On Friday, November 19th, David Barch, Director of Membership and Certification for the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP), joined MAX to share insights on professional development trends in the midst of the pandemic and how workforce developers have made adjustments to continue to grow professionally in the midst of challenging times.
Barch began with answering the question of why workforce developers should focus on our own professional development now more than ever. “We’ve experienced in 2020 and 2021 what no one ever dreamed could happen in our lifetime,” he noted. “The world as we knew it shut down last Spring, millions of workers across the nation lost jobs.” Barch pointed out how we were not prepared nor permitted an adjustment period and how American job centers closed when more people than ever needed their services. While there are stories of what he called “workforce heroes” – that is, workforce professionals who adapted and became innovative in their efforts to serve the job seeker and employer, Barch sees a need for all of us to continually grow in our efforts to be flexible and to embrace the ever-evolving technologies that are becoming a main stay in our everyday work lives.
Some other key points made by Barch include:
- Commitment to customer service has to be bigger than ever during a time like this. We’re going to have to continue to adapt to our customer’s needs. We have to meet their needs not just in our house but in their house as well.
- Partnerships are key in serving the customer. No agency can serve the diverse workforce by itself.
- The misalignment between job seekers and employers is bigger than it’s ever been. How do we inspire people who have not worked due to the pandemic to get back into the system?
- Communication is more important than ever: how to communicate with job seekers, employers, and partners.
- The pandemic provides us an opportunity to be more innovative than ever as we don’t stop with one adaptation but continue adapting to find ways to serve customers in a better way.
Special thanks to MAX board member Karen Leone de Nie, Vice President of Community & Economic Development, with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta for hosting and to MAX board member Daniela Perry, Vice President of the Georgia Chamber for leading the program.
Click here for the recording.
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Launched in 2014, the mission of MAX is to advance economic competitiveness in the Atlanta region by strengthening connections, collaborations, and practices among workforce developers and organizations engaged in workforce development.
Through our webinar series, MAX Minutes, MAX seeks to bring timely insights to providers, intermediaries, and other partners in workforce. MAX Minutes features talks by key experts in the Atlanta region and beyond on important workforce matters.