Paul, a Sheffield, England native, successfully launches his own company in December 1992 here in the states, starting with a single employee – himself. Geographic Solutions, based in Palm Harbor, Florida, with a satellite office in California, today employs over 170 professionals. The company (GeoSol) develops workforce and labor market information products for state and local governments.
Geographic Solutions deploys the USA's first LMI system for the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. Known as Human Resource Information System (HRIS), this system revolutionized the way that state and local labor market data could be used by job seekers, employers, policy makers, and researchers.
Geographic Solutions develops the first software system to use the America's Labor Market Information System (ALMIS) database structure for the Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security (FRED).
Geographic Solutions develops the first system to display LMI data specifically for job seekers in the state of Georgia, called JobGuide.
Geographic Solutions deploys the first comprehensive LMI system for the Internet using the ALMIS database structure for the State of Washington's Interactive Labor Market Access. WILMA's customers included job seekers, placement counselors, policy makers, data analysts, and employers. Over the next 5 years this system is implemented in 16 states.
18 LMI systems are developed in just 18 months for the LMI Access Consortium of state employment security agencies from around the country.
Geographic Solutions introduces the first operational comprehensive one-stop operating system Virtual OneStop® Version 1.0.
The first Internet-based eligible provider and consumer reports system to meet new legislation released by the State of Louisiana. Louisiana Occupational Information System (LOIS) is deployed.
Geographic Solutions introduces Version 3.1 of Virtual OneStop® – the first system to combine Internet-based case management with a Web-based self-service provision. Under the Virtual OneStop Annual Subscription, Geographic Solutions began hosting sites and providing Internet access to one-stops.
An Internet-based eligible provider and consumer reports system to meet the needs of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 is deployed.
Geographic Solutions introduces the first state-level integrated one-stop system for the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services. The system replaces the mainframe labor exchange system and is designed to serve all job seekers.
An Internet-based system for entering eligible training provider data and for displaying provider reports data for the Delaware Department of Labor is released. Also, Louisiana Works Virtual OneStop® is developed, a multi-WIB integrated operating system.
Virtual OneStop is the first one-stop system used to directly produce WIASRD data that are certified as having no significant edits by Social Policy Research Associates.
Virtual OneStop is a key component of the Workforce Development Board Centers of Flagler-Volusia Counties that receives the National Association of Counties Workforce Development Award of Excellence. The centers are recognized as the best in the country.
Geographic Solutions introduces the first Internet-based integrated Scan Card system for tracking non-enrolled individuals. The system is known as VOScan.
An Individual Fund Tracking System to manage and track funds used in workforce development is developed. The system is part of the modular Virtual OneStop suite of solutions. Clients: California, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Carolina.
Geographic Solutions introduces the Virtual OneStop JOB SPIDERING solution with tremendous job listing capabilities, drawing from public and private job boards as well as corporate and other sites.
Geographic Solutions' DCNetworks Analyzer system is acknowledged in Labor Market Trends publication. The case study title is "Bringing Labor Market Information to a Wider Audience."
Virtual OneStop and Virtual LMI component libraries are fully integrated with Analyst, Individual and Employer Services functions.
The VOSTouch kiosk web-based or stand-alone solution for job seekers is introduced.
Geographic Solutions' first annual Virtual OneStop/Virtual LMI combined User Conference generates a new user consortium to share workforce development business practices.
Virtual OneStop Version 6.0 is enhanced with new O*NET skills and interest assessments to expand skills matching.
Geographic Solutions is awarded a contract to provide a new generation of labor exchange system for the State of Florida. The system uses spider technology to collect every accessible job posted to the web by Florida employers (approximately 275,000 jobs).
Virtual OneStop/Virtual LMI Version 7.0 is released; it supports ALMIS 2.3, O*NET 7.0 and state-of-the-art labor exchange.
Wyoming and several counties in California are using VOS systems.
Employ Florida Marketplace is expanded to include WIA, Wagner-Peyser and other case management services.
Geographic Solutions is awarded a contract with the Missouri Department of Economic Development to provide the new Great Hires Web Crawler system providing spidered jobs and real-time LMI.
Virtual OneStop is upgraded to Version 8.1, which features a significantly enhanced version of the Virtual OneStop Individual Fund Tracking (IFT) system, first released in Wyoming.
