As with any large-scale program transformation, the shift from WIA to WIOA requires integration and collaboration across a range of stakeholders. On March 30, 2015, Monster Government Solutions convened an open roundtable discussion at the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) “Advancing Innovation Forum” in Washington, D.C. This collaborative event brought together WIB leaders and staff, as well as economic development experts, and state officials from across the country to discuss current WIOA implementation best practices and to share ideas on how to optimize training,education, and overall workforce development.

Download our whitepaper highlighting some of the key ideas, programs, and practices that emerged from these conversations.

Listen to the Workforce Central broadcast recapping the roundtable discussions. 


Original Article Posted on American City & County

By Tiki Copeland, business & education coordinator for Riverside County and Judith Villamil, strategic account manager at Monster Government Solutions

With over 2.2 million citizens, Riverside County, Calif., has the fourth largest county population in the state and the 11th-largest county population in the country. Despite this vast residential base, the county has faced challenges encouraging both businesses and citizens to build and grow professional opportunities within Riverside’s boundaries, rather than looking to Los Angeles or Orange County. With more affordable land prices and the promise of shortened commutes, we saw an overwhelming opportunity to boost economic growth in our community. 
Our strategy started with engaging our young people. The Riverside County’s Workforce Investment Board’s (WIB) youth program seeks to empower community members between the ages of 16-21, many of which have been identified as “at-risk.” The goal of the program is to improve Riverside County’s unemployment rate, provide opportunities for pregnant or parenting youth, improve outcomes for juvenile offenders and increase educational opportunities, among other things. As the youth program was looking for a way to connect with youth and build valuable experiences, we entered into a partnership with Monster Government Solutions and created a professional social networking site designed by youth, for youth called MyIEcareer.com. To help us achieve our goals this site is dedicated to providing Riverside County’s youth with increased access to career opportunities and resources.
"MyIEcareer.com is important because we're serving a tough to reach group of at-risk youth ranging from the ages of 16 to 21. For the most part, making sure they have an education and career focus has been a bit of a challenge,” says Tiki Copeland. “With this program we are helping to overcome that challenge by speaking to them the same way they speak amongst their peers—really meeting them where they are."
When teenagers need information, they start online. In fact, a 2014 presentation from PEW Research Center titled, 13 Things to Know About Teens and Technology, found that 95 percent of teens use the Internet, 78 percent have cell phones and 81 percent use social networking sites. Looking at data like this on an ongoing basis helps to inform our strategy of creating a site that speaks the language of our youth, and gives them a snapshot of life beyond high school. Copeland says, "[The site] makes it a lot easier to reach youth without them actually traveling. They are more apt to go online in regards to developing their skills or education, or even just to learn some minor tips and techniques for filling out a job application. Normally, we'd have to bring them in for a workshop at one of our Youth Opportunity Centers (YOCs) rather than them getting the information at their leisure."
To ensure that we were creating something that resonated with users, we hosted focus groups to obtain direct feedback from young residents who would be using MyIEcareer.com. From these focus groups we obtained valuable insight on the look and feel of the site and the content that the youth wanted and needed. Copeland says, "We held focus groups with young people to see what’s missing from the site and to make sure it was meeting their needs. Those focus groups continue twice a year in a safe environment to ensure folks can readily share what their needs and ideas are, and to improve the website."
In July 2011 MyIEcareer.com officially launched. After creating a profile, Riverside County youth started receiving automated alerts on relevant job announcements targeted to their age, experience and interests. Young residents immediately began using the site for critical education on potential occupations, interview tips, local career events and volunteer and internship opportunities.
Copeland says, "When these young residents register to be a part of one of our YOCs, they are given information about MyIECareer.com. What we have done to pique interest is to have contests at the YOCs that have to do with education or workplace skills. We'll have a resume writing contest, one to see who has the best elevator pitch or a competition to see who can provide a video explaining what to do in an interview and what not to do. It touches on all kinds of learning — visual, writing. They are learning to upload a video. It gets them on the site scanning job listings and getting relevant information. That was the initial push, and it took on a life of its own." With many diverse users, MyIEcareer.com is equipped with multitude of translation options to ensure that regardless of a student’s native language they can use the tool and gather the valuable information they need.
By December 2014 MyIEcareer.com had 1,300 members and was receiving approximately 25,000 page views per month. As with any technology, we knew that constantly changing and updating the site would be essential to maintaining engagement, so we decided to conduct a website refresh and launched an updated version of MyIEcareer.com the beginning of this year.
Aside from updating the overall look and feel, we empowered the platform with responsive design that was friendlier to consuming and sharing information on mobile phones and tablets, and also offered users access to downloadable apps on the iTunes and Android App stores.
A live video feed was also added to the site—something our ongoing search for youth feedback uncovered would be extremely useful. With the refreshed site, users and staff can now host meetings via live streaming, and the youth can obtain real-time advice. Another key component to our website refresh was a mobile friendly assessment tool to show the youth quick benefits of using MyIEcareer.com and to help them uncover career or educational paths that fit them based on their personality.
In addition to this, Copeland says the program has successfully engaged local employers in the Riverside County area. “We did this by explaining to employers what our website is about, who we are targeting, and the fact that we have an ample supply of candidates for them when they need to fill a position. It's important to let employers know our workers are entry-level and generally part-time, so they know to send information for those specific types of jobs. We also help pay placed workers’ wages for part of the time, so it's an incentive for employers."
We see this evolution and partnership as a work in progress. Our main goal is to continue to provide resources for our youth to ensure they become viable and contributing members of the community — MyIEcareer.com serves as an important tool in achieving that mission.
Original Article Posted on American City & County

