Innovation takes courage and sometimes it is wildly successful and sometimes it isn't quite. Depending on whom you ask, you may get similarly diverse reviews about our Pre-Summit and the Employer-Employment Expert Summit that took place in Richmond earlier this week.
Because I picked the speakers and the topics, I loved every session that I had the chance to see. I was floating in excitement and smiling like a goon as I saw synergies form throughout the room and the trickle of ideas from one presentation to the next. Yes, there were a few hiccups along the way, but I was delighted in so many ways with the small-but-mighty group at the event.
One session, that is getting mixed reviews, is the one that I presented. Actually, it was more of a presentation + discussion than just a presentation. In it, I introduced a BIG IDEA to tap into the talents and expertise of ASPECT members to create a province-wide fee-for-service offering to employers. The idea is to meet the current needs of employers while creating a revenue stream for ASPECT members. We would create an online marketing portal similar to accommodation and travel sites.
I did not get the slam-dunk response hoped for, but I did receive some excellent feedback and appreciated the candor in the room. The idea might have value in the future, but right now there is too much uncertainty in the sector and employers are not quite embracing the concept of paid training just yet.
Here's where we landed after the discussion:
- ASPECT would collect information from our members for us to share with our members. This will assist members in finding partners in neighbouring communities and help us have a clearer picture of what is offered when employers do call ASPECT asking for information.
- ASPECT would continue to reach out to employers on behalf of the sector to find out how we can help them with their post-employment supports and undertake some research around this area, possibly partnering with an employer group.
- Once the service providers have had some time to determine the details of how post-employment supports work under the WorkBC contract, then we will investigate moving forward.
I would like to thank all those who attended, the presenters and panelists, the sponsor WCG, and the exhibitors for being there. ASPECT President Val Meany, my boss, gets a special gold star for doing an excellent job emceeing on both days. At this point, we don't know if there will be another Summit next year (it won't be in June again), but we do know that the ASPECT Conference will be November 4 & 5 at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. I hope to see you there!