GPG Launches Interactive Map of Recent Work

We are excited to announce a new addition to the GPG website: a Kumu map of recent work. GPG developed this map in part to help visualize its breadth of work and to demonstrate its capacity for system and ecosystem mapping using Kumu. For more information on how to use and build Kumu maps, check out Kumu’s documentation which includes introductory videos.

GPG has recently completed several projects that involved using Kumu to develop and analyze maps of systems, partnerships, and policy landscapes. In addition, GPG is incorporating Kumu as a project management tool to help clarify team membership and connections between partners as appropriate.

map screenshot

Navigating the Map

This interactive map visualizes GPG’s recent and ongoing work, with projects grouped or “clustered” by GPG’s main categories of work:

  • Systems Change and Collaboration (gear icon)
  • Strategic, Business, and Sustainability Planning (directional signs icon)
  • Funding Research and Grant Proposal Development (piggy bank icon)

In addition, there is a category for “Other” (tools icon) to accommodate a few projects that do not fit into these three categories.

Users can click on each circle (element) in the map to view more details on a specific project or to view a definition of the categories of work in the left profile bar. For project elements, you can find information such as the client who provided funding for the project and the related field (Education, Criminal Justice, etc.) and subfields of work. Clicking on the background of the map will re-hide the sidebar.

Click elements for more info:

Each red, blue, and grey element represents a project. In the case of Funding Research and Grant Proposal Development work, each element corresponds to an agency or organization that GPG has worked with to support one or more fund development activities. Elements are color-coded by client type: government, non-profit, and foundation.

Filter by field:

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This map also allows you to filter by fields of work by clicking one or more of the the options at the top of the map (education, criminal justice, etc.), or to filter work by client type by using the dropdown menu in the upper-left corner underneath the search bar.

Filter by client type:

gif of filtering by client type

The map can be further (and temporarily) pared down through “focusing” on elements by hovering the mouse icon over an element or clicking and holding on an element until the map only shows elements directly connected to the clicked element. If clicking the element, the focus can be cleared by pressing the escape button on your keyboard. Focusing can also be cleared by clicking on the cross-hairs icon at the upper-right beneath the + and – (zoom) icons and clicking “Clear” in the menu that pops up; the focus degree can also be adjusted this way.

“Focus” on a project type:


If you have questions about this map or other GPG system and stakeholder mapping, please contact us at or (510) 528-1558.

New Resource Exploring Promising Approaches to California’s Teacher Shortage

The California Labor Management Initiative (CA LMI) and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) have released a new resource for districts and others interested in learning more about emerging approaches to California’s teacher shortage. This compendium, “From Shortage to Solutions: Exploring Promising Approaches to California’s Teacher Shortage,” was based on the results of two meetings convened by the CA LMI and the CTC on May 2-3, 2017 held in the San Francisco Bay Area and Orange County and focused on sharing and exploring actionable approaches to the California teacher shortage.

The meetings and recently released compendium were conceived as a response to the growing teacher shortages in California: 75% of districts reported shortages in 2016-17, and 81% of districts with shortages reported that the shortage problem has gotten worse.1 To address these shortages, districts are often forced to use stopgap measures, including replacing departing teachers with substitutes or new teachers with substandard credentials.2 While increasing recruitment of individuals into the teaching profession is critical, improving teacher retention will also be essential to addressing shortages. Nationally, 19-30% of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years, while 55% of teachers leaving the profession cite working conditions, the administration, and accountability pressures as the reason for their departure.3 More information on the teacher shortage and recommendations for state-level and district-level stakeholders can be found on the Learning Policy Institute’s website.

At the Shortage to Solutions meetings, some presenters shared strategies undertaken through a collaborative approach involving labor and management. These strategies had been an effective way to impact working conditions and other factors that cause teachers to leave. Research from Dr. Saul Rubinstein of Rutgers University and Dr. John McCarthy from Cornell University has shown that high levels of labor management collaboration can have significant impact on teacher turnover. While high poverty schools experience teacher departure rates at 3.5 times the rate of low poverty schools, high poverty schools with high levels of collaboration do not experience these elevated levels of teacher turnover.4

The meetings drew a mixture of stakeholders, from district and county office of education teams to representatives from institutions of higher education (IHEs) and statewide organizations. The Learning Policy Institute first provided an overview on the latest findings and data on the California teacher shortage. Participants then had the opportunity to learn about emerging practices related to recruitment and retention used by IHEs, districts, and unions around the state to address the teacher shortage, including collaborative work in several school districts to improve new teacher induction and support systems. Finally, participants discussed the presentations and shared additional strategies they had seen or implemented at their site. The compendium summarizes the presentations and highlights some of the strategies shared by meeting participants.

GPG provided meeting design and documentation support and developed the compendium as part of its work supporting the California Labor Management Initiative.

Meeting materials, including agendas and powerpoints, can be found here.

