Suddenly Virtual: Delivering Workforce Services in the COVID-19 Environment

April 25, 2020

In the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 shutdowns and subsequent blow to the American economy in March 2020, the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University wanted to understand how the public workforce development system was responding. Workforce professionals are operating in most U.S. counties on the front lines of response, providing in-person job search resources, training, and other supportive services to unemployed individuals to help them get back to work. For a variety of reasons, the public workforce system has had limited infrastructure for and experience with virtual service delivery, so we wanted to learn more about how local areas were responding to becoming suddenly virtual.

Over a two-week period in April, we surveyed 160 workforce staff in seven states and conducted three roundtables with 31 individuals to learn about their experiences in transitioning to remote teams providing virtual services.

Issue brief by Michele Martin and Liana Volpe, Medium, April 22, 2020

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