Executive Director’s FY16 Annual Report
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. -Charles Darwin, naturalist and author (1809-1882)
In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. -Eric Hoffer, philosopher and author (1902-1983)
Those of you who have been on the Board for a while know that I like to headline the Annual Report with a quote that has some relevance to our program year. Well, this year the theme of change is our headline. The change is also significant enough that I feel the need to double up on the quotes.
In addition to the WIOA changes that we have been highlighting for a while now, a new Federal OMB circular detailing new financial reporting guidelines, has created significant reworking of our internal reporting. The changes are specifically aimed at how we report our payroll hours worked, and it has been a difficult learning curve as we implement these new processes.
The WIOA changes have been a bit less difficult to implement, up to now. They have though caused some challenges especially in trying to attract vendors for our youth programs. Our Out of School Youth program is being implemented by our Career Center operator due to the lack of vendors interested in bidding to provide these services. We offered contracts for approximately $300,000 but did not receive any legitimate bids for the funding. Due to the failed bid process we were late in spending down the funds so we will have more funds in the next fiscal year for our Out of School programs.
Other changes brought about by the new WIOA legislation are being rolled out slowly. The WIB does have a WIOA implementation committee that will be dealing with a few issues as we enter the next fiscal year. We will be signing an interim MOU with our mandated partners to start the new FY, and eventually a permanent MOU that will include cost sharing if the state leaders can work out some guidelines. We will also be designing an RFP process for Career Center management. The process will play out over most of the next year and culminate with a career center manager in place on July 1, 2017.
Other changes in our local system include the hiring of a new Director for the ACCESS program at Cape Cod Community College. This is the adult basic learning program which also offers ESOL training. Jhon Valencia is the new Director and we are working very closely on the Adult Pathways Grant that we partner on with ACCESS.
We also welcome a new Area Director for the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission office on the Cape. J P Moriarty is the Director and we are currently working on MOU’s for next year. Both Jhon and JP are WIB Directors.
This year I served on two state committees which were dealing with the business engagement aspects of implementing WIOA. A wide ranging series of potential activities was proposed by the WIOA Business Services Committee that met for several months leading up to the development of the State Plan for WIOA. Recommendations were made in November and the final version of the state plan was submitted in April. I can tell you that the Massachusetts plan was one of the first submitted and is considered a model for other states to follow.
The second state committee is called Business Services 2.0 and will begin to meet this June. This committee is concerned with the nuts and bolts of career center business services offerings, especially in regard to coordinating services provided to businesses that may cross WIB lines. For example, a bank may have branches across the state and under normal circumstances would have to deal with 10 or more workforce areas to source employees. This committee is seeking ways to provide a single contact point for such businesses so that they won’t have to keep reinventing the wheel in different locations.
We were able to assist several businesses to access the Workforce Training Fund Program this year. Onset Computer, Ocean Edge, Cape Associates, Benchmark Dental, and the Wampanoag Tribe were all successful applicants. We also worked with Good Clothing Company of Mashpee, and though they were not successful with an initial submission, we look forward to eventually seeing them receive a grant. The Tribe’s grant was interesting to work on as we served as an intermediary between Cape Cod Community College and Bristol Community College to help work out the details of the training.
This year we were able to reestablish a strong connection with our Nantucket service area. A new Executive Director was appointed to the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce and she reached out to us. Subsequently we have been able to work with Nantucket High School and the Chamber to strengthen the School To Careers internship activities on the Island. We hope to be able to provide Workforce Training Fund Program assistance to some businesses on Nantucket.
In that same vein we are delighted to have the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Director, Nancy Gardella, as a member of our Board. We have engaged in a number of activities on Martha’s Vineyard and look forward to continuing our efforts there.
This year we continued our association with CCYP as a presenting sponsor for their Mentor Monday program. This activity is one part of a larger mentoring initiative that is in its second year. We have been a sponsor since the program was founded and look forward to continuing our association with CCYP.
We initiated a new program this year in association with the Homebuilders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod. In past years the state used to sponsor a Construction Career Day for high school students, but last year they decided to end the program. We were able to partner with Chris Duran and her association to hold a Construction Career Day here on the Cape. It is a great partnership and we are looking forward to holding this event on an annual basis.
This year our Marketing Committee oversaw the design and printing of a new brochure for the WIB. Having migrated to online and social media communications we got away from printed materials but felt that we were missing an opportunity, especially when either Kara or I are speaking at an event. Now we have a great information piece that we can leave behind. We are also distributing the brochures through chambers and town offices throughout the region.
Our 55+ Committee has also been active this year. Working with Career Opportunities we have conducted a couple of hiring events featuring older workers. Currently we have an earmark in the Senate version of the state budget for $25,000 to assist with our 55+ efforts next year.
This month Cape Cod Community College cut the ribbon on its new Aviation Maintenance program. We have been working with the College for several years in support of President Cox’s efforts to establish this program. We believe that the program provides a new avenue into a family sustaining wage occupation for Cape workers.
This year we worked very hard to submit an application to the state’s Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund program seeking funding to train technicians for the HVAC industry. We were not successful in receiving this grant, but we are currently doing due diligence to see if we can fund a program using our federal training dollars. Kris Dower and I will be hosting several meetings with training providers and industry leaders as we seek to implement a local program. We are also finishing up on our existing WCTF grant which is ending its 3rd year. This $300,000 grant has allowed us to train over 40 health care professionals.
There is a separate report in your package with details about our youth programs. I do want to take a moment though to briefly describe our efforts with the ArtWorks program which is part of the School to Careers program. ArtWorks is celebrating its 20th year and we are expending a lot of effort to find a partner to continue the program. Heritage Museums and Gardens has been a great partner for the past three years, but their strategic planning process has led them in other directions, they will not be able to continue the program.
David Willard, Kara, and I have been engaged in discussions with several potential partners for the program, but have yet to find a fit. We will continue our efforts and I have every confidence that we will be successful in seeing this model program continue to support young artists in our region.
I am continuing my participation in a number of state and local organizations to support our efforts;
Coastal Community Capital Board of Directors
Housing Assistance Corporation – Board Chair
Massachusetts Workforce Board Association (Ex. Comm.)
UMASS Dartmouth Public Policy Advisory Board
Cape Cod Chamber Economic Development Committee
In addition I continue to write a monthly column for the Barnstable Patriot and on a monthly basis I also contribute to the Barnstable This Morning cable television show. Every month I provide commentary and context to radio news outlets regarding the most recent Department of Labor employment statistics.
Hopefully the WIB Board and staff can work hard to be sure that we continue to be counted among the learners, continuously moving the organization along as a 21st century operation.