By Susan Fallon
Vice president for Global Strategy and Business Development, Monster Government Solutions
It's a critical time for our federal workforce. The need for specialized skills and experience, particularly in the fields of cybersecurity, procurement, data science and public healthcare, has never been greater. And yet 2015 hiring projections are conservative, with proposed legislation such as the Federal Workforce Reduction Through Attrition Act potentially limiting the amount of new personnel that agencies can add. Combined with budget constraints, federal retirement waves and the challenge to attract and retain millennials, 2015 begins to look like a pivotal year for federal human capital.
Susan FallonWith that in mind, here are three workforce trends we might want to watch for in 2015.
Agencies will get proactive about engaging tech talent.
The federal government possesses more digital information than ever before and amasses much more each day, requiring agencies to build workforces skilled in analyzing and protecting that data. President Barack Obama has been dubbed the first "Cyber War President." This cyber age calls for an influx of IT security professionals and data scientists. For example, the U.S. Cyber Command is slated to receive a 500-percent manpower increase and the FBI is recruiting Silicon Valley tech experts to fill cybersecurity openings. But how can the federal government find and attract the best tech talent with so much competition and opportunity in the private sector?
An important first step is to engage with talent where they live online. Today's technology experts do not need to spend their evenings surfing job boards. They are highly sought and often well employed in the private sector. While they are less likely to be proactively responding to federal job postings, it doesn't mean these professionals are not open to new employment opportunities.
To attract the next generation of federal technology leaders, agency outreach must become far more proactive in 2015. First, federal recruiters must engage with potential recruits where they already operate, whether that is on a social coding website like GitHub or a technical service forum like Stack Overflow. And second, federal recruiters can better target and recruit top candidates by using new applicant search technologies, which have evolved to identify skills-focused social profiles.
Agencies will offer millennials career paths, not just jobs.
Office of Personnel Management data reveals that millennials make up only 16 percent of the total federal workforce. With nearly half of federal employees approaching retirement age, it is imperative that agencies recruit and retain future leaders from the millennial generation to fill potential talent and skills gaps. To do so, agencies must strengthen their millennial engagement tactics.
The good news is that millennials are attracted to public service and seek jobs that have a positive impact on society. But the challenge with attracting millennials is not only about recruiting — it is also about retention. What millennials want — and what agencies need to offer if they hope to attract and retain this young talent — are clearly defined progression paths, professional development and training options, and growth and leadership opportunities. In other words, millennials who work for, or want to work for, the federal government are seeking careers, not just jobs.
As government programs embrace new workplace trends, millennials will be more excited to pursue extended federal careers, ensuring that leadership positions left open by today's retirees will be filled with accomplished and passionate young talent. Recruiters and managers must effectively communicate the distinction and value that federal employment offers during all stages of the employment process.
Agencies will rely more on competencies for workforce planning.
In 2015, agencies will continue to need the most out of the skills, knowledge and experience of their existing personnel. This starts with knowing what competencies the workforce already possesses. What if, for example, a new procurement analyst codes in their spare time? If coding was not discussed during recruitment or onboarding, team leaders would have no way of knowing that they had any specialized IT background at all.
A recent study from the Government Business Council and Monster Government Solutions found that 70 percent of those surveyed relied on informal methods for workforce planning, including hand-written notes, white boards and blank spreadsheets, and 34 percent stated that their agencies did not gather data on competencies at all. Not surprisingly, the study also revealed that 80 percent of managers agreed or strongly agreed that up-to-date information on competencies would improve their ability to manage personnel, including staff changes and reductions.
The shift from manual workforce planning processes to automated solutions, which are already being used effectively by large private corporations, will provide managers with unprecedented insight into the competencies of their current workforce so that they can tackle projects more efficiently—helping to streamline career mapping, succession planning, position classification, personnel action requests and payroll operations.
The year ahead
The federal workforce is dedicated to strengthening, protecting and serving our nation. In these dynamically changing times, finding and keeping the right talent is of critical importance. Agencies can ensure they have the workforce skills necessary to meet future missions by proactively recruiting tech talent, retaining millennials, and automating competency gathering processes. If started now, 2015 will be remembered for its bold and important steps in federal human capital management.
This article originally appeared on Federal News Radio

