Event Recap: WorkSource Summit 2017

Statewide WorkSource conference with a focus on collaboration and integration

On Friday, December 8, 2017, WorkSource Seattle-King County hosted a statewide summit for staff and partners from across the state of Washington. Gathering at the Seattle Airport Marriot for a daylong conference, teams and individuals shared strategies and inspiration to improve the quality of services provided for community members, and internal collaboration with that goal in mind within the WorkSource system of sites.

Deitra Garrett, Integrated Services Coordinator at WorkSource Rainier, began the morning serving as the Master of Ceremonies. Min Song, interim Chief Operating Officer of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, led opening remarks, drawing experience from her family to discuss themes of courage and legacy. Finally, Agnes Balassa, a pioneer in improving the efficiencies of workforce systems, discussed the essential ingredients of organizational culture change, and summed up the concept of integrated service delivery in three maxims: 1) All Means All, 2) Free the Cubicle People, and 3) Put the Customer at the Center.

The conference broke into sessions covering a range of topics centered around the themes of “innovation, inspiration, and integration.” Representatives from Spokane and Snohomish counties added state-wide context to the expertise of King County staff and administrators. Sessions ranged in topic and encouraged group participation, revealing a wealth of real-world experience and examples for how to integrate services across functional agencies and design resources centered on human behavior.

At lunch, the keynote speaker, Michael Karl, inspired the room with creative strategies for breaking out of rote habits through his practice as a magician and mentalist. Michael demonstrated a number of canny illusions and talked through the twists and turns of his professional life, proving his skill as a master of playing with and subverting the audience’s expectations.

After lunch, smaller groups discussed general topics in workforce development, including community outreach, culture change, customer input, and service integration. Anne Masters, Training and Resource Coordinator with the WorkSource Seattle-King County Operator Team, led a group discussion with leadership and staff in a question-and-answer session.

Finally, Min Song returned to the stage with Hannah Mello, Strategic Communications Manager at the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, to close the day with a reflection on the courage necessary to leave a legacy of positive change.