1. Carver-Thomas, D. and Darling-Hammond, L. (2017). Addressing California’s Growing Teacher Shortage: 2017 Update. Learning Policy Institute. Retrieved from
2. Ibid.
3. Podolsky, A., Kini, T., Bishop, J., & Darling-Hammond, L. (2016). Solving the Teacher Shortage: How to Attract and Retain Excellent Educators. Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute.
4. To learn more about Dr. Rubinstein and Dr. McCarthy’s research, see:

Implementation Science: The Path from Science to Service

Public sector entities, non-profits, and funders alike want their projects and services to be based in evidence. But the journey from research findings to routine practice can be long and arduous, and people cannot benefit from evidence-based interventions if the interventions never reach them. Research on health care systems and public health has shown that evidence-based practices (EBPs) take an average of 17 years to be incorporated into routine general practice, and only about half of all EBPs actually reach widespread clinical usage.1 As a result, patients often do not receive treatments that have been proven to be effective, and in the worst case, they receive unnecessary or harmful treatments.

The field of implementation science evolved in response to these concerns, and offers key insights into what works — and what doesn’t — when it comes to integrating evidence-based strategies into public and social-sector endeavors. Implementation science research examines “the factors that influence the full and effective use of innovations in practice”2 in order to find ways to bridge the “science-to-service” gap. It takes a multidisciplinary approach, often driven by teams of academic and operational partners, which seeks to understand barriers and design interventions that can be successfully integrated into daily practice.

What’s going wrong along the pathway from science to service? In many cases, ineffective implementation methods are to blame:3 information dissemination alone, training (even high-quality training) alone, funding or incentives alone, compliance requirements alone. The pattern here is clear: these methods are not effective in isolation. They don’t change the roles and functions of service providers, nor do they take a multilevel approach to addressing individual and organizational behavior or systemic change.

Flawed implementations can yield a few common problems. An evidence-based practice may be adopted, but not with fidelity. Or it might be adopted with fidelity, but quickly abandoned, or only used in a fraction of target sites. Depending on whether these problems are recognized and addressed, evaluations of these programs can yield flawed data on the efficacy of a practice.

Successful integration of EBPs requires usable innovations, effective implementation, and enabling contexts. Implementation teams are critical to planning and driving the success of an implementation process, though there is not a one-size-fits-all blueprint for what these teams should look like. Research has identified four common stages present in successful implementation processes:4

  1. Exploration: Recognizing and assessing the need for resources to help move research into practice.
  2. Installation: Acquiring or repurposing the resources necessary for implementation, and preparing for new practices. This can include hiring and training activities, as well as setting up tools for assessment.
  3. Initial Implementation: The innovation/EBP is first put into use, and practitioners/staff attempt to use their skills and training in context.
  4. Full Implementation: 50% or more of the intended practitioners use the innovation with fidelity and good outcomes; the “new” is now standard.

Work from these stages can overlap or occur somewhat out of sequence. Regardless of how neatly an implementation process fits into this framework, it’s clear that assessing and building readiness, planning carefully, and integrating improvement frameworks are all key to getting evidence into practice.

This post was written by Celeste Middleton, Summer Associate.

Learn more about implementation science by checking out:

You can find information on applying implementation science to early childhood care and education here:

1. Bauer. M.S., Damschroder, L., Hagedorn, H., Smith, J., and Kilbourne, A.M. (2015). An introduction to implementation science for the non-specialist. BMC Psychology, 3(1). doi:10.1186/s40359-015-0089-9
2. Implementation Science Defined. (2015). National Implementation Research Network.
3. Fixsen, D.L., Blase, K.A., Duda, M.A., Metz., A.J., Naoom, S.F., and Van Dyke, M.K. (2010). Implementing evidence-based practices: Are we falling down on the job? National Implementation Research Network.
4. Implementation Stages. National Implementation Research Network.

City of Richmond Employment and Training Department Receives Prop 39 Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Award

RichmondBUILD training graduates standing at RichmondBUILD WallOn June 8, 2017, the California Workforce Development Board announced awards for Proposition 39 Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Pipeline for Ex-Offenders, a $2.85 million program to build pre-apprenticeship programs serving formerly incarcerated job-seekers with a focus on women. The City of Richmond Employment and Training Department (E&T) was one of four entities to receive a training implementation grant, in the amount of $637,500 over a period of two years.

Participants in the proposed program will take part in regular cohorts of the highly acclaimed RichmondBUILD construction training program and will also receive training and instruction in the Multi-Core Curriculum (MC3) pre-apprenticeship program, a nationally recognized construction training curriculum. Of the 80 participants that will be enrolled, it is anticipated that 100% will complete the MC3 Pre-Apprenticeship training and will attain the industry-identified MC3 certificate. Fifty percent of participants in the program will be female ex-offenders.