U.S. Cyber Challenge and Monster Government Solutions Collaborate to Increase Communications and Opportunities to Cybersecurity Enthusiasts Through Social Networking
Washington, D.C., March 25, 2015 – Today, U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) and Monster Government Solutions launch the highly anticipated online community CyberCompEx.org – a social networking portal geared specifically toward cybersecurity enthusiasts. The launch follows the previous collaboration announcement between USCC and Monster Government Solutions in December 2014 during the DHS S&T Cyber Security Division R&D Showcase in Washington, DC.  
“With the significant gap in highly skilled cybersecurity professionals in our nation’s workforce today, there is not only the need to find and train talented individuals into the field, as we do with U.S. Cyber Challenge, but also increase communication between talent, competitions, educational groups, and employers,” stated Karen S. Evans, National Director for U.S. Cyber Challenge. “That is why we collaborated with Monster Government Solutions to revitalize CyberCompEx – a cybersecurity-specific social networking platform designed to do just that – increase dialogue among all levels of the cybersecurity field where individuals can learn from one another and discover new opportunities to develop their skill sets.”
“In this day and age, the importance of finding, hiring, and developing the right cybersecurity talent cannot be overstated. CyberCompEx sets the stage for cybersecurity professionals and employers to connect like never before,” explains Susan Fallon, Vice President for Global Strategy and Business Development at Monster Government Solutions. “Monster is proud to work with the U.S. Cyber Challenge to deliver such an essential resource.”
CyberCompEx is a virtual community built to provide an avenue for those in the cybersecurity field, as well as those simply interested in cybersecurity, to network with others possessing similar interests and skills and also with potential employers. Within the portal, community members are able to create a profile, converse with other individuals through the use of forums and messaging and be notified of events. To learn more about CyberCompEx and become a member of the community, visit www.CyberCompEx.org.
For information about CyberCompEx, visit the website at www.CyberCompEx.org
About U.S. Cyber Challenge:
U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) is a program of the Center for Internet Security (CIS), a 501(c)(3) organization, and has the mission to significantly reduce the shortage in the cyber workforce by serving as the premier program to identify, attract, recruit and place the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. The goal of U.S. Cyber Challenge is to find 10,000 of America's best and brightest to fill the ranks of cybersecurity professionals where their skills can be of the greatest value to the nation. For more information, visit www.USCyberChallenge.org
About Monster Worldwide, Inc.:
Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW) is a global leader in connecting people to jobs, wherever they are. For more than 20 years, Monster has helped people improve their lives with better jobs, and employers find the best talent. Today, the company offers services in more than 40 countries, providing some of the broadest, most sophisticated job seeking, career management, recruitment and talent management capabilities. Monster continues its pioneering work of transforming the recruiting industry with advanced technology using intelligent digital, social and mobile solutions, including our flagship website monster.com® and a vast array of products and services. For more information visit monster.com/about.

