FFTI Track Certification 2017-09-25T19:17:43+00:00

FFTI Track Certification

We offer three different course tracks leading to FFTI certification: Job Development, Leadership, and the new Client Services Track. Each certification track requires the completion of 50 hours of coursework including 4-6 core courses and a select number of elective hours. While you may take as long as you’d like to pursue FFTI certification, it is possible to complete the requirements within one year’s timeframe. If you would like to register for all of the core courses in a certification track at once, contact Cheryl Hester, FFTI Administrator (cheryl@cjc.net or 312-252-0460x108) to receive 20% off!

Learn about our certification tracks:

Job Developer

50 total course hours:

37 hours of required core courses
13 elective hours

Leadership

50 total course hours:

28 hours of required core courses
22 elective hours

Client Services

50 total course hours:

34 hours of required core courses
16 elective hours

Job Developer Certification Track

Job Developer Orientation

The workforce development field has many different names for the role of job developer: employment specialist, career counselor, business services representative, corporate account manager, employer relations coordinator, etc. Despite these varied titles, your responsibility remains the same: to connect qualified job seekers with quality employment opportunities. Easier said than done, right? Not only do you have to develop partnerships with business clients, but you have to be well versed in your job seekers’ strengths and challenges in order to facilitate effective placements. This interactive, hands-on session will teach you strategies to be more effective in your role.

Topics covered include:

  • Identifying the value of your business services
  • Crafting and delivering a persuasive employer pitch
  • Handling employer objections
  • Asking the right client intake questions

Date:

02/01/2018

Time:

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM CT

REGISTER

Beyond the Basics: Job Development in Practice

Job development can be tricky; it takes a lot of practice, perseverance and patience. You have to juggle multiple priorities, balance the needs of two distinct clients—job seekers and employers—and provide consistent and quality customer service to a variety of stakeholders. This class will address these nuances and provide best practices for some of the more nitty-gritty aspects of job development. Specifically, we’ll discuss tips for networking and collaboration, strategies for troubleshooting when things go wrong with employers and job seekers alike, and tools for managing client’s expectations. This class is a “must-take” for job developers wanting to increase their skills!

Topics covered include:

  • Demystifying the networking process
  • Making the most of collaboration
  • Assessing our employer partners
  • Using contracts and “insurance cards” to help manage job seeker expectations

Date:

03/07/2018

Time:

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM CT

REGISTER

Becoming an Industry Insider

There are a number of online tools and websites that can help you be more successful in working with both employers and job seekers. For example, knowing where to find and how to use labor market information can help you develop and deepen employer relationships. Additionally, online interest assessments can be a great starting point for connecting your job seeker with a career they’ll love. This class will introduce you to a wide variety of tools that can be used to understand career growth opportunities, determine salaries for different job titles, discover which industries are growing, which businesses are downsizing, and what training and education is necessary for your clients.

Topics covered include:

  • Identifying useful labor market information online
  • Filtering data to understand labor market trends
  • Teaching job seekers to use data to find an appropriate career path
  • Using online assessments to help your job seekers identify their skills and passion

Date:

TBD

Time:

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM CT (2 half days)

REGISTRATION NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE

Pitch Clinic

Nervous about selling yourself or your clients to a potential employer? You’re not alone! During this workshop, you’ll have an opportunity to develop and refine your elevator pitch. Knowing what to say and how to say it with confidence is the first step in building an employer partnership. While everyone has their own voice and style, this class will provide you with the basic formula, the do’s and don’ts of delivery, and how to effectively close the sale. Working in small groups, you’ll have the opportunity to practice pitching your services to actual employers and HR professionals. With their feedback, you’ll be “pitch-perfect” in no time!

Topics covered include:

  • Crafting a concise and persuasive pitch
  • Delivering your pitch with confidence and making a professional business impression
  • Learning how to respond to employers’ needs
  • Flexing your style to appeal to different audiences

Date:

04/12/2018

Time:

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM CT

REGISTER

Reducing Turnover: Becoming a Retention Agent

Worried about meeting your retention goals? Frustrated by participants that can’t seem to stay on a job? Running out of ways to keep your participants engaged? Then this training is for you! Together we will talk about how you can infuse retention strategies throughout your programming by examining the 4 P’s of your organization: people, priorities, processes and place. We will focus on strategies to help you improve your job seekers’ retention both in your program and on-the-job. Through group interaction and hands-on activities, you will walk away with tangible tools to help you implement a comprehensive retention plan at your agency.

Topics covered include:

  • Understanding the employment continuum and how to infuse retention at each stage
  • Understanding the “life cycle” of the job seeker in your agency and how to address gaps in your process
  • Identifying barriers and analyzing possible solutions to enhance program retention
  • Creating a foundation for retention in your organization by developing an action plan

Date:

10/25/2017

Time:

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM CT

REGISTER

Cultural Competency 101

At its core, cultural competency refers to the ability to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with a variety of people. Because our workforce is increasingly diverse, we often work with people of different gender identities, race, religion, socio-economic status, and sexual orientation throughout the course of our workday. This can be easier said than done. Preconceived notions, stereotypes and assumptions—all ways we categorize and make sense of the world—often influence our interactions without us even being aware. This class provides a safe space to reflect on our own assumptions and an opportunity to examine how our behaviors impact our daily responsibilities.

