With unemployment at an all-time high due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) are busy helping clients overcome a long list of newly emerging barriers to employment (free checklist here). That’s why it’s critical to prioritize the development of new program strategies, including virtual services, for clients.
As regions leverage opportunities for workforce development, new virtual strategies must include online options, especially when it comes to job searching and training. For more information on that, check out this recent blog on virtual job search.
In this article, you will learn about the latest advances workforce boards and American Job Centers (AJCs) are implementing in order to better serve in-need populations looking for work. We will also share innovative community resources and service strategies that all jobseekers, including Veterans and youth, can connect with remotely.
What are the most common barriers to employment? A 2020 Monthly Labor Review report conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on employment and unemployment in the U.S. showed the most common barriers include:
- Childcare and family issues
- Housing instability
- Disabilities and mental or physical health issues
- Crime and substance abuse
- Lack of education or training
- Lack of transportation
American Job Centers (AJCs) are a big part of a region’s support system and provide many programs and services to assist jobseekers in working toward employment and self-sufficiency.
Check out our 5 best practices to help clients overcome barriers below!
2. Virtual Workshops/Training/Job Fairs
There’s no doubt the virtual classroom setting is changing the way employment services are offered. Remote access to services is helping to shape the labor force in preparing jobseekers for employment. These activities enable AJCs to more effectively serve additional clients while meeting the needs of employers. As a way to enhance existing training options, LWDBs can offer skill-building curriculum offered in the form of online training, workshops and assessments, with live instructors providing guidance and support.
Advancements in the delivery of workforce training such as virtual job preparation workshops are astounding. According to SHRM and a Recruitics survey, 83 percent of in-person hiring events have been canceled, postponed and/or made virtual.
According to Instructor Adam Torr, virtual tools such as immersive simulation experiences for jobseekers are more effective than traditional offerings.
“Learning how to write a resume or improving interviewing skills can be intimidating. Using new technologies and software tends to not only be fun for learners, but also memorable, and ultimately impactful; not unlike a Science teacher conducting an experiment to teach a new concept to their students rather than simply writing on a chalk board.” -- Adam Torr, Instructor
Read more about e-learning advancements in this blog.
With the reality that so many people have lost their jobs and the fact that people are becoming more comfortable with virtual interactions, online job fairs have become a regular offering at most of the AJCs across the country. Experts agree that the main benefit for hosting virtual hiring events is flexibility—for both jobseekers and employers . Not being limited by location and being able to meet anytime, anywhere is very convenient, timely and effective.
4. One-on-One Mentoring
Many LWBDs are now taking customized service a step further by setting up mentoring programs with interested employers. Employers are able to share knowledge and ensure professional connections are offered directly within a client’s specific industry. Meetings between employers and clients can take place via video conferencing software.
Our workforce experts are ready to help you learn more about using these strategies to help your clients gain self-sufficiency and employment.
Contact us today!