Technology

Public Works at the 2017 MAS Summit

In October, we participated in the Municipal Art Society’s Annual Summit, focusing on ways stakeholder engagement can help communities participate in and prepare for large-scale, urban shifts. This year’s theme – Pushing the Limits – challenged attendees to consider solutions to the pressures felt as cities push the limits of physical and financial resources, from infrastructure to housing.

Celeste Frye moderated a panel, “New Tools for Equitable Engagement,” driving the discussion on how communities can meaningfully participate in debate and decisions that impact their neighborhoods. ​The conversation explored opportunities to modernize traditional outreach methods to address changing communication mediums, and if technology is the way to encourage more democratic city-building.

​ ​Panelists included Story Bellows, Chief Innovation and Performance Officer from the Brooklyn Public Library; Gabe Klein, Co-Founder at CityFI & Special Venture Partners at Fontinalis Partners; and Damon Rich, Partner of Hector.

​Check out the video below for the full panel discussion:

A New Practice Area at Public Works Partners: Systems & Performance

Public Works Partners is pleased to announce a new practice area that focuses our best thinking on the intersection of information systems and performance.

After several engagements in which we helped clients create requirements for data management systems, use data to inform service delivery, and identify key performance drivers, we have combined these services into a single practice area that will help organizations use data to improve their performance and increase their impact. We will help clients to:

  • Identify the key drivers of successful outcomes
  • Establish performance metrics that focus staff on the right results
  • Adopt work processes that streamline effort and improve results
  • Design systems that facilitate data collection and informed decision-making
  • Aggregate data across disparate systems
  • Adopt management approaches that emphasize data-driven decisions
  • Empower staff to recognize and capitalize on opportunities for program improvement

Mark Lee leads our Information Systems & Performance practice area. He brings years of experience managing technology transformation initiatives for the public and nonprofit sectors. He will soon share more information about how we’ve helped our clients use information to significantly increase their impact. In the meantime, contact Mark at mlee@publicworkspartners.com or 347-560-1599 to find out more about ways we can help your organization.

Social Media for Workforce Development: An online course for using social media to connect with participants and increase outcomes

IMG_1740Social media is a hot topic in practically every field that involves communicating information from one human being to another. In other words, it’s a hot topic in nearly every field imaginable, and that definitely includes workforce development.

For years, workforce development programs have struggled with the fundamental act of contacting program participants with information about everything from career counseling appointment reminders to job opportunities. Emails go unanswered. Cell phone numbers for pre-paid plans expire constantly. People are missing out on valuable services that could make the difference between another month spent unemployed and the start of a promising career.

Meanwhile, over the past few years, we’ve all been part of the monumental sea change in communications habits that social media has brought about. Nearly every adult in the United States has a Facebook account. “Viral” content has ignited social movements across the world. Smartphones have made social media truly ubiquitous: anytime, anywhere, people are logging in, sharing content, and interacting with each other.

And yet. Most workforce development programs aren’t using social media to connect to their participants, or are doing so in very limited ways. Organizations cite a number of obstacles to using social media: it’s intimidating to start from zero likes, friends, or followers. It’s hard to understand the unwritten rules and special language of different social media networks. There’s a risk of negative feedback about a program spreading out of control on social media. Or more generally, there’s just no sense of how to start.

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