Comment on a post

We need your comments to help our community flourish. Provide your Professional thoughts and opinions by replying to a post that interests you.

Become a Guest Blogger

Are you a expert in the topics being discussed on this site? Connect with our site moderators to request guest blogger privileges.

Commenting Policy

Be sure to check our Comment Policy before participating!

The Connecticut Eastern Workforce Investment Board has instituted a technology based learning system – “eTraining” – that has expanded training opportunities for all the adult and youth customers of the four CTWorks Centers in the LWIA.  Under an agreement reached in May, 2010 with the American Council on Education (ACE) and area community colleges, the value of the training has been further enhanced; the agreement allows CTWorks customers to earn credits that can be applied toward degrees in a number of academic areas.  The most comprehensive data collected, for the period from January through June, 2009, show that 627 customers successfully completed 3,792 short, self-paced courses offered by Skillsoft.  Customers receive a license that is effective for 90 days and authorizes an unlimited number of courses.  Although WIA funds are used to pay the $100 cost of the license, those who benefit from the training are not registered in WIA.  During initial meetings, CTWorks staff use several pre-determined questions to gauge a customer’s facility with computers.  Those who demonstrate the necessary facility are offered the opportunity to attend a 90 minute workshop in which they become familiar with the Skillsoft website and make initial course selections.   In the May, 2010 agreement, ACE approved for college credit 500  Skillsoft courses in areas such as business, desktop computing, health, etc.  ACE and area community colleges also agreed on protocols that the colleges would use for the testing of the students.  Students who pass the test are awarded credits by those same colleges.  For more information contact the CT FPO Minnie Holleran at  

At the Region 1 Commissioner’s meeting, held on April 13-14 in Boston, MA, there was a lot of conversation around extensions for the Unemployment Insurance program and how states are using technology to offset some of these costs.  It is noted that 8 of 10 states/territories in Region 1 are currently borrowing from the UI Trust Fund.  Nancy Dunphy, NYS Deputy Commissioner of Labor for Employment Security, shared some of the technology uses that have saved the state funds including a virtual hold process where claimants will get a call back.  This has reducing wait times and has saved $30,000 so far in toll charges.  NYS also uses Twitter and Facebook to answer UI related questions. NYS suggested that all states share what technology features have been implemented within the state to deal with the increased volume of UI calls.  We suggested putting a survey together to get a sense of technology use in the UI system within region 1.  Please complete the survey and we will compile and share throughout the region.   


Please view the survey at 


Please provide comments directly into comment section below survey.  States can view all comments once submitted in this blog. 

ETA and BLS will host a meeting June 29-30, 2010 in Albany, NY.  The target audience for the meeting are LMI Directors, LMI Analysts, and LMI Staff.  The sympsium topics are designed to address the Region's current and future economic trends, discuss the future direction of workforce information, contractual updates with BLS and to discuss the activities with the recently awarded State Labor Market Information Improvement Green Jobs Grants.

To download presentations from the Symposium:




The $250 million in Reemployment Services Grants provided through the Recovery Act have generated a host of creative and innovative approaches to helping the unemployed. In particular, we have learned a great deal over the last year about how assessment tools can strengthen reemployment services. Personality assessments, work values assessments, skills transferability assessments/tools, interest assessments, educational assessments, occupational skills assessments, work readiness assessments and the list goes on.... all of these types of assessments and more increase the workforce system’s ability to match job seekers and employers.   


If you are still looking for ways to invest your ARRA RES funds, we want to help you learn about which instruments are the most effective by connecting you with your workforce system colleagues who can give you unbiased, first-hand feedback on their experience with specific products. If you are interested in purchasing a particular assessment instrument or tool and would like to see if there is a workforce system colleague that is using the instrument you are interested in, please contact our resident expert on assessment tools:  


Lauren Fairley-Wright

Workforce Analyst

USDOL – ETA – Office of Workforce Investment


In addition, this blog is a great place to start asking questions related to the effective use of assessments.  Ask your colleagues what tools they are using and whether they find them user-friendly from both the administrator’s role as well as feedback received from customers.  Ask your colleagues about the analysis of the assessment results.  For example, was there a significant amount of training involved upfront to learn how to administer the tool and analyze the results?


Peer review and feedback can help make informed investments in your assessment suite!  Use this community of practice and blog to get started now.