Applying Human-Centered Design to Improve Workforce Services

The Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) is working to connect its most vulnerable populations with high-quality jobs and careers. FUSE Executive Fellow Patrick Koppula employed a human-centered design approach to help WDACS deliver integrated workforce services that are directly responsive to the needs of customers. During the beginning of the pandemic, he also facilitated a vision for researching, prototyping, and incubating responses to the challenges of economic recovery due to COVID-19. Patrick helped create products and systems to bridge identified gaps in WDACs operations, and he coached key staff at all levels on the principles and practices of service design, customer experience data-driven decision making, and agile project management. He is continuing to assist WDACS in its efforts to help people stranded from the labor market find middle-wage jobs, while also helping businesses develop jobs for these workers. His work includes developing project plans and incorporating equity lists for a Business Customer Satisfaction Survey, creating toolkits focused on training programs and apprenticeships, and launching a youth engagement pilot to increase program participation.