Collective impact brings people together, in a structured way, to achieve social change. It starts with a common agenda. It establishes shared measurement. It fosters mutually reinforcing activities. It encourages continuous communication."
The concept of the Collective Impact Model is founded upon the principle that large-scale social change requires a collaborative approach that doesn't focus on a singular problem: each problem is related to several others and this is why they are so difficult to solve (Kania, 2011). By assembling various businesses, nonprofits, government organizations, and individual leaders and working together to address different pieces of the larger problem, large-scale change can be achieved.
The Collective Impact Model also offers the opportunity to connect employment candidates to social services, training, and education which addresses the systemic issues that can prevent work readiness. Beyond initial job placement, the model provides a career pathway that enables the employment candidate to earn greater wages over time.
Social justice has been a core component of all public discourse since the summer of 2020. WFL Collective™ expects to add to that public discourse by focusing on using a collective impact model that leverages technology, private industry resources, and government policy to deliver a solution based on best practices. WFLC will advocate influencing government policies that ensure investments are made in workforce development, education, and training. WFLC will need to create consistent and ongoing messaging targeting politicians, government agencies, and think tanks in an effort to impact the budgeting process.
Collective Impact Model components include partnership development, community outreach and referrals, employment pre-screening, case management, and a recognition program.
PROJECT COMMUNITY CAPITAL®, a partner in the WFL Collective is the for-profit organization that connects constituents from the WFL collective to employment opportunities through social capital.
Dr. Gina Merritt, MBA - Founder
PCC reaches out to local nonprofit workforce development agencies, social service agencies, and government agencies that serve low-income individuals to request their partnership in the WFL Collective™. The WFL Collective™ is the structure within which each organization operates to deliver comprehensive employment services to under-resourced communities. These organizations are introduced to the collective impact model and asked to join the movement. With these partnerships solidified, PCC can recruit "Ready-To-Work" candidates, perform the required employment prescreening, and immediately connect them to job opportunities. For those who are not "Ready-To-Work," these partners serve as a critical component to providing case management and employment supports. PCC effectuates participation in the WFL Collective™ by requesting that partners execute a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines each partner's roles and responsibilities.
PCC hosts outreach sessions in low-income communities to define the platform’s objectives, describe the process, and identify current opportunities—bringing new information to a community’s network. Due to COVID-19, PCC is performing outreach and recruiting through social media, and a local community person, designated a Platform Ambassador, shares information about the platform within their social network. Partner referrals also help in recruiting people to the PCC system. Many partners have hundreds of participants in their programs. Access to these individuals for pre-screening purposes helps to create a robust database of eligible employment candidates. The Partner referrals and individuals solicited from the community are contacted and asked to sign-up for employment services.
Prescreening begins with the potential employment candidate filling out an intake form, attaching a resume, and uploading the information to the Workforce leverage database. Once the resume and form are uploaded, the employment candidate then receives an invite to interview. Typically an interview day is held in a community facility, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interviews are now held via zoom. The result of the pre-screening process is a database in which individuals are categorized as either Category 1: "Ready-To-Work," Category 2: "Needs-Some-Assistance," or Category 3: "Needs-Significant-Support." A WiFi connection can be provided for those individuals who lack access to an internet connection to ensure the target population is being reached effectively. WFL will manage their needs in conjunction will all service providers.
Through the Collective Impact model, a "Job Success Coach" is assigned to an employee, and a "Relationship Manager" is assigned to each employer. If there are challenges in the workplace for an employee or employer, there is always someone to reach out to that can help solve workplace challenges so that both may be successful.
For individuals who are not “Ready-To-Work,” PCC refers them, along with an assessment of their social challenges, to the WFL Collective™ whose members can provide the targeted social services. Upon completing the recommended social services, the individual returns to the PCC Platform and is re-screened to determine readiness.
An annual awards program will be held to recognize partners, employers, and individuals who have contributed to the success of the Workforce Leverage™ Collective. The WFL Collective™ will identify residents, case managers, job developers, job coaches, relationship managers, and employers for their contributions to the program each year. The process of selecting people for this recognition will also yield an evaluation of the program, its participants, and its partners that will demonstrate how far we have come and how far we must go to achieve the ultimate goal of reducing extreme economic inequality.