• Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation

    The City of Detroit modernizes its approach to workforce development with Launchpad.


“The mayor just gave you (Launchpad) an incredible shout out at this morning's cabinet meeting. He talked about how impressed he has been with Launchpad.”

- Michelle Rafferty, 

COO Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation

Key Products Used:

✓ Common Intake
✓ Case Management
 Business Services
✓ Grant Management

Project: Launchpad Helps Detroit Bring Employment Services to Job Seekers During the COVID-19 Crisis


Detroit Employment Services Corporation had an immediate need to purchase additional virtual services due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. 

They faced a unique challenge because job seekers could no longer physically go into a job center and receive traditional employment services.There was a sudden need to pivot to ensure they could maintain their workshops and orientations virtually — customarily hands on. More importantly, it was critical that they continue to deliver the highest level of the service they have become well known for in the City of Detroit. 


Custom Portals to Provide Critical Employment Services, Virtually. 

Launchpad created a custom portal for DESC in order to keep conducting workshops and employment services virtually. This custom portal gave job seekers the ability to search for jobs which was critical in the beginning and throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Job seekers could also look up different instructor led events and workshops coming up that they could sign up for and attend online through the portal. Additionally, the portal gave them access to a multitude of videos to facilitate e-learning in order to continue job skill development and growth. DESC was able to leverage Launchpad to track pertinent data so they could report on how their services were performing back to the state and the federal government; allowing the government to fully understand the impact DESC continues to have on their local community. 

Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation Adopts Launchpad for Workforce Information Management and Data Exchange System

Led by Mayor Mike Duggan, The City of Detroit has been experiencing a transformation, improving the lives of Detroiters, by addressing some of the long standing challenges facing the city's citizens including income mobility, education and access to services.

In 2019 the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, and the lead agency for ‘Detroit at Work’, which provides job placement, search, training, career advisement and other supportive services to tens of thousands of Detroiters every year, adopted Launchpad for it’s new, state-of-the-art Workforce Information Management and Data Exchange System (WIMDES).

We exist to make a difference in the lives of Detroiters 

– particularly those who are disconnected, underemployed or underserved - and improve the talent available to Detroit area employers. 

DESC staff believe they will be successful when Detroit has employment and poverty rates similar to thriving peer cities, where a significant number of Detroiters obtain jobs that provide a family-sustaining income and increase financial stability as evidenced by income, assets, and access to credit. Likewise, for business when Detroit area employers have filled jobs with appropriately skilled, capable, and motivated Detroiters who can immediately contribute to their employer’s economic success and increase their skills, capabilities and contributions over time. The City of Detroit is doing all of this as part of the broader ecosystem of health, economic assistance and other support services that are intended to improve the well-being of Detroiters.

DESC recognized that it’s new approach to workforce development had to be data-driven.

DESC recognized that its ability to achieve it’s system redesign goals largely depended on developing and adopting a state-of-the-art Workforce Information Management and Data Exchange System (WIMDES). In order to significantly increase residential employment, improve financial stability and reduce the poverty rate, DESC and its partners needed to transform the way workforce services were delivered and ensure that day-to-day activities and investment decisions became data driven. 

While the workforce development system remains a person-centered business where job seekers are provided with individualized human support, it is essential that provision of services and management of data become more technology-enabled. Detroit cannot adequately meet employer or job seeker demand without technology, which has the potential to make services more efficient, impactful and easier to track and measure. It is not surprising that DESC’s extensive stakeholder engagement effort identified a strong desire and need for technology-enabled solutions. 

Client Intake & Assessment 
DESC needed to streamline the way it captured client level data and match participants with the appropriate programs and services. Launchpad is being used to help automate the process of Job-seeker intake including management of duplicate records through the following steps:

  • Intake Client Information: Gathering and documenting client information to verify identity and to inform the eligibility and assessment process. 

  • Client Assessment: Identify the services(s) that the client requires to be successful in attaining employment. Assessments typically include interviews, literacy and other skills assessments, educational and work history, career goals, and barriers to employment. 

Program & Eligibility Management

Using Launchpad’s Programs & Eligibility module, DESC is able to determine eligibility of participants for federal workforce programs (WIOA Adult / Dislocated Worker, / Youth PATH, etc.), including:

Automatically determine client eligibility

Based on intake and assessment, DESC can ensure that the client meets the program/funding criteria for the required services. During eligibility determination, the availability of funding and/or program slots for the client can also be determined. 

Completing the application

The application process occurs when the client completes an application for a service, including consent forms, proof of employment status, and/or proof of income. During this step, the start date for funding (and service provider reimbursement) may be established as well. Launchpad is also being used to confirm accuracy and completeness of data as well as be a repository for eligibility documents.

Program Management

A modern challenge of agencies providing program based services is the inability to track all of their programs within a single system. With Launchpad, DESC is able to manage all of their programs and services, including workflow updates for new programs / services that business users can configure. 

Automating service delivery and case management

With the Launchpad Case Management 360 module, DESC has comprehensive management of all activity for the given jobseeker. With their configurable, but structured data capture tools DESC is able to ensure the accuracy and completeness of participant and program data as well as the tracking of employment outcomes and validation of placement.

Individual Training Accounts 

Individual Training Accounts (ITA)  are created with automated routing for approvals. Training functionality includes the ability to collect a comprehensive set of information regarding training and education, including enrollment, participation, and attendance in training and education, along with information about the type of training, and course content and hours. The system also collects literacy and numeracy gains, occupational skills gains, training and education program completion, and credential attainment. Information regarding customer retention in these programs is gathered in the system, along with any retention services received (e.g. transportation support). The system also collects information when a customer does not complete the program, including reasons for non-completion.

Activity Tracking & Case Notes

Staff are able to track a wide variety of case notes and activity including phone calls and emails. Staff are also able to associate specific service to a participant, related to a program or activity. Where applicable, they are tracking jobseeker compliance with TANF work participation and attendance requirements. 

Workflow Automation

Launchpad provides workflow automation including work queues, work routing based on roles, and individual role-based work lists and reminders. Tools for tracking job-seekers throughout the process including a single-screen overview of all activity for a given jobseeker, training status and attendance

Service Provider Management

As is common with most workforce development organizations, DESC does not provide direct services, but funds local community based organizations to provide services to job seekers and employers. Launchpad is providing functionality to maintain a list of approved training and service providers and limit referrals to only those providers approved for the program/service at that time.

Partner Referrals

Staff and partners can easily make referrals to other partners, with capacity to track progress on outcome of referral where possible. Using referrals, staff can see activity and case notes, and follow a participant along their service delivery journey. Real-time messaging for all users across DESC and its contractors

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