Barbara Halsey: Working With Your Local WIB

On June 7, 2012, board member Judy Hawkins led a conversation with Barbara Halsey, the executive director of the California Workforce Association, about working with your local Workforce Investment Board (WIB). What follows are some notes from the conversation.

*It’s important to look at the philosophy of the WIB at the board level.

  • If social service oriented, they are concerned with low income, low skilled workers and there might be some barriers to overcome.
  • If economic development oriented, we have an easier relationship to develop as micro is a part of that.

*At the implementation level, the career counselors at various levels need to understand micro and entrepreneurship. The people who develop the individual training plans are very traditional – 99.9% haven’t had exposure.

*Because of SB734, the DeSaulnier bill that was signed in October 2011, WIBs need to spend 25% of their total allocation on training for 2013-2015. By 2016, the percentage increases to 30%.

Sac/San Joaquin SBA and WIB’s are collaborating
San Bernardino WIB is doing a one-year training/mentoring project with Impact (not a CAMEO member)

*Three obstacles: performance measures, dedicated funding, time frame (it takes t2-3 months for job placement, but 18-24 for a business to be viable.)

*Some solutions/ideas:

  • Some WIBs are willing to absorb the self-employment performance measures. They look at the overall ratio of the number of enrolled to completed and employed.
  • Micro – might not count in short-term, but in the long-term, might become employers 3 years down the line.
  • Look at ROI to community. Looking at cost-benefit analysis of Workforce Investment money. One thing to do is to talk to your local WIB to invest a set of dollars for a ROI project.
  • Rapid response – 20% of federal allocation
    • 80% of the 20% goes to areas with layoffs to provide services
    • missed opportunity for MDO’s could be layoff aversion (helping businesses with problems that could be solved
    • Get on the local WIB board or have one of your board members on the WIB board.
    • For the ETPL – each locality has a different strategy. Cassandra Tobey of Orange County Goodwill recommends becoming coded in General Management and Entrepreneurial Training.

Action items:

  • Barbara Halsey and Claudia Viek will profile WIBs, look at what’ sbeing funded and who they are serving
  • Tell story of Santa Crus WIB and distribute – find out if they did an ROI analysis
  • Brainstorm and share on what worked in persuading WIBS and how programs aligned with what WIB wanted
  • Get assessment tools that WIBs use from Barbara Halsey