Working With Employers: The Essentials of Job Development

Presenters: Sarah Griffen, Boston Healthcare and Training Institute; Tara Webb, Impact, Inc.
Industry Representatives: Nat Alston, the Horizons Group; Mary Jo Gubricky and Frederick Kline, Aramark; Rick Silber, City Group.

Based on the success of its workforce practitioners' forum, JOTF organized a daylong workshop to address in a more in-depth manner some of the areas of interest listed by May 11 attendees. To help plan the session, JOTF reached out to Public/Private Ventures, a New York-based nonprofit organization that conducts research into and training around social policy issues, including workforce development.

Using its publication Job Development Essentials as a template, P/PV developed a curriculum that focused on effective communications between service providers and employers. Sarah Griffen of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation in Boston, and Tara Webb of the nonprofit Impact, Inc. in Philadelphia were contracted by P/PV to conduct the workshop.


Topics included: 

  • conducting appropriate research on businesses;
  • using a service portfolio approach, rather than a program mission approach, to engaging employers;
  • matching job seekers to appropriate positions;
  • following up with employers and workers for retention purposes; and
  • developing an effective “pitch” to market clients and services. The trainers designed the curriculum to maximize participant input.

An afternoon panel featured representatives of key industry sectors, including hospitality and construction. Employers on the panel discussed typical business needs and concerns, and how providers could best address them. Following the panel presentation, each employer led small groups of participants in practicing and refining their marketing pitches.

As with the May 11 event, response from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. Many expressed a hope that JOTF would provide further opportunities for them to continue exploring some of the topics discussed at the workshop.


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