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The Business Solutions Professional Approach: Connecting Extension to Workforce and Economic Development Presentation to members of the North Central Regional.

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Presentation on theme: "The Business Solutions Professional Approach: Connecting Extension to Workforce and Economic Development Presentation to members of the North Central Regional."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Business Solutions Professional Approach: Connecting Extension to Workforce and Economic Development Presentation to members of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development

2 Words to remember “Let no visit or encounter with a business be wasted” Every visit or encounter presents an opportunity to discover the business’ needs and to connect with the appropriate resources

3 Objectives of the Session Identify outcomes of applying the BSP approach in Michigan Identify the primary elements of the Business Solutions Professional Approach Consider ways in which university extension professionals could apply and diffuse the BSP approach in their work

4 Key definitions Workforce development – any and all publicly supported organizations that provide services and resources to job seekers, dislocated workers and businesses. Economic development – local or regional efforts that focus on attracting & retaining businesses and supporting business’ growth and development

5 Outcomes in Michigan Stronger integration and connectedness of workforce development, economic development, p/s education, business services, state and local government, and EXTENSION More jobs saved and created than using traditional, silo- based approaches Creation of a vibrant, robust, and dynamic network of 550+ practitioners Transactional interventions often lead to strategic community development initiatives

6 Elements of the BSP Approach Business relationships Asset Knowledge Partnerships Networks Structured intervention method

7 Driven by Business Demands

8 Demand = any condition or need which hinders a business’s ability to compete.

9 Elements of the BSP Approach Structured Intervention Method Business relationships PartnershipsAssetsNetworks

10 Assets Services and resources available to businesses – at little or no cost – to help them survive & thrive; e.g. –SBTDC –Manufacturing Extension Partnerships –Local non-profits, community colleges, etc. Businesses have very little knowledge of the depth and breadth of assets available to them and how to access them

11 Business relationships Developing a reputation within the business community as a capable provider of a wide array of services beyond those that your agency provides Building trust with businesses so that they will share what they want and need to survive, stabilize or grow Demonstrating effectiveness through successful interventions

12 Effective Networks Building relationships that generate information on developments within the business community Building relationships that provide information on other assets and ideas that may be of use to business and community Sharing information that stimulates greater knowledge and understanding of what is available and contributes to a realization that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

13 Partnerships Practitioners and organizations that one works with on a regular basis to help businesses and communities to succeed Requires intentionality & regular communication to build and maintain Partnerships are needed because all assets needed to help a business do not reside in one location – nor does any one person always have all the necessary answers Partners give the BSP Network its POWER

14 5. FOLLOW UP – satisfying the customer 4. IMPLEMENTATION – making it happen 3. SOLUTION DESIGN - solutions 2. FACT FINDING – discovery 1. ENTRY – building rapport Follow the intervention method

15 Value of BSP intervention method Requires defining the business needs before attempting a solution. Informs your client about how you work Requires engaging the business stakeholders. Allows you to anticipate what will occur at each stage Enables you to involve your partners throughout the process

16 TRIGGER EVENT Trigger may be: a “lead” which requires additional information before deciding what to do: a rumor an observation insider non official information on a business The BSP Process Pre Entry

17 Entry

18 ENTRY: getting started How can I build a relationship with this business ? If requested by the employer or referred by a partner, the door is opened to you but you still must prepare for the first meeting. What do you want to know about a business prior to your first meeting? Who and what are your sources? The BSP Process Stage 1

19 Fact Finding

20 FACT FINDING What does this “business” need? What is the current business situation? Ask questions Make statements Invite discussion What does it mean? What are the problems / opportunities facing the business? Review the “facts” Analyze the information What assets may help the business? The BSP Process Stage 2

21 Solution Design

22 The BSP Process Stage 3 SOLUTION DESIGN How can the “business” needs be met? What are the options? Discuss findings with “business” Consider options What is the best solution at this time? Develop proposal Discuss proposal with “business” Develop the plan – who does what, when, where Who leads or coordinates the implementation?

23 Implementation

24 IMPLEMENT How do we carryout the solution? How are efforts coordinated between partners and employer? Coordinate partner efforts Prepare the “business” What is the monitoring process? Monitor Problem resolution process The BSP Process Stage 4

25 Follow Up

26 FOLLOW UP How are things? What happened? Check results with “business.” Assess satisfaction What can I do to build a relationship with this business? Inquire about future needs Exit The BSP Process Stage 5

27 Who participated? Workforce development business services -- 273 Workforce development career services – 89 Economic development – 83 (includes 4 MSUE) Education business services – 58 Education career services –10 Other – 29

28 The Michigan diffusion process Agencies within the “collective system” were not integrated or connected Recognition that the “collective system” was being sub-optimized More effective integration and connectedness had to be championed The champion had to have access to resources and ability to facilitate diffusion In Michigan, that was through the workforce development system

29 The Michigan diffusion process A statewide effort – training centrally located Statewide and regional cohorts Initially participants were recruited After 1 st cohort, waiting list was the norm Not a mandated change Fully funded by the state

30 Extension as a champion Presence of an existing regional and statewide structure and framework Existence of a network of professionals in the field who have standing in their communities Are able to lead and connect with workforce & economic development agencies and professionals Consistent with land-grant mission Optimizes what extension staff provide


32 Presenters Michael Polzin – –517- 432-1288 Donna Winthrop – –517- 353-4464

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