Public Works was retained to help Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City – one of the nation’s first community colleges and the first voluntarily to integrate – to launch a Social Justice Center to help underrepresented student populations
rebound from the impact of COVID-19. Our lengthy report included detailed recommendations on student health and well-being, transitioning students back to a more normal campus-based experience, and addressing access to technology, as well
as long-term steps to lay the foundation for successful launch of an external-facing social justice focus with the next few years.
Los Angeles County valued our prior work so much (see below) that we were retained again to reorganize the County’s citizen advisory bodies in criminal justice. We were tasked with streamlining a structure of nine largely uncoordinated boards and commissions while improving citizen input and interaction with County officials. We conducted extensive interviews of County staff and advisory board members; held a weeklong series of focus groups involving advocates, community members with lived experience of the justice system, and formerly incarcerated individuals; surveyed over 200 community members; and extensively researched our new proposed advisory structure.
Public Works conducted a Core Business Process Review of the Government of the US Virgin Islands (GVI) four “core agencies” – management & budget, finance, procurement & procurement, and personnel. We conducted interviews
and focus groups with agency staff, in-person observation of agency processes, best-practice research & cross-jurisdiction benchmarking, identified all core business processes, developed current-state process maps and Key Performance Indicators, provided 60 detailed recommendations with implementation plans, and presented them through a live Tollgate session with the Governor and top agency officials.
With the City of Chicago suffering—like most jurisdictions—from a severe COVID-related budget shortfall, Public Works was brought back for the third time in ten years to find savings and efficiencies to close the gap.
Our plan was praised in the media and helped lead to a resolution of the impasse without loss of jobs.
We spent a year helping the City of Dubuque, Iowa, to develop an Equitable Poverty Prevention Plan publicly unveiled and adopted in January 2021.
It is a model for how to get transportation, housing, education, job training, social services, businesses, and foundations all working together to improve families’ quality of life.
When one of the nation’s largest counties wanted to redesign the programs for its hardest-to-employ residents using Human-Centered Design, it hired Public Works. Our charge: cut the focus on meeting requirements; change the focus to getting people jobs. Our recommendations: change the County’s intake procedures, focus on a jobs-first strategy, but fund continuing training and education for all program participants even after they’re employed, and build on-going custom-tailored job-training programs in target industries like logistics.
We worked with the nation’s largest health care union to study the future of health care and its implications for the workforce. Our final report conveys the research findings, analysis, proceedings, and recommendations of the Healthcare Technology Workgroup that includes a user-friendly explanation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a forecast on job replacement, augmentation, and creation related to emerging technologies, and infographics on skills and training needs of future jobs.
The Hopi Tribe asked us to help design a new school system for their K–12 village schools is perhaps the most isolated area of the continental United States. A big part of the assignment was helping the Hopi to find the right balance between preparing students to succeed in the challenges of a 21st Century world while at the same time preserving the distinctive Hopi values, culture, religion, and even language in the face of the very same challenges. This, of course, is in many ways the same problem facing rural communities across America.
Due to our work with school districts across the country on improving efficiency and program effectiveness, the National School Boards Association has entered into an exclusive arrangement with Public Works to create the Elevated Solutions project, which will bring our expertise to NSBA’s 55,000 member districts.
With budgets growing tighter across the country and schools everywhere needing to reassess their educational programs for a new day, every school needs Elevated Solutions like those provided.