Topics covered include:

  • Understanding how the assumptions we make affect the actions we take
  • Learning how to interrupt the Ladder of Inference
  • Identifying how our own life experiences shape who we are and how we react to situations
  • Applying the principles of cultural competency in a workplace setting

Date:

11/14/2017

Time:

09:00 AM – 04:00 PM CT

REGISTER

Electives

In addition to these required core courses, individuals pursuing FFTI’s Job Developer Certification Track will need to take an additional 13 elective hours. Any other Frontline Focus course can count towards elective hours, including courses from other certification tracks. For example, if you are pursuing the Job Developer Certification, you can take Leading with Purpose as an elective. Additionally, up to 3 Frontline Workforce Association (FWA) meetings (6 hours total) can be used towards fulfillment of your elective hours.

SEE UPCOMING FFTI COURSES

Leadership Certification Track

Leading with Purpose

  • Leading with Purpose

You used to be a job developer but you’ve recently been promoted to the role of supervisor. Or, maybe you’re new to the workforce development field altogether and find yourself managing a staff of 2 or 20. Regardless of how you got here, people are looking at you to lead! In this class you will learn how to transform your employees into a high-performing team. You’ll learn the nuts and bolts of being an effective manager, as well as the art of being a good leader.

Topics covered include:

  • Understanding your own leadership and communication styles and how to flex them based on your employees’ skill levels and attitude
  • Effectively delegating to your staff in order to promote
  • inclusion and reduce stress
  • Learning how to collaborate with other agencies in order to be more effective
  • Bridging the gaps in your staff and building trust
  • Handling difficult conversations with your employees

Date:

09/28/2017

Time:

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM CT

REGISTER

Performance Management

Creating and cultivating a high-performing team can be difficult. You have to help your staff understand how their daily tasks fit into the larger mission of the organization. You also have to troubleshoot when things go awry as well as manage the interpersonal dynamics of your team to ensure everything runs smoothly. That’s a lot to keep in mind! In this course, you will learn how to use coaching skills and influence to help your team be most productive. Additionally, you’ll learn how to help your team set goals, communicate concerns effectively and improve productivity.

Topics covered include:

  • Learning strategies to lead with influence
  • Translating your agency’s strategic messages into daily tasks for your staff
  • Assessing performance and preparing for the performance review
  • Using coaching, counseling and progressive discipline to create a high-performing team
  • Communicating expectations and constructive criticism to your staff in order to manage staff performance and outcomes

Date:

11/02/2017

Time:

09:00 AM – 04:00 PM CT

REGISTER

Making Metrics Matter

Of course metrics matter! At a time when resources are tight, funders are increasingly focused on the “results” your program produces. And, as an organizational leader, you want to know how well you are accomplishing your mission. But it’s sometimes hard to get frontline staff to “buy-in” to both producing and using quality data. Staff may experience requests for data as an extra burden; or working with technology and numbers may just not be their strength. In this course, you will learn approaches for helping staff experience data—both quantitative and qualitative—as a useful resource for improving services to jobseekers and employers, and you’ll gain ideas for building a culture where data is a tool for learning, not just accountability.

Topics covered include:

  • Identifying the types of data that “matter” to help you manage toward results
  • Engaging staff in using data to test their “hunches” about what’s contributing to performance
  • Using data to jump to questions, not conclusions
  • Creating reports that are useful for your staff
  • Creating a positive learning environment around data

Date:

01/24/2018

Time:

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM CT

REGISTER

Cultural Competency 101

At its core, cultural competency refers to the ability to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with a variety of people. Because our workforce is increasingly diverse, we often work with people of different gender identities, race, religion, socio-economic status, and sexual orientation throughout the course of our workday. This can be easier said than done. Preconceived notions, stereotypes and assumptions—all ways we categorize and make sense of the world—often influence our interactions without us even being aware. This class provides a safe space to reflect on our own assumptions and an opportunity to examine how our behaviors impact our daily responsibilities.

Topics covered include:

  • Understanding how the assumptions we make affect the actions we take
  • Learning how to interrupt the Ladder of Inference
  • Identifying how our own life experiences shape who we are and how we react to situations
  • Applying the principles of cultural competency in a workplace setting

Date:

11/14/2017

Time:

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM CT

REGISTER

Electives

In addition to these required core courses, individuals pursuing FFTI’s Leadership Certification Track will need to take an additional 22 elective hours. Any other Frontline Focus course can count towards elective hours, including courses from other certification tracks. For example, if you are pursuing the Job Developer Certification, you can take Leading with Purpose as an elective. Additionally, up to 3 Frontline Workforce Association (FWA) meetings (6 hours total) can be used towards fulfillment of your elective hours.

