System maintenance remains a difficult task as many agencies rely on disconnected, legacy solutions, requiring teams to stay knowledgeable about and keep up with multiple systems. As for system accuracy, it is extremely difficult to update every single system of all minor and significant changes to any type of data, leading to inaccurate info when it’s needed.
Analog systems in place today not only add administrative burdens to workforce development, but may also lead to service delays, and fraud vulnerability. It’s also likely that each agency’s software and hardware needs are supported by an IT department faced with limited staff and resources. Finally, if these systems are not constantly updated, it will hold outdated information about program participants, including employment status.
Local workforce boards are expected, among many things, to make the best of the resources and capacity available to them. Additionally, their agenda includes better utilizing technology to facilitate connections between the intake and case management information systems of one-stop partners, and to access services provided through the one-stop system. Given the many parties within a workforce development program, there will always be different solutions and data sources. That said, boards should consider enabling an interoperable solution that connects them not only with job centers, but also employers, workers, and training providers.
As states expand broadband access, plans by local and state boards to implement portable, stackable digital credentials are quickly surfacing nationwide. Being able to connect information regarding a person’s qualifications and credentials among different workforce development partners allows programs to quickly connect their participants with opportunities and supportive services.
Considering, for instance, the use of stackable credentials to propel career pathways. An individual might be able to attain all the credentials necessary to start a specific job faster if they obtain training or take classes from different training and education providers — all of which issue digital credentials that can then help the worker become qualified faster.
Merit is a digital credentialing solution that allows credential issuers to maintain up-to-date records on the status of all credential holders as well as enable workers to verify, showcase, and carry their achievements at all times and always be ready for work opportunities. Additionally, the solution is interoperable, being easily connected with and across legacy systems. That allows for streamlined visibility into the status of individuals as they progress through training, credentialing, and work to fully understand the ROI on a given program.