each area we would fully analyze the processes for delivering services to employers. There was clearly a lack of understanding of employer service process and content needs. The One Stop Centers were not providing the one thing employers wanted above all – a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) in each Center. The causes of this disconnect were analyzed and low-cost solutions were found in each case. Once the SPOC was in place, the Centers’ lack of understanding of employer training needs could be rectified, and the content of services improved.
A similar process was used to analyze and “fix” all service delivery functions. Therefore, these projects included assessment of specific areas in which problems existed, the seriousness of the problems, the implications of taking no action, the changes to be made under current authority, and the costs and benefits of these changes. All of these items were fully documented in between meetings, much as we would do in the Southwestern Connecticut project.
After all service processes were mapped and solutions identified for a workforce area, we fashioned a report that fully described our methodology; analyzed the process maps, presented charts that showed the flow from mapping analysis through to the low cost solution, and included the benefits of making the recommended changes. Reports were presented by the Core Teams to the Steering Council to gain their buy-in to implement the proposed solutions. (See attached OSPIP: Results and Recommendations.)
Following successful deployment in New Jersey, we were invited by the International Labor Affairs Bureau (DOL) to deliver the project in Trinidad and Jamaica, which had just developed electronic Job Matching systems. The principles were installed in Trinidad and the full project successfully delivered, after cultural modifications, in Jamaica.
Maher & Maher authored the OSPIP How-To Guide. This is a guidebook on implementing a One Stop Process Improvement Project (OSPIP), a comprehensive One Stop Career Center change management initiative created by Maher & Maher. It contains many of the elements in this Guide will also become part of the Publications, including:
The OSPIP project was awarded the Showcase Award - “First Place Technology Integration“ by the United States Department of Labor at their national Joint Employment and Technology Conference (JETT CON).