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Denver Workforce Center

Innovations Toward Individual Service

Community Challenge/Problem

One of the challenges in serving jobseekers is that each person is a unique individual with a personal story and background, many of them presenting individual strengths but also potential barriers to success. a "one-size-fits-all" delivery for pre-employment and job placement is bound to leave some jobseekers lost in the shuffle. Given that Denver Workforce places special priority on certain subsets of the jobseeker population--that is, long-term unemployed and underemployed, as well as veterans, and certainly a range of at-risk youth--we work to balance the natural tension between serving as many people as possible on onehand with a high level of individualized attention and customized service on the other.

Board Solution/Innovation

Innovation and continuous improvement are not just buzzwords for Denver Workforce trainers, who are regularly adding fresh material to our training calendar. A recent "Working for the Federal Government" workshop focused on targeted resumes and using the USA JOBS website. The "Restored Citizen" curriculum helped those with criminal backgrounds. We also added a Digital Literacy Certification to help jobseekers demonstrate skills in six different topics including web/email, Microsoft Word, Excel, and social media. We expect older jobseekers are most likely to welcome this training, and we have marketed the digital literacy services accordingly ("Do you have outdated computer experience, or none at all? No worries! We're eager to help").

Outcomes & Results

With digital literacy, we are testing a three-step approach: a free regular group session, offered throughout the month; a free one-on-one session available two days a week by appointment, in 30-minute increments; and the testing itself, which includes coaching for sections not passed, and when complete, results in a certification that assures potential employers that the learner has mastered the skills needed for high-performance, higher wage positions. Based on attendance and feedback, we will continue to make data-driven adjustments to our monthly curriculum in the months ahead.

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