Employ Florida Marketplace is upgraded to Version 8.1, including a large conversion of legacy data for over 2 million individuals. The system becomes widely used in Florida, averaging over 70,000 unique users on busy days.
Virtual OneStop/Virtual LMI Version 9 is released; it supports O*NET 12 and improved employer, jobseeker, LMI and staff services.
VOS Version 9.3 hits, which supports an improved interface, upgraded data audit, additional reports and document scanning. Shortly after, Virtual LMI Version 9.3 is released with a GIS module that allows mapping of unique features, such as active resumés and active job orders.
Systems are built for Georgia, Illinois, and Indiana using VOS version 9.3.
Virtual OneStop/Virtual LMI Version 10 is released, including more comprehensive resumé and job search tools, additional search features, more detailed information on candidates, an improved interface, and additional reports, among many upgraded features.
The Real-Time LMI module debuted in Version 10.05. The module provided labor market analysis of transactional data from spidered (aggregated) jobs, and supported O*NET 14.
Also in 2009, we welcomed numerous California and Texas locals, and the State of New Hampshire as VOS clients.
(continued) The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 called for transparency in government reporting. Modifications to Virtual OneStop allowed customers to effectively enroll participants in ARRA-funded training programs, and the ability to produce federally-mandated reports to track job placements and services.
In late 2009, America's Labor Market Analyzer (ALMA) launched on a subscription basis. ALMA, generates transactional data into a nationwide database consisting of real-time, current, and historical labor market information for contrast and comparison.Southern Nevada Goodwill and the Employ RI Network (A hybrid VOS and LMI site) launch.
Geographic Solutions announced the release of Virtual OneStop/Virtual LMI Version 11.0. The new systems will provide improved overall usability and enhanced system features such as multiple employer login, employer contact audit history, significant design changes for the fund tracking module, improved print capability for federal programs such as WIA and TAA, and more.
In 2010, we started the development of the new Nebraska Workforce Case Management and Reporting System and welcomed even more California local sites.
Geographic Solutions Unemployment System (GUS) is developed and launched. GUS is a game-changer in the reemployment process. In one step, job seekers can apply for unemployment benefits, and find current job openings where they live. From claimant application through the appeals process, the dynamic solution was designed specifically to reduce unemployment benefit durations by putting jobseekers back to work quickly.
Reemployment EXchange (REX) is introduced as a lightweight (don't let the mascot fool you) version of GUS. This module is designed to integrate into an existing Virtual OneStop system, while seamlessly incorporating a state's legacy unemployment system.
Hawaii, Alabama, Georgia, and the MARC Green Consortium (Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C.) kicked off a wave of "Green Job" sites launching. The green job portals operate in real-time, using keywords and phrases to mine other online job boards for "green" job postings. Job seekers can search for jobs by keyword or ZIP code.
The launch of a portal site targeted towards Veteran Reemployment gives job seekers in Florida the ability to search for military-coded occupations, etc.
The State of Florida is the first state system to upgrade to Virtual OneStop Version 12.05. Also in 2012, Geographic Solutions launched phase 1 of the California Employment and Training Modernization Project: California Workforce Services Network (CWSN) and Louisiana becomes the FIRST state to offer UI features on their site, incorporating GUS into their VOS system.
In 2012, we launched the new Kentucky LMI site, KYLMI.
This June will mark the 10th Anniversary of our Annual Workforce Technology Conference. We look forward to marking this milestone with even more information packed sessions than ever before. See you in Monterey, California June 10-13!
Geographic Solutions launches Virtual OneStop Mobile Applications in Nebraska, South Carolina, Virginia, and Southwest Florida; bringing job search and labor market information to the job seeker on the go!
Geographic Solutions first gained national attention in 1994 by creating the world's first comprehensive labor market information system for the State of North Carolina Employment Security Commission. Known as the Human Resource Information System (HRIS), this system graphically displayed, manipulated, and analyzed economic and labor market information from both state and federal sources.
The software was originally developed in FoxPro Version 2 using the latest multiple-window, event-driven technology. HRIS operated on both the Apple Macintosh operating system and Microsoft Windows Version 3.
HRIS revolutionized the way that state and local labor market data could be used by job seekers, employers, policy makers, and researchers. For the first time, a wide variety of key information was easily accessible in one system. The success of HRIS resulted in Geographic Solutions subsequently adapting this system for agencies in other states, including:
In 1996, Geographic Solutions designed a new workforce development system called JobGuide. This software, unveiled publicly at the first JETT*CON Conference in Washington D.C., represented a radical new direction for workforce systems. It presented a simple, easy to use graphical interface that could be operated by job seekers having no prior computer experience.
