The NYATEP Conference on Workforce Development in New York State is fast approaching, and we are preparing for our workshop on social media for workforce organizations (see our Oct. 23 blog post for conference details). We are proud to co-present with Marjorie Parks of Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (www.obtjobs.org), an innovator in its use of social media, particularly Facebook, to keep in touch with its young adult clients. Many workforce development organizations are hesitant to engage in social media because it is intimidating to start from zero friends, likes, or followers. They also worry about negative content or comments being posted on their sites, and just worry about what to post themselves. Where does a well-intentioned workforce provider start?

With us! If you are attending the NYATEP conference, come to From Retweets to Retention: Using Social Media to Connect with Program Participants and Achieve Outcomes, on Wednesday, 11/20/13 (agenda). As the conference approaches, we will release social media tips for workforce providers on this blog and via Twitter. After the conference, we will share what we have learned by posting the content on our website. We will also be available to work with workforce development organizations to design and implement smart social media strategies to connect with participants during their programs and well afterward. Anyone with a smart phone can-and does-use social media. It is increasingly a more reliable way to reach people than emails and phone numbers that may change frequently. We have looked so far at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Vine, Tumblr, and LinkedIn as potentially good tools for workforce organizations. Let us know if you are using others with a comment below or tweet us @PublicWorksIQ. Join the conversation at #socialmediaworkforce and, for the conference, at #nyatepfall2013.