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5 Reasons WIOA Service Providers Should Prioritize Tech in 2024's Budget

5 Reasons WIOA Service Providers Should Prioritize Tech in 2024's Budget

WIOA providers face a crisis of chronic underfunding. With the uncertainty surrounding the reauthorization of WIOA in 2024, appropriating funds for new technology might feel like a low priority or even downright frivolous. But spending money on the right technology is more than a one-time cost – it's an investment that could pay back dividends for your organization and enable you to scale your reach without hiring additional staff.

Here are 5 research-backed reasons why including technology in your budget should be non-negotiable.

1. Give Your Staff 3 Hours of Their Day Back

According to a 2020 report by KRC Research, 70% of business leaders surveyed felt that they spent up to 40% of their workday on mundane tasks that were secondary to their primary job duties. Between data entry, filing, and reporting, WIOA service providers are all too familiar with this type of work. But many of these routine tasks can be easily automated. You can configure WIOA workflow automation software to handle time-consuming tasks, such as:

  • Sending reminder notifications/communications
  • Sending referrals to service partners
  • Auto-enrolling students in courses based on test scores like GED, CASAS, or TABE
  • Collecting client information for required reporting

Workflow automation can also help your clients meet their goals by guiding them through a personalized and responsive journey that connects them to the right resources at the right time. It’s a win-win for clients and staff alike.

2. Better Data Collection Can Make Your Impact More Equitable

In their recent report, Data for an Inclusive Economic Recovery,” the National Skills Coalition calls on policymakers and workforce development stakeholders to address the current shortcomings of data collection and reporting. The economic crisis that followed the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected specific populations, including people of color and those with lower educational attainment. The ability to collect and report on disaggregated data (such as race/ethnicity, gender, English language proficiency, and income) is critical to effectively measuring the impact and equity of workforce programs and policy for an inclusive economic recovery.

Systemic change requires a combination of supportive policy and grassroots action. If your organization still relies on spreadsheets, your data isn’t actionable. Investing in a more robust data management system can help you transform disaggregated demographic data into program insights to drive equitable outcomes.

3. Avoid a 4% Error Rate

Unverified manual data entry (data that is entered only once and not double-checked) can have an error rate of up to 4%. It may sound small, but that’s four errors for every 100 keystrokes. That's not even accounting for illegible handwriting on paper forms! For WIOA service providers entering client data, this could translate to incorrect addresses, social security numbers, test scores, and more. At best, this can lead to confusion and possibly duplicated client records. At worst, you risk delaying service delivery or overlooking eligible benefits that could support your client in attaining their goals.

The right workflow software can eliminate paper forms and manual data entry by collecting self-reported client information and autopopulating required forms. It will save your staff time and dramatically reduce the chances of data entry errors.

4. Boost Your Cybersecurity

Security researchers at Cisco analyzed email telemetry to determine which file extension type was used most often by malware families. The report discovered that Microsoft Office formats (such as Word and Excel) made up the majority of malicious file extensions. Shifting your workflows away from Excel will not only save your staff time – it's more secure for your organization and your clients.

A dedicated data management system will feature end-to-end encryption so sensitive information is securely protected, whether at rest or in transit. It should also let the user set permissions and share data within the platform, offering another layer of cybersecurity.

5. Stop Searching

In a recent survey by Wakefield Research, over half of office professionals said they spend more time searching for files than responding to emails. If your organization uses paper files or digital files stored on a computer, an investment in WIOA case management software means your staff can spend less time searching and more time working with clients. Case management software makes it easy to tie every document, form, communication, and service record to the associated client. If you need to move caseloads around to accommodate employee transitions, you can reassign them with the click of a button. Every minute saved means more grant dollars going to clients.

An Investment in Tech Is an Investment in Your Clients

myOneFlow is the only case management solution configurable enough to support workflow automation, data collection, reporting, referrals management, fiscal tracking, and more. Purchasing separate tools for each use is costly and requires transferring data. myOneFlow simplifies and streamlines every facet of WIOA management so staff can serve more clients and achieve better outcomes. Compare our package options or chat with our team today to discuss your organization’s needs.

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