JobGuide presented information that assisted individuals in understanding the total job market, identifying likely employers for their skills, and conducting effective, self-directed job searches. Developed exclusively using object-oriented Visual FoxPro for operation in a Windows 95 and NT environment, JobGuide was originally designed to reside exclusively in touch-screen kiosks in all the unemployment offices and other government field offices throughout the state of Georgia. It was subsequently been deployed on workstations using a standard mouse configuration.
Geographic Solutions developed an online version of JobGuide for the State of Georgia Department of Labor and for the New Mexico Department of Labor, where the system was known as NMWorks.
In the summer of 1996, Geographic Solutions applied its expertise in object-oriented development to create the most advanced and comprehensive workforce system seen at that time. The Florida Research and Economic Database (FRED) was developed for the State of Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security. This system provided a single one-stop source for demographic, economic, and labor market information for the state.
The system was designed on the premise that people seeking demographic, economic, and labor market information have a wide variety of requirements — ranging from the researcher seeking detailed information on trends in labor cost to the "man on the street" looking for the average wage for an occupation in a specific area.
FRED graphically displayed, manipulated, and analyzed a broad range of information from state, local, and federal sources. The database includes population and income figures, industrial and occupational wage statistics and projections, annual and monthly employment and unemployment figures, employment service applicants' data, commuting patterns, employer data, and mass layoff statistics. Geographic Solutions subsequently created an advanced version of FRED that currently operates on the Internet.
In October 1996, the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration announced the preliminary version of a new standard database structure for storing labor market, economic, and demographic information. This normalized relational database design became known as the America's Labor Market Information System (ALMIS) database structure.
Prior to the official ALMIS release date in April 1997, Geographic Solutions had already adopted the standard for all its workforce development products. Geographic Solutions was the first company to release products using ALMIS, a standard now adopted by all states. To date, we have provided technical assistance in populating this database structure to over 40 state agencies.
In September 1997, Geographic Solutions signed a contract with an association of 18 state employment security agencies from around the country known as the LMIAccess Consortium.
The Employment and Training Administration and National Occupational Information Coordinating Committee were affiliate partners in the LMIAccess consortium, and the Center for Employment Security Education and Research provided administrative support for this contract.
Impressed by the capabilities of systems such as the Georgia JobGuide and FRED, the consortium contracted with Geographic Solutions to supply a client server or CD based system with user-friendly access to the ALMIS database in each of its 18 member states. Geographic Solutions delivered the following systems—on or ahead of schedule:
* Geographic Solutions has since implemented advanced web-based versions of these systems.
Each of these systems has four levels of system access:
In June 1997, Geographic Solutions delivered the first Internet system using the ALMIS database structure to the State of Washington Employment Security Department. Known as Washington's Interactive Labor Market Access (WILMA), this system combined the functionality of systems like the Florida Research and Economic Database and the Georgia JobGuide as well as provided access to labor market information via the Internet.
WILMA was designed to fulfill the requirements of the state's welfare reform activities, as well as the need for more user-friendly access to labor market information. WILMA's customers included job seekers, placement counselors, policy makers, data analysts, and employers.
The system was developed using Microsoft Visual InterDev to be a dynamic web application with sophisticated server-side processing, including real time database access from Microsoft SQL Server.
In February 1998, Microsoft Corporation and Advisor Publications Inc. selected Geographic Solutions and WILMA as a finalist in the 1998 Visual FoxPro Excellence Awards. This competition was open to leading software developers from around the world, and WILMA was nominated in two award categories: Best Desktop Solution and Best Client Server Solution.
The success of Geographic Solutions' Internet-based workforce development systems can be measured by the number of agencies that we have since brought online, including:
On June 22, 2010 Geographic Solutions successfully completed a SAS 70 audit receiving a clean auditor's opinion with no qualifications.
In January 1998, Geographic Solutions created another breakthrough Internet site when it developed the Louisiana Occupational Information System (LOIS) for the Louisiana Department of Labor. This system combined the functionality of applications such as WILMA with an advanced Provider Reports System, allowing users to compare provider report information for two schools offering a specific program.
