Web-based 'coach' helps laid-off workers

BRAC Coach

Development InfoStructure, or Devis, announced last month the launch of an online helper tool for workers coping with layoffs.

The company developed the coach for the Labor Department’s Employee Training Administration. It sits as an additional frame on top of Labor’s existing Web site and gives users an interactive “coach” to help them navigate resources for employees who have been laid off. This includes employability checkups, career assessments, labor market information, resume writing and job bank information.

“It’s very difficult for an average user to navigate pages on workforce resource Web sites,” said Peter Gallagher, president of Devis. “The coach allows experts to pull those external resources on multiple Web sites together.” The company released a similar tool for Labor’s workforce transition site.

The coaches also run through an open-source content management system called EZ Reusable Objects (EZRO), a derivative of the Labor-created open-source toolset Workforce Connections. EZRO is also used as a coach for people affected by Base Realignment and Closure and is also as a filtering tool for government information portals such as forensics site DNA.gov and the award-winning DisabilityInfo.gov.

EZRO publishes data live and enables administrators, editors and project managers to manage content via a secure interface. Devis updates most of the content, which Labor experts then review. The company’s project manager works with them to make sure the sources of information and the language are correct while they are in a staging server, before they get approval for the public server.

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