A case study in adapting innovation economy approaches for workforce development systems 

Establishing Human-centered Design in an Americas Job Center System 

Patrick Koppula, @innovatingpk 

Protagonist Role 

Special project leader: 

  • one year exempt probationary appointment 
  • some indirect non-discretionary positional power through supervisor 
  • 2 - 4 person hours a week of discretionary non-dedicated administrative support 
  • zero budget 


Protagonist Responsibility 

Establish a Human-centered Design (HCD) Approach to Workforce Services within the context of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that enables the local WIOA administrator, local Americas Job Center (AJC) staff, and their partners to deliver integrated services to service beneficiaries using an HCD model. 


Protagonist Situation Organizational Readiness 

The special project leaders organization claims to recognize the following: 

  • HCD has become increasingly popular in social services. 
  • HCD approaches will allow them to directly learn from the populations they serve, rapidly come up with innovative new concepts, quickly prototype them, and then incorporate ideas into service delivery processes. 
  • HCD practices are models for improved best practices in reducing employment barriers for individuals. 


Protagonist Situation Expectations 

The special project leaders organization is expecting the following: 

  • An assessment of the current landscape 
  • Stakeholder Engagement 
  • Facilitation of Implementation 
  • Framework for Innovation 


Protagonist Situation Definition of Success 

Success in this project is formulation of a HCD framework that enhances the customer experience at the AJCS leading to overall satisfaction with services and improved educational and employment opportunities for beneficiaries. 

The framework should be: 

  • Adaptable to future workforce programming 
  • Enable an integrated services delivery system to be used by The WIOA administrator and AJCs 
  • Help people who face significant barriers to employment gain access to high quality jobs and careers 
  • Sustain a high degree of communication, coordination, collaboration, measurement, evaluation, benchmarking, and systems creation


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