The Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) provides County residents with a wide range of programs and services, including employment and job training provided through a network of America’s Job Centers of California (AJCCs), community-based services such as meals that help older adults age gracefully in their homes, Community and Senior Centers that act as local service-delivery hubs, Adult Protective Services and Dispute Resolution services.
While many of the programs operate efficiently, internal and external communication, coordination and alignment can be improved to ensure seamless services for clients. An elderly recipient of senior meals, if they are mobile, might benefit from social programs run at the local senior center or they may need Adult Protective Services if they are potential victims of abuse or neglect. A young person who is participating in a program at the community center or maybe volunteering at the senior center might also need a job and could benefit from the workforce development programs offered through the AJCCs. How and at which touch points can WDACS staff and our contractors help connect those clients with the rest of the department?
WDACS envisions that for all its critical touch points—be it through the department’s client-facing sites, call center, customer hotlines, the website, or social media, —clients are offered a full suite of services that can potentially benefit them.
To support this work, WDACS will partner with FUSE Corps to host an executive-level fellow for one year who will assess the department’s existing client touch points, assist the department to better communicate information about the department’s suite of services, and make recommendations to ensure that clients are being connected to all the services they need.
The work will entail developing an understanding of WDACS clients and how they currently interact with the department’s services and touch points, becoming familiar with the department’s workflows as they are being redesigned and working with departmental staff and contractors to develop systems for providing customers with information and referrals related the full-range of WDACS programs. It will also include developing recommendations to align programs and services that may currently be siloed to better meet identified customer needs and preferences. Given WDACS’ diverse client base, it is critical that all strategies be age- and linguistically appropriate, as well as culturally competent.
PROJECT SUMMARY & POTENTIAL DELIVERABLES
The following provides a general overview of the proposed fellowship project. This project summary and the potential deliverables that follow will be collaboratively revisited by the host agency, the fellow, and FUSE staff during the first few months of the fellowship, after which a revised scope of work will be developed and agreed upon by the FUSE Fellow and the host agency.
Starting in April 2020, it is proposed the FUSE Fellow will:
First 3 months
- Meet with WDACS program delivery staff to assess services and client communication, gain an understanding of the client database(s), and determine where and how different information on the backend is linked, or not (as may be the case).
- What client data is being collected?
- How is it being collected?
- How is it being stored?
- Who has access to the data?
- How is the data currently being used to inform programming?
- How would services use new shared data to inform programming?
- How would sharing data between service providers improve programming?
In other words, is the barrier to integration and closer collaboration dependent on how data is collected or how it is stored? Will the solution require a technical fix or a human one?
- Collate, analyze, and synthesize staff responses.
- Present findings to staff and executive leadership for initial feedback.
Next 3 months
- Conduct research to better understand WDACS clients. Some questions the Fellow may be expected to explore could include:
- What are the clients’ experiences at different touch points?
- How are clients first becoming connected to WDACS programs?
- How are clients flowing into community and senior centers?
- How do they hear about different programs?
- Do they feel the communication they currently receive from WDACS about the different programs is too little, too much, or just right?
- What are clients’ preferred means of communication with WDACS—in person, by phone, online, etc.
- Segment research based on client base (i.e. by age, program, etc.).
- Present findings to staff and executive leadership.
Next 3 months
- Develop a plan for identifying and streamlining certain verticals (programs), whose data and workflows can be linked to more effectively and efficiently share information about available services to clients whose needs potentially overlap with the different programs. At a minimum the plan should include:
- Based on ease of integration (Where is the low hanging fruit?) and potential impact (as determined by the field interviews with WDACS clients), prioritizing which programs to start with.
- A plan for a pilot demonstration that can be implemented in the last 3-4 months of the fellowship.
- A plan for evaluating the pilot demonstration, and for communicating the results of the evaluation to get buy-in from staff to launch other integration efforts.
- Any recommendations for new technology that will be needed.
- Recommendations for workflow redesign that will be needed to better align services to meet client needs.
- Present plan to staff and executive leadership to get buy-in and approval to launch the first pilot.
Last 3 months
- Launch and evaluate a pilot to streamline at least two programs whose data and workflows can be linked to more effectively and efficiently share information about available services to clients whose needs potentially overlap with the different programs.
- Time permitting, upon completion of the pilot, share evaluation results with staff and executive leadership.
- Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services
- Swati Chandra, Fuse Corps Executive Advisor
- Michael Agostinelli, Information Technology Manager
- Department Assistant Directors for each of the primary administrative areas – Administrative Services and Contracts, Aging and Adult Services, Community Services, Human Relations, and Workforce Development
- Representative department frontline staff who will participate in the initial assessment of program service communication, client database(s), and back-end operations, and may participate in the initial pilot.
- At least 15 years of professional experience in a relevant field; experience with complex and diverse service delivery for example in retail, consumer products or services industries is a plus.
- A deep understanding of the customer experience.
- Experience managing across multiple service delivery systems or a full suite of products, and a demonstrated success in having been able to integrate them.
- The ability to communicate a vision and achieve buy-in from various team members.
- The ability to absorb pushback from team members, deflect it diplomatically, and still get the job done.
- Experience with and a deep understanding of change management within a large organization.
- Superior critical thinking and analytical skills.
- Solid writing and oral communication skills; the ability to build and deliver persuasive presentations.
- Ability to synthesize complex information into clear and concise recommendations.
- Ability to relate to a wide variety of diverse audiences with strong emotional intelligence and empathy.
- Excellent stakeholder engagement skills and the ability to use facilitative leadership techniques to coordinate stakeholder activities.
- Self-motivated, goal-oriented, entrepreneurial leader who can also be an independent worker.
- Persistent in obtaining information and creatively resourceful in identifying solutions to complex problems.
- Ability to create direction and movement within potentially ambiguous
- Understands the need for solutions to support all people in a community regardless of race, religion, gender, immigration status, or ethnicity.