Case Study

SEIU-UHW Education Fund

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is a labor union representing almost 1.9 million healthcare, public service and property service workers in over 100 occupations in the United States and Canada. The SEIU-UHW Education Fund provides training and educational opportunities for eligible employees, with the goal of empowering a diverse healthcare workforce in a changing environment through innovative education and training solutions.

Forum One worked with the Education Fund to create a new strategic plan for how the fund operates, provides career development opportunities to its diverse members, and engages the more than 100,000 healthcare workers the union represents. We developed a comprehensive three-year roadmap and overarching digital strategy to reach the Education Fund’s priority goals, encompassing its full technical product mix from digital marketing platforms and CRM tools to internal communications platforms and business intelligence systems.

Since the launch of the new digital strategy and roadmap, the Education Fund has successfully renewed bargaining agreements with unions thanks to their ability to concretely show that employees that take training through the Fund receive significant wage increases.

Understanding structure and needs 

Our process began with understanding the Education Fund’s members and employees. We spoke with staff across the organization to learn how they operate, what members need and where they hoped to see improvements. We collected data and analyzed audience segmentation to better understand the members’ goals and challenges. In addition to qualitative analysis, we undertook a comprehensive audit of the existing technical ecosystem and operating methods to better understand how members interact with the Fund across channels and how employees get their work done.

Blueprinting through design-thinking

Once our audit was complete, we met with the Education Fund team to dig deeper. Over the course of two days, we held workshops with key stakeholders and used design-thinking activities to clarify our understanding of member audiences, develop journey maps, and gain alignment on priorities. Through this work, we created a detailed service blueprint that shows the path we want members to take to make use of their benefits. This blueprint detailed the back- and front-stage actions needed to make this journey come to life.

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Creating a roadmap for success

Once we reached consensus on the member journey, we developed a comprehensive three-year roadmap and overarching digital strategy. We reevaluated all the platforms and tools that both employees and members use online and in-person, and determined where to improve and simplify the process for all involved. This plan details our key recommendations for the Education Fund’s technical product mix from digital marketing platforms and customer-relationship management (CRM) tools, to internal communications platforms and business intelligence systems. A key component to the strategy is an implementation plan that includes budget, timeline and staffing needs as the Fund’s operating environment evolves over the course of the next three years. 

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Implementing a solid plan

As a long-term engagement, we are working with the Education Fund to implement the roadmap recommendations, including technical implementation and strategic consulting. For example, we recently developed a data management proof of concept tool using Amazon Redshift and Matillion that allows the Education Fund team to quickly access data that demonstrates the success of their training plan on members’ careers. Data that previously required weeks or months to collect, will be accessible in minutes, thus improving the effectiveness of their marketing for training programs.