For example, a user could compare factors such as tuition costs and program length. The system also included a scorecard that rates each program an institution offers, indicating factors such as the number of students who found employment and their average quarterly earnings.
In July 1999, Geographic Solutions was awarded a contract by the State of Florida Jobs and Education Partnership to develop a state-of-the-art Provider Information System that met the current requirements of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998, the State of Florida Strategic Five-Year State Workforce Investment Plan for Title 1, and the Wagner-Peyser Act.
The system was a single integrated performance information system that assembled employment, occupational, and performance information from all of the state's workforce development partners. The system maximized consumer choice, allowing an adult interested in advancing his or her career, regardless of income, to do so. Job seekers such as low-income adults, welfare parents, disadvantaged youth, unemployed or displaced workers, and others willing to learn and work were able to access high quality provider information.
The Provider Information System used data from the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP), run by the Florida Department of Education. Data included performance/cost information relating to eligible providers of training services described in subsections (e) and (h) of section 122 of WIA. This included each institution's completion rate, placements, job retention, and earning gains for each program.
In July 2000, Geographic Solutions released an Internet based system for entering eligible training provider data and for displaying provider reports data for the Delaware Department of Labor.
In June 1998, Geographic Solutions introduced Virtual OneStop, a system specifically designed to fulfill the needs of local workforce development boards and one-stop offices. Virtual OneStop represented the apex of our many years of experience in creating workforce development systems.
Virtual OneStop was created with a state-of-the-art interface. Customers navigated through an online one-stop where they interacted with virtual staff who directed them to a variety of one-stop services. In August 1998, the first Virtual OneStop was purchased by the Jobs and Education Partnership Regional Board (JEP) of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties, Florida and the South Florida Employment and Training Consortium (SFETC).
In July 1999, Geographic Solutions released Version 3.1 of Virtual OneStop. Version 3.1 included many sophisticated enhancements, including personalized file folder information storage and a suite of new options for one-stop case managers and staff counselors.
In November 1999, Geographic Solutions introduced the Virtual OneStop Annual Subscription. This program was designed for Workforce Investment Boards, service providers, and state agencies that supplied services required under the Workforce Investment Act. It permitted agencies to easily supplement physical one-stops with maximum flexibility for a low annual fee. Under this program, Geographic Solutions hosted the site and provided Internet access. No hardware or software purchase was required and there was no requirement for a Webmaster, programmer, or database expert on staff. Geographic Solutions also provided all support, database services, and system updates.
Version 4 of Virtual OneStop was released in July 2000 with expanded intensive services and messaging capabilities and was the only system to provide all the core and intensive services outlined by the Workforce Investment Act on the Internet. Version 4 was used by Workforce Development Boards across the nation and was adopted as the standard operating system for one-stops in the District of Columbia and the State of Louisiana. It included self-service skills matching, labor market information, resume and letter writing, job search, employer search, benefits, and social service information. Version 4 of Virtual OneStop incorporated the needs of employers for a centralized, easy-to-use system to provide resources, post job openings, and find qualified workers. With the upgrade the Virtual OneStop system continued to meet the changes of new legislative and economic needs.
In 2000, Geographic Solutions completed Phase II of DCNetworks for the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services. DCNetworks was designed to serve all job seekers including welfare parents, disadvantaged youth, unemployed or displaced workers, and others willing to learn and work. DCNetworks currently offers a full complement of online services for agency staff, case managers, and career counselors — including common intake, eligibility determination tools, referrals, case management information, placement data, scheduling tools, client tracking, and follow-up utilities.
DCNetworks has replaced the District's ODDS/ENDS mainframe employment service system and legacy JTPA systems. Geographic Solutions wrote custom programs to import legacy data, including participant information, job orders, referrals, and services from the District's mainframes. DCNetworks integrated and interfaced multiple agencies, partners and programs including Employment Services, Unemployment Insurance, Welfare to Work, and Vocational Rehabilitation.
Also in 2000, Geographic Solutions developed the Louisiana Works Virtual OneStop for the Louisiana Department of Labor. The Louisiana Works Virtual OneStop was released as a comprehensive one-stop operating system providing services to multiple agencies and partners in all of the state's workforce development boards.
The July 2001 release of Virtual OneStop Version 5 included new user interfaces, updated Welfare-to-Work functionality, self-service financial planning, enhanced performance and WIASRD reporting, along with many other advanced features. The Financial Tracking package included Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) and detailed allocation and budgeting screens, adding an in-depth capability for financial management purposes.