SEE UPCOMING FFTI COURSES

Client Services Certification Track

Conducting Quality Intake Assessments

The intake assessment. You fill out some forms, your client answers some questions and voila! The relationship has begun. Easy, right? Maybe not. You have a limited amount of time to ask some fairly sensitive questions to clients who may not want to share the information you need to collect. In this session, we will begin to address this inherent tension. We’ll introduce the ideas of active listening, creating a safe space, and asset versus deficit based assessment. Through role play activities, we will identify ways you can make the intake interview more conversational, probe deeper for added information and feel more comfortable asking those sensitive questions.

Topics covered include:

  • Understanding the characteristics and benefits of active listening
  • Identifying the difference between asset-based and deficit-based assessment
  • Creating a safe space for job seeker intake assessments to happen
  • Overcoming resistance from our clients towards the intake process

Date:

10/19/2017

Time:

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM CT

REGISTER

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an evidenced-based practice designed to the client’s own motivation to change. MI works best with clients who are ambivalent, resistant, or difficult to engage. MI can be used by job developers and frontline staff to commit to change goals and actually follow through. Through the use of specific conversational skills and strategies, frontline staff can help clients take ownership over achieving their desired outcomes. In this full day course, you’ll have the opportunity to practice the basic techniques of MI and understand how you can apply it in your own work with job seekers.

Topics covered include:

  • Becoming familiar with the fundamental spirit and principles of MI
  • Practicing the MI approach and contrasting it with others
  • Obtaining basic strategies to improve client engagement, retention, and positive outcomes in a direct-practice setting
  • Strengthening understanding of empathic counseling

Date:

11/10/2017

Time:

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM CT

REGISTER

Asset-Based Coaching

Your job title might be “job coach” or “career coach” but what exactly does this mean? How do we “coach” our job seekers and help them prepare for employment? Coaching is a technique we can use with our clients to build on their current strengths and develop actionable, long-term goals. This requires building trust and demonstrating empathy with our job seekers. It also requires us to occasionally provide some constructive feedback as well as celebrate their accomplishments. In this course, we’ll discuss coaching, how to use a strengths-based approach with participants, and appropriate strategies and conditions for giving feedback as well as celebrating progress.

Topics covered include:

  • Defining and utilizing a “coaching” model with job seekers
  • Identifying the appropriate conditions for giving feedback to participants
  • Building empathy and trust with our job seekers
  • Celebrating our job seekers’ strengths and accomplishments

Date:

02/07/2018

Time:

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM CT

REGISTER

Documentation of Case Notes

As a case manager, you’re responsible for keeping detailed track of the meetings you have with clients. There are rules about what your notes need to include and what needs to be left out. The writing needs to be clear, concise, relevant and useful. You need to be accountable to your clients, agency and funders. This can be a difficult task! In this half-day workshop, you’ll learn how to balance legal, ethical and organizational goals of case notes while tailoring your skills to your direct practice setting.

Topics covered include:

  • Practicing exercises to ensure your writing is succinct and accurate
  • Identifying and implementing the necessary steps to transform client interactions into useful documentation
  • Learning the legal and organizational requirements of case notes in a direct-practice setting

Date:

03/23/2018

Time:

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM CT

REGISTER

Delivering Trauma-Informed Care

Traumatic events can have an intense physical, psychological and spiritual impact on the way we live our lives. Often times, clients who are seeking basic needs (such as employment and housing) have a history of trauma under the surface. Case managers like yourselves are increasingly asked to respond to these multi-faceted needs, but may feel underprepared to provide appropriate mental health support. However, it is possible for anyone working directly with clients to learn how to deliver trauma-informed care. Through this training, you will gain greater understanding of trauma-informed practice, feel more comfortable responding to your clients presenting with trauma, and learn to address second-hand trauma you might be experiencing.

Topics covered include:

  • Defining and identifying types of trauma
  • Practicing strengths-based boundary setting
  • Addressing and healing from vicarious trauma
  • Recognizing the difference between advice giving and clinical intervention
  • Utilizing resilience and hope in working with client

Date:

05/18/2018

Time:

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM CT

REGISTER

 Cultural Competency 101

At its core, cultural competency refers to the ability to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with a variety of people. Because our workforce is increasingly diverse, we often work with people of different gender identities, race, religion, socio-economic status, and sexual orientation throughout the course of our workday. This can be easier said than done. Preconceived notions, stereotypes and assumptions—all ways we categorize and make sense of the world—often influence our interactions without us even being aware. This class provides a safe space to reflect on our own assumptions and an opportunity to examine how our behaviors impact our daily responsibilities.

Topics covered include:

  • Understanding how the assumptions we make affect the actions we take
  • Learning how to interrupt the Ladder of Inference
  • Identifying how our own life experiences shape who we are and how we react to situations
  • Applying the principles of cultural competency in a workplace setting

Date:

11/14/2017

Time:

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM CT

REGISTER

Electives

In addition to these required core courses, individuals pursuing FFTI’s Client Services Certification Track will need to take an additional 16 elective hours. Any other Frontline Focus course can count towards elective hours, including courses from other certification tracks. For example, if you are pursuing the Job Developer Certification, you can take Leading with Purpose as an elective. Additionally, up to 3 Frontline Workforce Association (FWA) meetings (6 hours total) can be used towards fulfillment of your elective hours.

SEE UPCOMING FFTI COURSES