GPL Blog

Building a new generation of government leaders: 2019 GPL summer training

The GPL held our annual summer convening for 3 days in late June 2019, welcoming a cohort of new fellows and training both new and existing staff. Our summer training is designed to prepare our team members to be embedded in state and local governments, helping jurisdictions design, implement, and sustain engagements.

As the backbone of the Lab’s model for providing assistance to governments, our frontline team members advance key reforms, including carrying out rigorous data analysis, identifying high-impact areas for systems re-engineering, implementing pilot projects to...

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Six powerful questions every government ought to ask to diagnose problems in social service referral systems

Government agencies frequently ask us for advice about how to improve their social service delivery systems so that the clients they work with are identified, referred, and enrolled in the right services.

In our work with dozens of state and local government agencies, we have found that governments struggle to connect clients with the services that can benefit them most. Often agencies will fund program slots without setting clear priorities for who should fill those slots. And dropped handoffs, long...

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Innovator Interview: Alyssa Alvarado, Real Jobs Rhode Island

Alyssa Alvarado is the program director for Real Jobs Rhode Island, Rhode Island’s demand-driven workforce and economic development initiative. She spoke with the GPL about implementing active contract management to achieve better outcomes for both employers and clients.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

 

What is your vision for the Real Jobs Rhode Island program?

Alyssa Alvarado: Real Jobs Rhode Island is a program that aggregates industry demand and then uses...

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Innovator Interview: Christian Denes, Chicago Department of Family and Support Services

Christian Denes is Director of Strategic Planning and Impact at the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), the City’s combined human and social services agency. He spoke with the GPL about his experience leading a department-wide change management initiative, including implementing results-driven contracting.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

 

How did you end up in government? In your current role at DFSS?

Chris Denes: My wife...

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Innovator Interview: Jean Dean, Northwest Woolen Mills, Rhode Island

Jean Dean is the production manager for Northwest Woolen Mills, The Brickle Group, a textiles manufacturer. She spoke with the GPL about her work with Real Jobs, Rhode Island’s workforce development program.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

What are some of the main challenges that small- and medium-sized manufacturers face?

Jean Dean: When you’re dealing with manufacturing, we have staffing that has a lot of turnover because our production goes up and down. We deal a lot with...

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Innovator Interview: Jennifer Birden, Connecticut Department of Children & Families

Jennifer Birden is a program supervisor with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) where she manages a workgroup of ~40 social workers providing services to children and families. She spoke with the GPL about the agency’s implementation of Enhanced Service Coordination (ESC), a suite of interventions aimed at improving social workers’ ability to match children and families involved with the agency with services.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Before Enhanced Service Coordination,...

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Innovator Interview: Christian Cowan, Polaris Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Christian Cowan is the center director for Polaris Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which helps provides business improvement programs to manufacturers in Rhode Island. He spoke with the GPL about his work with Rhode Island’s workforce development program and implementing active contract management.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

 

What types of support do the manufacturers you work with most need?

Christian Cowan: So some small companies need help with...

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Innovator Interview: April May, Florida Department of Children and Families

April May served as the SunCoast regional director for substance abuse and mental health services at the Florida Department of Children and Families. She spoke with the GPL about her experience collaborating on a project intended to improve DCF-involved families’ access to behavioral health treatment.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

What problems were you were trying to solve?

April May: The main problem was that families that are involved in our child...

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Strengthening Connections Between Child Welfare and Early Learning in Washington State

When Washington state integrated its legacy child protection and early learning agencies in 2018, a primary purpose was to better prevent maltreatment of children rather than respond only after crises occur. House Bill 1661, which created a new Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) states: “In restructuring early learning and child welfare...

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