Seamless service delivery means that a customer receiving services can move between two or more agencies with limited disruption. Seamless services have not been accomplished when a customer must take a cross-town bus to travel from one agency to another. To address this issue, many One-Stop career centers are looking into how staff from their partner agencies can physically share space. This can range from a single staff person from an agency working in the Center on specific days of the week (itinerant staffing) to all staff from that agency working there on a full-time basis (full co-location). Staff report a multitude of benefits related to co-location. These include the development of relationships across agencies, information sharing, and more comprehensive delivery of services to job seekers. Co-location can foster relationships through which information and expertise are shared. Staff get to know one another, trust each other, and respect the individual skills and knowledge that each agency's staff bring to the endeavor. Despite these overarching advantages of co-location, there are many challenges with which collaborating agencies must contend. The following is offered as a tool for states to use in their efforts to help agencies co-locate or "move in together" as they create their One-Stop centers. This brief is part of a series of products offering practical solutions for state and local entities as they implement the Workforce Investment Act. Topics covered in other briefs include: leadership, merging cultures between partnering agencies, accessibility, and inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce planning process. The source of much of the information presented below is from state case studies conducted in Maine, Minnesota, and Kentucky, completed as part of the Center on State Systems and Employment. Additional information is derived from other Institute for Community Inclusion work on increasing access for individuals with disabilities within the workforce system.
Fesko, Sheila; Timmons, Jaimie Ciulla; and Hall, Allison Cohen, "Case Studies on the Implementation of the Workforce Investment Act: Focus on Co-location" (2003). Case Studies Series, Institute for Community Inclusion. 4.