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WIB Websites

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Workforce Investment Boards have for too long produced substandard websites. The message on the website is diluted because WIB's are trying to speak to more than one audience. Additionally, WIB's are not engaging the website viewer appropriately because quite frankly, they do not know who they are talking to. Therefore WIB's are not delivering information on the website that is desired by those who should be the target audience for the website (employers). This presentation helps workforce investment boards retool their message so that the message addresses the needs and wants of employers. Knowing who the audience for the website is will also allow WIB's to set measurable objectives regarding engagement.

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WIB Websites

  1. 1. WIB Websites How to Turn Your WIB Website into an Engine of Economic Development and Job Creation Presented By: Colleen LaRose North East Regional Employment and Training Association
  2. 2. We are going to go where no WIB has gone before…. What is required to be “Revolutionary.” Recognize self as change agent and leader Open to new ideas Vision Belief in possibilities Desire Fearless Bold “The NERETA Revolution”
  3. 3. You can’t be everything to everyone! State WIB Local WIB Employers Job seekers Partners State DOL Please fix these issues! Low Literacy Levels Mental Health Laziness/poor work ethic Computer iilliteracy Youth employment needs Older worker employment needs Veterans employment needs Offender employment needs Person’s w/disabilities employment needs Everybody else’s employment needs Transportation /child care needs Articulation between schools We will have more for you to fix tomorrow. Staff/Contractors Help! DEAR WIB DIRECTOR:
  4. 4. Stakeholders vs. Target Market Stakeholders – Those who are invested in your success. Target market – Those who you need the attention of in order to be a success. Who should be your priority? Which are your stakeholders? Who is your “target market? Politicians, Jobseekers, Local Board, USDOL, State DOL, State WIB, Staff Contractors, Partners, Economic Development, Chambers of Commerce, Employers
  5. 5. What is Success for a WIB?  Active Board?  Invited to sit on other boards?  Quoted often in the media?  Acquired many grants?  Respected by state/federal officials?  Fix lots of issues/problems?  Positive financial impact on the region?...HOW???
  6. 6. What is the product of a WIB? ?
  7. 7. If the WIB’s Product is a Quality Workforce.... Have you looked at the workforce through the “marketing” lens?  Product - quality, usability  Place – available when and where I need it  Price – relative value, competitive  Promotion – Benefits are known by potential users
  8. 8. Have you ever sold a product? What is our unique selling proposition? (What makes our cupcakes unique, special, different, memorable?) Does the look and feel of the website matter when ordering a cupcake? Do testimonials about our cupcakes matter? Let’s say we are starting a company selling cupcakes.
  9. 9. Which is most powerful?  FEATURES (telling -marketing)  How big is the cupcake  How tasty is the cupcake  How attractive is the cupcake  BENEFITS (believing -persuasion)  You will attract attention when holding the cupcake  People will think you are smart/powerful/wealthy when you are holding the cupcake  People will be jealous of you when they see you have the cupcake Steak Sizzle
  10. 10. Sell the Benefits of your region’s Workforce Capabilites Features: Close to major university Low cost labor Large youth population Benefits: Close to major university – Great minds at your doorstep to help you with your business challenges Low cost of labor - You can afford a larger staff to get more hands and minds working for you Large youth population – Youthful vigor with up-to-date technical skills and fresh ideas
  11. 11. Why does your WIB have a website?  Because we were told to have a website  To explain who we are and what we do (justify our existence)  To provide a place where people can see public reports, meeting minutes, meeting schedules, etc.  To provide information about workforce services and links to local employment and training providers  To entice businesses to locate or expand in the region based on our workforce capabilities
  12. 12. So then, who is the target audience for your WIB website?  Board members?  Politicians?  System partners and other stakeholders?  Jobseekers?  State and/or federal officials? Of course not…the priority and target audience of the WIB is Employers! Again….who is the WIB’s priority?
  13. 13. Why concentrate efforts on employers?  WIB’s are Demand Driven  WIB’s are 51% private sector  Employers create jobs  Employers grow the economy  When employers are happy, so are: ◦ Politicians ◦ Jobseekers ◦ System partners ◦ Board members
  14. 14. “All Employers” are not the WIB’s Target Audience Can the WIB “position” the local workforce in the marketplace to retain and attract strategic “buyers?” Which employers should your WIB target? Which employers is economic development trying to attract? Which employers are growing? Which employers are crucial to retain in the community?
  15. 15. Think like an employer! (or the site selector they hired) If you were evaluating a region to determine relocation or growth potential for a company, what would you want to know about the workforce?
  16. 16. What is special about your region’s workforce capabilities? UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION Who are you marketing to?  Highly educated  Proud history of strong work ethic  Low absenteeism  Motivated, engaged  Innovative  Diverse  Strong technical capabilities  Superior training facilities  Young workforce  Older, experienced workforce
  17. 17. Is this similar to your WIB’s website content?
  18. 18. Is this what is on your WIB website?  Strategic plan and other reports  List of your members  List of your committees  Minutes of meetings/Calendar of future meetings  System partners  Incentives, tax credits that can benefit employers (that are really about hiring the down and out…not about helping employers)  Information about some training programs  WIB policies and procedures
  19. 19. Telling vs. Doing  Are you explaining why the WIB is valuable? (Playing defense)  Are you demonstrating that the local workforce is valuable? (Playing offense)