NEWTON, MASS., FEB. 25, 2015…..Gov. Charlie Baker warned the state’s high-tech executives on Wednesday that their edge in the national economy is under attack from other states, hinting that he will put forward ideas soon to help ensure a strong supply of workforce talent to keep their businesses growing.
Baker returned to Massachusetts this week after spending the weekend in Washington D.C. at the National Governors Association winter meeting where he dined at the White House on Sunday night at a table with President Barack Obama, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
“Colorado is coming on and coming on strong,” Baker told a banquet hall full of executives at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts High Technology Council at the Newton Marriott. “I saw Governor Hickenlooper from Colorado when I was at the NGA meeting and he couldn’t help but make this point to me many, many times over the course of several days. I need a really good rejoinder on that one, folks.”
Baker said Virginia, Maryland and New York City, under initiatives put in place by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have all made progress building strong tech sectors. “And our high cost of doing business continues to be a drag on our ability to be successful,” Baker said.
While in Washington, Baker said he participated in a roundtable discussion with other governors who were all asked the most significant challenge to economic development in their states.
“You will probably not be surprised to hear the overwhelming answer from most governors as they worked their way around the room was skill building and the lack of connectivity between skills people have the and jobs that are available,” Baker said, adding that he named “snow” as his biggest challenge so far.
Lawmakers and the governor’s office have for years tried to find ways to partner with businesses to help educate and train a new workforce for jobs in the technology, life science and advanced manufacturing fields where employers have reported job openings that they are unable to fill because of the lack of a qualified applicant pool.
“This is a serious issue and one that we certainly plan to spend a significant amount of time on. We’ll have more to say about that over the course of the next couple weeks as we roll out a couple of initiatives on that,” Baker said.
While aides to Baker declined to discuss the details of those initiatives, one top advisor suggested Baker’s strategy will include initiatives incorporated into his fiscal 2016 budget proposal due next Wednesday, as well as other efforts.
Baker said Massachusetts continues to have “probably the broadest tech innovation sector employment base” in the country, including California, North Carolina and New Jersey. With significant footholds in nine of the 11 “key innovation clusters,” Baker credited the innovation and technology industries in Massachusetts with producing $150 billion in economic output annually and accounting for a fifth of the state’s workforce.
Discussing his previous work on the board of Athena HeaLth Care in Watertown, Baker said the state has done well to capitalize on the strength of its health care and research institutions by expanding into “big data,” personalized medicine and electronic medical records.
“I can’t think of a state in a better position to be hugely successful in leading the charge on all those initiatives than the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” he said.
At the event, the High Tech Council formally launched its new Massachusetts’ Technology, Talent and Economic Reporting System (MATTERS), a free online tool that will be accessible to the public.
The website allows users to measure Massachusetts against other states using various sources of data to evaluate talent and business competitiveness, and developers said they want it to give policymakers, advocates and tech leaders access to information to inform decisions.
According to some measures, MATTERS showed that Massachusetts ranks 47th in the country for ease of finding technology talent, which could have something to do with the high cost of living, tax burden, energy prices or other factors.
Baker said he looked forward to using MATTERS and engaging with the industry to keep Massachusetts at the leading edge of the sector.
“I think it will help us to mount an offensive on the place we can go on attack and it also gives us what we need to frame those places where we need to be better and stronger,” Baker said.

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