Increase program accessibility to clients, while increasing the capacity of the workforce system.
Public Consulting Group (PCG) has developed the Virtual Employment Readiness Assistant (VERA), an innovative solution that expands reach and automates communicative services through the use of artificial intelligence. This approach empowers customers to access an online environment and receive a virtual job readiness experience that mirrors the services available in America’s Job Centers (AJCs). We have applied gamification principles, pre- and post assessments, and badging incentives to our line-up of workshops to test for content absorption and real-world application. VERA is a critical tool that attracts customers less likely to seek services in a physical location and provides for 24/7 accessibility. VERA incorporates fluid design, allowing users to access content anytime, anywhere, from any smart device.
Each VERA module has been designed around best practices, and incorporates worthwhile, interactive, and fluid design that can be adapted to create custom-built packages. Our team has worked hard to ensure that VERA is affordable. The hub-and-spoke design allows you to purchase the services you need as you need them, developing a robust platform over time. Many modules offer multiple service delivery options, so VERA meets your systems' needs and budget while also allowing for scalability to ensure the platform is prepared to adapt to future needs.
Develop custom APIs to connect applications through the VERA platform, facilitating interoperability with existing resources and providing users and staff with a single point of access to technologies already on inventory. Our dedicated web-development team has experience in standing up instances of VERA that are configured and customized, implementing advanced security measures. We provide white glove service to clients, in-depth consulting, and full technical support for your branded platform. VERA allows clients to expand their reach and increase staff capacity, while providing tailored services to customers of all backgrounds and skill levels. At the same time, you preserve valuable resources while decreasing job seeker barriers to employment.
To see a live demonstration of VERA, visit https://www.pcgverademo.com
Workforce Consulting and Technology Services
VERA offers organizations the option to use the full platform or any of its parts. Its data warehouse component manages client interactions, optimizes and systematizes relationships, and allows easy access to client activity reports.
Each VERA comes with a customized, branded portal site allowing organizations to easily connect customers and staff with all of the virtual offerings included in your package. The portal includes other tools, such as an event calendar, video library, and links to valuable on-line resources.
The “Learn” module provides customers with remote workshop opportunities designed to meet the specialized needs of job seekers. This module allows increased access for customers who are utilizing services at partner agencies and other organizations while promoting accessibility of workforce system services to all users.
The course content is designed to increase engagement and interactivity, ongoing assessment ensures that learners are absorbing the information, and differentiated instruction ensures course content reaches all learners. VERA offers multi-lingual support, closed captioning, and content is Section 508 compliant to support the needs of individuals with
disabilities. Motivate your learners with certificates and badges, course related discussions, and gamified content.
VERA’s Learning Management System (LMS) component provides insight into client interactions, including the amount of time spent in coursework for reporting and program compliance purposes.
Build on-line communities and increase engagement with your customers utilizing our "Network" module.This companion piece to the on-line training platform facilitates interaction and better supports the needs of customers by providing a space where customers can ask questions, interact with peers, engage in critical discourse, and reflect. It provides an ability to increase reach and engage customers using community space dedicated for job seekers.
Developed with easy moderation in mind, the community spaces include language filters, anti-spam tools, advanced security, and a customizable registration process. Other features include user group development, the ability to set permissions, a powerful search system, and the ability to control the look, feel, and operation of your board.
The "Work" module includes the Work Based Learning Web Application (WBL-App) is a platform that enables organizations to manage employers who welcome participants to work at their work sites under various workforce development programs. On this platform, staff can upload custom made forms for each program such as applications to be accepted into programs, job descriptions, invoices for salary reimbursements for OJT contracts, etc. Additionally, it has customizable work flows (again for each program) to track and manage communications and document hands-offs between various staff members and employer work site staff. It provides a platform for employers/sponsors and program staff to communicate detailed steps of their document processing and to facilitate the approval of documents related to various types of participant activities, e.g. paid or unpaid internships, on-the job- training positions, apprenticeships and other types of work experience. Employer work site supervisors, program staff (business services reps and case managers) and other administrator-defined roles can process documents (such as training plans) that help in the hiring or supervising of participants (paid and unpaid). The platform also displays to employers a progress bar showing the progression of their documents as they pass through the system.
Employers can be tracked by the funding they have been both awarded and expended as well as how many participants are positioned in their work sites and served. Workforce Boards can track program progress and discuss with local businesses their success or challenges with participants. This creates a community of support for both employers and those participating in experiential work-based learning. The WBL platform assists one stop staff in programmatic monitoring and compliance.
The "Navigate" module provides insight into AJC service providers and local organizations that touch the workforce system in one easy-to-use web-based Services Navigator directory tool. It allows staff and customers to quickly identify local services by searching per their need, location, and/or other keywords. Once established, your organization is provided with administrative rights to ensure that the information and listings stay up-to-date.
PCG can also populate your Services Navigator directory using our proven asset mapping and environmental scanning processes. Our mapping allows agencies to identify opportunities for greater alignment and resource leveraging across local systems, and provides visual assets including a multi-layered GIS map that allows organizations to analyze and plan data-driven service provision.
Paired with the Services Navigator, the "Screen" module is a referral tool that is a fast and easy way to triage customers. This resource is a custom screening tool, developed to incorporate the organizations you wish to include and their eligibility requirements. Users can input basic personal information to find partner agencies and health and human service programs where users may be eligible to receive services. The user is then provided with a printable list of programs with contact information for each provider.
The "Explore" module is a career exploration tool that includes a suite of assessment tools designed for career counseling, career planning and exploration. The tools are designed to help job seekers gain personal insight on occupations they might find satisfying. Once the customer has completed the assessments, they will be provided with a list of jobs that most accurately match their skills and interests and a printable report of results. This content is based on valuable O*NET career exploration tools.
The "Manage" module provides your organization with a customized Business Services module for employers. This module is a compilation of tools designed to support your team, from introducing and engaging new businesses to conducting virtual job fairs and providing information and best practices for businesses in need of preliminary human resource screening and other services. Platform capabilities include:
- Baseline support and tutorials - Provide area employers with an easy-to-access on-line space designed to promote and connect businesses with your services. Use the same space to support employers by providing guidance on Human Resources best practices, including the ability to charge for content through an “on demand” payment portal.
- Training space - The Business Services platform of VERA provides support to workforce development systems by providing tutorials and information for small business owners and incumbent workers in the form of courses and document libraries. VERA can support tutorials in the form of courses in the Learn module and video content in a customized video library. Content can also be provided through third party partnering or links.
- Virtual Job Fairs, Meeting and Training platform capabilities - VERA provides a platform to facilitate one-on-one and group meetings, interviews and job fairs. The same feature can be used to arrange and schedule virtual trainings, lectures, and other learning opportunities. PCG can also work with our customers to develop custom course
content, house existing course content and multimedia, as well as link or embed content providing a single platform that links information and resources from outside organizations.
- Community Space – Use VERA to develop an on-line community for small businesses and entrepreneurs to discuss and receive guidance on relevant topics.
- Simplified employer intake process - VERA’s simplified employer intake process stores data for Business Service teams to use, including job orders. Drive business clients to your one-stop by providing an interactive, easy-to-use job board to conduct their talent search. The platform can be used to provide employers with information and data your Business Services staff normally provide face to face but can now be made available, on-line. Finally, VERA’s screening capabilities allow employers to quickly and easily be connected to services and providers by answering a short survey that will help to identify their needs and provide actionable next steps.