In 2001, the company was selected for a multi-year project to design and implement the One-Stop Operating Systems with the State of South Carolina. In August of 2001, Geographic Solutions was awarded a contract in collaboration with the Oracle Corporation to provide a customized One-Stop Delivery System for the Job Service of North Dakota. The project included the design and development of a statewide self-service one-stop and labor exchange system. In February 2003, the project was fully implemented and integrated with the Oracle software customization.
In November 2001 one of our clients, the Workforce Development Board of Florida's Flagler-Volusia Counties, received the National Association of Counties Workforce Development Award of Excellence. The award recognized the One-Stop Career Centers of Flagler and Volusia Counties as the best in the nation, thanks to the region's Virtual OneStop.
In June 2002, the State of New Mexico contracted with Geographic Solutions for a comprehensive state system using existing legacy data and incorporating self-service, WIA case management, financial tracking, and reporting functions. The New Mexico Workforce Connection's Virtual OneStop System currently provides services for 28 locations throughout the state.
Also joining the growing list of Virtual OneStop clients at the local level were San Bernardino Valley, Long Beach, Santa Ana, and Santa Cruz in California; Pima County (Tucson), and Maricopa County (Phoenix) in Arizona; Austin and Travis County, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; Norfolk/Hampton Roads and Lynchburg/Region 2000 in Virginia; and Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
Subsequent releases of Virtual OneStop incorporated sophisticated scan card tracking options that have been implemented by a number of existing customers. Development continued with Version 7, which encompassed an integrated background wizard and resume builder, used job spidering to extend job searches to multiple websites, and included state-of-the-art job search and candidate/resume search technology in its Labor Exchange module.
Version 7 also included the most recent NAICS and O*NET codes for Occupational Searches and Job Orders, allowed Case Assignment functions for larger regions and states to control access and privileges for groups, and incorporated detailed Veterans, Youth, and Community Services information.
Version 7 was released Common Measures ready and included a wide variety of ad hoc reporting options for local one stop centers. A Web Content module was offered for those without HTML experience who want to add pages on their site by simply entering information.
Version 8 of Virtual OneStop debuted in July 2006 in the form of HireNetHawaii.com. Highlights of Version 8 included new wizards for gathering WIA and Wagner-Peyser information, expanded search capabilities for job seekers and employers, and addition reporting functions, including a robust ad hoc query report.
The states of Wyoming and Florida also chose Virtual OneStop Version 8 to provide workforce development services to their citizens.
Virtual OneStop software continues to evolve in sync with the workforce development sector, incorporating new functions to meet clients' needs and the changing regulatory environment.
Virtual OneStop includes tools to directly interface in real-time with legacy unemployment insurance systems. In one step, job seekers can apply for unemployment, register in the employment system, and find current job openings where they live. This powerful interface is a dynamic solution designed to reduce unemployment benefit durations by putting job seekers back to work quickly.
Geographic Solutions Unemployment System (GUS) provides a complete benefit delivery system from claimant application through the appeals process and every step in between. This commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solution focuses on providing the claimant intuitive entry screens and continuous claim status information, while offering UI staff a full range of claim functionality (monetary, non-monetary, payment, notifications and appeals). GUS evaluates claims in real-time – providing claimants, employers and staff up-to-the-minute information. Daily payment and employer charging processing is now accurate and extremely efficient.
Geographic Solutions announces its entry into the emerging Reemployment field. With decades of experience providing successful workforce solutions, Geographic Solutions is taking the next step to integrate Unemployment Insurance and Workforce information systems into a system that speeds the reemployment of the unemployed worker.
Geographic Solutions Reemployment EXchange module (REX) provides a link between UI and a Workforce system that monitors and ensures that claimants are fulfilling all of their work search requirements while providing labor exchange and labor market information that should help the claimant become reemployed. This solution focuses on providing the claimant all of the tools for success in landing a suitable, good paying job.
Not only does REX offer assistance to the claimant, it also offers valuable information to employers who are looking to find good, qualified employees who meet their needs. REX does all of this while providing agency staff the ability to track the claimant's efforts and offer assistance and guidance when necessary.
REX evaluates claims in real-time – providing claimants, employers and staff up-to-the-minute information.
Functional areas include: