Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (MN DEED) is the state’s principal economic development agency. Its many successful programs require MN DEED staff to obtain accurate customer data to comply with extensive reporting requirements. MN DEED turned to Intertech to update its legacy data collection system to make its reporting process easier and more accurate. Intertech also significantly updated MNWorks, MN DEED’s dedicated website for job seekers and prospective employers.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (MN DEED) is the state’s principal economic development agency. MN DEED programs promote business recruitment, expansion, and retention; international trade; workforce development; and community development. With so many successful initiatives, MN DEED staff needed an easier and more reliable method for obtaining accurate customer data. In addition, MN DEED’s success led to an expansion of on-line “self-services,” which required replacing a legacy data collection system to make it easier for customers to access MN DEED services. Simultaneously, the department’s MNWorks website for assisting job seekers and employers, which Intertech originally built in 2007, was in need of a major technological update. It also needed to adhere to web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.0) dictated by state and federal government (Section 508). MN DEED generally has been ahead of the technology curve in the area of state-operated labor and workforce solutions. However, the agile process was new, so planning and managing were initial challenges. Formal testing also was new to the team, as were the newer design patterns that the site was being built on. In addition, the team needed to adapt to Microsoft Test Manager (MTM) used by Intertech’s Quality Assurance leader. Mentoring and knowledge transfer was a major deliverable of this project. MN DEED leaders want to maintain and enhance technical work once it is in their possession. Thus, MN DEED team members were coached on Agile, new design patterns and code review, and MTM.
Intertech provided an experienced technical leader to serve as the project developer/architect. He also managed a team of nearly a dozen MN DEED developers and Business Analysts. In addition, Intertech was responsible for quality assurance on the project. Intertech’s work took advantage of the latest development tools—MVC 4/MVP, .NET 4.5, Lightswitch, CSS 3.0, HTML 5—to make the site more user friendly and to increase its functionality, including expanded reporting capabilities. The rewrite and re-release of the MNWorks site also provided new features, including the ability to collect user data from site visitors. Most significantly, it laid the groundwork for a future project to develop a mobile version of the MNWorks site.
Intertech provided an updated web site that allows for easy access to information related to Workforce Centers – publishing and accessing jobs – as well as workshops and training for potential job seekers. The improved reporting capability is a significant benefit for MN DEED staff. Most significantly, the site has been re-written using current technology, which provides the ability to develop mobile/tablet functionality in the future. The newly developed functionality also adheres to web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.0) and is AA-level compliant. The MNWorks site was re-released ahead of schedule in May 2013, which allowed Intertech’s technical leader to work on some of the mobile functionality/mock ups. Both the client and MNWorks users have reported that they are very pleased with its ease of use and general functionality. Intertech’s technical leader also was credited with doing an excellent job of working with his project sponsor who was new to Agile. Intertech continues in its long and productive relationship with MN DEED and currently is working on rewriting WorkForce One.
From the day it was founded in 1991 by local entrepreneur Tom Salonek, Intertech has been a company with an important difference: unwavering commitment to customers, employees and the broader community through excellent work, smart workplace and financial management, and creative philanthropic involvement.