  20. 20. A quality workforce is the number one reason that businesses now choose their location…surpassing tax incentives, low cost of business, transportation, and even quality of life! Economic Developers say, “Workforce Quality is #1”
  21. 21. Communicating with Employers Encoding Decoding  What you are telling employers  What employers say they need  What employers want to know  What is provided to employers
  22. 22. Learning to speak the language of employers.  Quantify, Quantify, Quantify!  How much does it improve their profitability? (Most important!)  How much does it reduce their costs? (Not as important)  Would you rather have a dollar bill or a dollar off coupon?
  23. 23. Would these topics intrigue employers?  What is special about your region’s workforce capabilities? (unique selling proposition)  What are the existing workforce characteristics?  How are training needs met in the region?  What are the existing employer characteristics?  What are the emerging employment trends and economic opportunities?  What other supports can you provide employers ?
  24. 24. What are the existing workforce characteristics?  How large is the local labor pool?  What are the prevailing wages? How are wages meeting living expenses? (How does cost of living compare to the national average?)  What are the skills possessed by the local labor pool? ◦ Basic skills? ◦ Workforce readiness certified? ◦ PC Literacy? ◦ High school graduation rate? ◦ Percent in remedial education in 1st year of college? ◦ Percent with BA degree? MA degree? PhD’s?  Work ethic? ◦ Turnover rates? ◦ Absentee rate? ◦ Productivity?
  25. 25. How are training needs met in the region?  Are k-12 and colleges participating in the economic vision and solutions?  Is there one point of contact for employers to get information they need about finding and training workers?  Are employers surveyed regularly about their training needs?  What Colleges, voc schools, and private training providers located within one hour?  How are the training providers and colleges doing on their “scorecards?”  Who provides which kind of training?  Worker training programs? ◦ Incumbent worker training? ◦ Apprenticeship programs? ◦ On the job training?
  26. 26. What are the existing employer characteristics?  What are the major industries?  Who are the local major employers?  Which companies are unionized? Is this a “right-to- work” state?  Who are the newest employers? Home grown? Recruited?
  27. 27. What are the emerging employment trends and economic opportunities?  Are there untapped/hidden pools of labor?  Is the region attractive to talent who may need to be recruited nationally?
  28. 28. What other supports can you provide employers? NOW PROVIDE Recruitment, LMI, UI, Compliance, Incentives WHAT ELSE?  Human resources, Labor relations, Wellness  Being/becoming a value to the community? ◦ How to achieve/maintain preferred employer status in the community? ◦ Civic involvement/corporate giving?  Industry specific initiatives?  Economic gardening program? (business expansion/CEO training)  Temp services?
  29. 29. The Difference…. Home Workforce Profile Key Sectors Grow Your Business About Us Home Workforce bd Contact Us Training Providers Jobseekers Resources RfP’s About Us RECOMMENDED MENU (Employer Focused) TYPICAL WIB MENU (Board Focused) Which Menu draws the attention of employers? Which Menu has the best chance of driving economic development and job creation? Which menu entices businesses to locate or expand in the region based on the region’s workforce capabilities?
  30. 30. How to get “There” from “Here” Will require some additional research (Labor market assessment and annual employer survey). Will require a commitment to engaging with employers. Will require NEW thinking!  Able to see the benefits.  Willingness to be “revolutionary.”
  31. 31. More than just “LMI” Labor Market Assessment (Objective) ◦ Population and Demographics Overview ◦ Labor Location (commuting distance) ◦ Labor Demand ◦ Industries rising/Industries falling ◦ Education and Training ◦ Labor Costs (regulatory, unions, etc) ◦ Draw to recruit workers (Quality of Life)
  32. 32. Annual Employer Survey Employer Self-Report (Subjective) ◦ Workforce reliability (Availability, Stability, Productivity, Quality) ◦ Training (in house, consultants, providers) ◦ Employee type (ft, pt, temp) ◦ Company plans (growing, merging, exporting, new products/services, etc)
  33. 33. A Step by Step Online Guide www.wibwebsite.com
  34. 34. Stakeholder Opinions…. How will politicians, system partners, board members and even jobseekers feel about a WIB website that sells the benefits of the local workforce as its dominate message?
  35. 35. Quality Communications Planning  Fresh, Attractive, (balance of graphics and text)  Interactive, easy to navigate and intuitive  Uses effective language for target audience (No Jargon)  Define mission of organization and clearly explain products/services BENEFITS  Calls to action/opt-in - take our survey, sign-up for newsletter, connect on social media, sign-up for online workshop, send questions/suggestions  Pertinent and up-to-date news (local unemployment rate, plant closings, business openings…what this means for jobs)  Strategic partner links and information (economic development, education, industry associations, etc)  Tracking and responding to analytics, SEO Plana
  36. 36. The Don’ts  Don’t overwhelm with too much information. (Keep the information “quippy” You want them to call for more information)  Don’t combine the One Stop and WIB websites  Don’t limit WIB information/offerings to currently funded programs.
  37. 37. The Do’s  Do make the WIB website employer centric  Do Highlight the positive Labor Force aspects of your region  Do a Labor Assessment! Listen to Employer Needs and Try to Respond to their Needs (not just give them what you already have available)!  Do explain the many training options available for staff and executives that encourage opportunities for business growth and expansion  Do use the website and social media to regularly stay in touch with local employers  Do offer Industry focused opportunities for employers to engage on topics about the local workforce with other local employers in their industry
  38. 38. Questions? Need further assistance? We can help! Colleen LaRose President and CEO North East Regional Employment and Training Association (NERETA) P (908) 995-7718 E colleen@nereta.org www.nereta.org