As part of its efforts to align funding strategies with community needs, the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD) recently surveyed a large group of grantees to learn more about programs’ transition to remote and hybrid programming. The findings offer important insights into temporary and (likely) permanent changes in program services. Here are five major takeaways. Here are five major takeaways.

1) The transition to hybrid or remote programming has led to significant changes in curriculum and instructional design.

Which of the following changes has your program already made to the training curricula? (Check all that apply.)

2) Programs face a number of challenges related to the digital divide; ensuring internet access has been a persistent issue.

Top 5 Most Urgent NeedsPercent of All Organizations
Mental health services50%
Mobile hotspots or internet access48%
Laptops, computers48%
Rental assistance44%
Food (including water, formula, and baby food)38%
Referrals to housing services33%

3) In general, many programs found remote and hybrid programming to be challenging for clients, both in terms of engagement and access.

What challenges or difficulties have clients encountered with remote or hybrid programming?

Difficult or distracting living situation36%
Lack of engagement34%
Low level of digital literacy33%
Low/no internet connection33%
Lack of technology/devices31%
Lack of personal connection23%
Language barriers6%
Need for disability accommodations6%

4) Programs saw some benefits of remote and hybrid models, including enhanced digital skills, reduced client expenses, and more flexible service access.

What are the benefits or advantages of remote or hybrid programming for clients?

Eliminates training-related expenditures (travel, childcare, etc.)55%
Increased flexibility/convenience33%
Balance caregiving and training23%
Increased technology skills20%
Increased health/safety16%
Benefits for introverted learners14%
No snow days6%

5) Despite the challenges with transition, remote or hybrid models will remain a prominent feature of the workforce development landscape.

Likelihood that organization will continue to offer hybrid or fully remote training or service options after the pandemic ends.

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