Los Angeles County Office of Education hired Launchpad to develop a reporting and tracking application built on the Force.com cloud platform for its GAIN/GROW Division, the county’s employment-related service provider to CalWORKs (welfare) recipients.
The Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) and General Relief Opportunity for Work (GROW) programs provide employment-related services to CalWORKs recipients to help them find employment, stay employed, and move on to higher paying jobs. This will ultimately lead them to self-sufficiency and independence from welfare.
All GAIN/GROW services are free for employers. These programs offer pre-screened candidates that are prepared and available for interviews on short notice. The GAIN/GROW programs conduct Job Fairs where highly qualified participants are available for interviews, evaluation and hiring on the spot. Vendors may receive a tax credit for participation in the GAIN/GROW programs.
Once a GAIN/GROW participant is hired by an employer, the participant is assigned to a GAIN/GROW case manager who provides continuing support, resources and information to help them realize their full potential.
LACOE faced dual challenges with communication across their twenty one sites and tracking inventory of participants, job orders, and contact with employers across those sites. The county was using a legacy web-based system for data collection and reporting in conjunction with spreadsheets and paper files to track their participants and clients job development efforts, which often resulted in slow service and opportunities slipping through the cracks.
Each site had fallen into its own system of operation and ran the risk of being increasingly disconnected from the division as a whole. Due to the challenges of communicating across the geographically disparate sites, participants weren’t seeing the best-fit job orders and businesses were missing out on the best range of candidates for their openings.
LACOE wanted to implementing a system that would address the challenges of communication and tracking while also to unifying their entire division. They sought to digitize and automate paper files and bring the different sites to one online location to work together.
How Launchpad helped
Launchpad worked with LACOE staff from the beginning to ensure the project met the goals of the department: digitization of paper files, obtaining real-time reporting, and enabling easy cross-site communication.
Developed an application based around business process
The implementation process took approximately 45 days. We captured valuable data on the business process, which allowed us to build a custom fit system. Using an iterative development approach, the users were able to be active early on in the process, while we implemented additional phased roll-outs to refine and enhance capabilities.
User training and adoption
One of the critical success factors for any CRM implementation for government is the adoption of the technology by the staff. To LACOE in this regard, we first trained “superusers” and “champions” to help encourage adoption from the inside, then partnered with the superusers to train the end users. We also consulted with LACOE management on strategies for promoting adoption from through metrics and activity management.
One particular opportunity for efficiency gains was in automation. Activities such as sending resumes and informing staff of job orders are all be automated according to rules and logic built into the platform. These activities, which had been achieved manually, reduced the workload of staff and freed them up to spend more time with clients.
Integration with Other Systems
LACOE and Launchpad are currently working to integrate client and placement data to provide a seamless, automated system that will greatly improve the efficiency of the current work processes LACOE uses to provide services to their clients. Once the integration is fully implemented, client and placement data will move transparently between the two systems.
LACOE’s new GAIN/GROW system has allowed job developers and case managers across sites to communicate in one spot with ease. Daily, new job orders are posted and both sides of the house are seeing the benefits; with job orders being filled faster and participants being placed sooner. They have also seen diminishing use of paper files and the ease at which they are now about to search their inventory. And of course, management can access real-time reporting to get a bird’s eye view of the latest results.
Future system flexibility
One of LACOE’s top reasons for choosing a new system was the ability to easily make changes, add functionality and integrate other funding programs into the platform later. This is where the Force.com platform provided significant advantages over other software solutions. Because the system is “apps” based and development is more “clicks not code,” LACOE has an unparalleled amount of flexibility in growing and changing the system, easily and affordably.
Are you still managing Workforce, Economic or Community Development programs on spreadsheets and paper? Do you want to increase outcomes and attract more funding, but don’t have real-time data? We have helped dozens of government and non-profit agencies, improve outcomes and attract more funding through cloud technology adoption, process consulting and staff development. Launchpad’s philosophy is summed up in two words: passion and innovation. We strive to invigorate economic, workforce and community development with the latest in technology and improved processes, amplifying our clients’ ability to develop the communities and people they serve.