A new service from Grandslam Performance Associates (GPA) in Fayetteville looks to harness talent from a growing population of displaced workers, retired executives, military veterans, interns, recent graduates and freelancers and redeploy them to meet the needs of the business community in Northwest Arkansas.
The serve2perform Workforce Hub, which launched Oct. 1, has two areas of focus: helping employers recognize the need to adapt their workforce to meet the demand of new business strategies, and helping employers fulfill the demand to adapt their workforce through services such as outplacement/career transitioning, retraining, coaching and consulting, digital agility capacity development, contingent workforce and reemployment of skilled, displaced talent.
GPA plans to engage its team of associates and its partners at KPMG and other entities in the region to deliver the services of the Hub.
Steve Percival, former longtime vice president of human resources at Washington Regional Medical Center, is the managing director.
A roundtable of employers will identify skills gaps and forecast in-demand skills, and the Hub will focus on performance-based training for employees and executives to adapt to the digital landscape and also have “agility and versatility, so they can take on any job,” said GPA CEO Adam Arroyos.
Freelancers, military veterans, interns, recent graduates and retired executives are often untapped talent resources within the business community, he said. Also, while the number of displaced employees has grown, there has been no cohesive strategy to find places for that talent.
“Northwest Arkansas has not had a local outplacement agency to help our employers and employees until now. A lot of the displaced talent in Northwest Arkansas were top performers at their jobs,” said Arroyos, who himself was displaced in 2010. “We’ve personally experienced being displaced so we can relate and we know how to serve our fellow Arkansans effectively.”
Another objective for the Hub is to bridge the divide between employers across industries and community agencies like nonprofits, in order to form a coordinated response to regional workforce development needs.
The idea is to plan regionally, across industries, Arroyos said.
GPA has had an advisory board in place for more than a year and will be expanding it into a regional employer roundtable for the Hub. GPA’s advisory board so far includes representation from Wal-Mart Stores, Tyson Foods, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Simmons Foods, Arvest Bank, KPMG, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, CenturyLink, Starbucks, Northwest Arkansas Community College and Washington Regional.
The hub is located within the GPA offices at 1672 E. Joyce Blvd., though the platform also can be accessed online.