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April 29, 2021

Job Centers of the Future Summit identifies opportunities for job seeker improvements

The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development and the Office of Workforce Development (OWD) hosted an in-person Customer Journey Map Summit today to discuss its Job Centers of the Future (JCF) initiative with Missouri’s workforce leaders and guest speakers from across the country. 

Job Centers of the Future aims to establish a statewide approach to promoting workforce development services to the public by comparing Missouri to its 14 neighboring Midwestern states on key workforce data elements, strategies, and policies, while customizing delivery methods to best serve different regions.

During the summit, Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB) chairs and directors, as well as Job Center regional managers and staff discussed policy levers that can be utilized to impact and improve outcomes for job seekers and employers.

“This is a major milestone in the Job Centers of the Future process,” said Dr. Mardy Leathers, director of Workforce Development. “Gathering together this group of stakeholders will help shape how we transform the public workforce system in Missouri. JCF leverages policy, process, and data to better connect job seekers to sustainable employment. We’re looking specifically at vision, culture, and performance. Everything has to come back to those three things.”

The goal of today’s event was to identify gaps and opportunities, agree upon priorities and next steps to better engage customers, and to unveil the next phase of JCF, Job Center Connect.

Three of the country’s most innovative workforce professionals participated in a panel discussion. They shared insights from their experiences and encouraged the Missouri LWDB Directors to work toward better understanding of the impacts they are able to have at a local level.

“I am excited to have participated in this summit,” said panelist Patrick Clancy, a LWDB member from Philadelphia. “Sharing our knowledge with other local workforce development boards and improving the public workforce system for the benefit of our communities is so important.”

The summit was one in a series of policy workshops with stakeholders and partners. Recommendations will be generated based on the information, research, and data collected throughout the JCF process.

About the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development: The department works to empower Missourians with the skills and education needed for success. More information about MDHEWD can be found at https://dhewd.mo.gov or on Facebook and Twitter @MoDHEWD.