Talent Pool Design

The Workforce Investment Board of Tulare County is a passionate leader in workforce innovation in the State of California. They are driven to solve a singular problem that plagues counties across the country — "there are far too many unemployed and underemployed individuals in a world where quality jobs continue to go unfulfilled."
Workforce Investment Board of Tulare County
12 months


Tulare County is among the most impoverished counties in the state of California with far too many families failing to make a sustaining wage. This fact remains, despite the number of quality jobs that go unfulfilled rising.


The innovative nature of the WIB of Tulare County led them to become a founding member of the Workforce Transformation Corps, a year-long project sponsored by Jobs for the Future and the James Irvine Foundation. The WTC allowed five workforce boards in California to embed a human-centered design professional in their system for one year and see if this added capacity could spark change and drive innovation at the local level. Middlestate founder Tom Price accepted the role of fellow in January of 2023 and concluded the year-long project in January of 2024. Middlestate played a key role in the research, development, design and implementation of a new service delivery model for job centers in Tulare County focused skill building and the upward mobility of customers through a curated journey of milestones.


On January 26, 2023, Middlestate presented an update to workforce leaders from across the country at a special gathering held at the James Irvine Foundation headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles. At the conclusion of the fellowship, Middlestate had collaborated with WIB leaders and system partners to help realize a new vision for the system. The Talent Pool is a service delivery model built around agility and continous improvement. Middlestate generated key insights through intentful engagement with customers, staff, partners and others in the system that resulted in pivotal stakeholder meetings faciliated by Tom and his partners at the WIB. Still in its infancy, the talent pool service delivery model will continue to improve by creating opportunities for participation for those impacted and involved in the system.

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