The program will build upon the strong ties between RichmondBUILD and regional construction trade unions to provide participants with the opportunity to enter into pre-apprenticeship, earn industry-valued credentials and lead to apprenticeship or direct employment in the construction trades. The E&T anticipates that 45 out of the 80 program participants will be placed in state-approved apprenticeships over the course of the project period.

GPG is pleased to have had the opportunity to work on this successful workforce development grant proposal for the City of Richmond Employment and Training Department.

A Guide to School Employee Well-Being Through Collaboration, from Kaiser Permanente and the Kaiser Permanente Office of Labor Management Partnership

In June 2017, Kaiser Permanente’s Office of Labor Management Partnership released A Guide to School Employee Well-Being Through Collaboration, a roadmap for districts, schools, and teacher and classified employee unions interested in developing and implementing employee well-being programs. The guide was developed in collaboration with multiple unions, administration associations, and researchers. The guide specifies concrete steps for building collaboration around well-being efforts, and includes real-world examples from districts that have successfully and collaboratively launched employee well-being initiatives.

The guide, which uses the term ‘well-being’ as a phrase that can go beyond physical and mental health to include other factors, such as job satisfaction and quality of relationships, consists of two parts. The first part describes how labor management collaboration can help build a successful school employee well-being program, while the second part is a step-by-step guide for collaboratively planning and implementing a well-being program.

Several California school districts, including San Leandro Unified School District and Elk Grove Unified School District, have developed robust wellness programs and initiatives using strong labor management partnerships. Highlights from San Leandro Unified School District’s robust school employee wellness efforts through labor management partnership can be found in the guide and on the Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools website.

About the Kaiser Permanente Office of Labor Management Partnership: Kaiser Permanente has been engaged in a labor management partnership with the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions since 1997, called the Labor Management Partnership (LMP). One of the many roles the LMP plays is to offer guidance and resources for others interested in building a labor management partnership in any workplace. The Kaiser Permanente LMP provides its expertise in labor management collaboration to the Kaiser Permanente’s Thriving Schools effort, which is dedicated to improving health in K-12 schools, including that of staff and teachers.

GPG provided support for this effort by conducting interviews with key stakeholders from the field to gather feedback on early drafts of the guide, reviewing draft materials, and facilitating feedback and discussion sessions with union and district stakeholders.

Additional resources on how to start school employee well-being initiatives are available on the Thriving Schools website, which includes recordings of the national webinar series in addition to sample activities and promotional materials.

City of Richmond Employment and Training Department Receives Workforce Accelerator Fund 5.0 Award

Workforce Accelerator Fund logoThe California Workforce Development Board and the Employment Development Department Workforce Accelerator Fund supports the design, development, and implementation of projects that accelerate employment and re-employment strategies for California job seekers. The City of Richmond Employment and Training Department (E&T) received a $150,000 award for the RichmondBUILD Contractors Resource Center (CRC). With this funding, the CRC will develop tools, strategies, and processes that provide opportunities to embed the program in the statewide or regional workforce system. The CRC model, originally supported by a Workforce Accelerator Fund 3.0 grant, is designed to help small local construction contractors develop the knowledge and skills needed to successfully bid on, obtain and carry out contracts with major construction firms, and anchor institutions.

As part of this project, Richmond E&T will create an extensive series of integrated training modules for CRC trainees on topics such as estimating, bidding, back office operations, bonding, and human resources, that are adaptable and can be shared with other entities planning to replicate the CRC model. They will also share the model through developing and delivering a comprehensive presentation on the CRC model at local, state and national conferences; providing information on establishing local policies that support participation of local contractors in major development projects; and hosting quarterly visits and tours for entities interested in replicating the CRC model.

Richmond E&T will also support the implementation of the CRC model by providing technical assistance to interested communities that intend to develop the model; strengthening existing CRC partnerships with anchor institutions, local government, major developers and general contractors, and labor unions to enhance small contractor training and expand opportunities; and providing information on funding and sustainability models for CRCs.

GPG is proud to have had the opportunity to work on this successful workforce development grant proposal for the City of Richmond Employment and Training Department and the CRC to continue its work.

The California Labor Management Initiative Convenes its First Summer Institute

The California Labor Management Initiative (CA LMI) held its first Summer Institute on June 19-21, 2017 in San Diego, CA. The two-day meeting offered an opportunity for labor-management teams from across the state to convene, collaborate, and learn from national experts and local experiences. The Institute also included an optional pre-conference day for teams new to labor management collaboration.

The Institute convened 21 district teams composed of superintendents and other district staff, school board members, and teacher and classified union leaders, with seven of those teams also attending the pre-conference day. In total, over 200 people attended the institute and had the opportunity to hear from experts (including Michael Fullan and Pedro Noguera) and practitioners in the field speak about the tools and concepts integral to successful labor management collaboration.

CA LMI participants in table discussions

District teams in discussion at the 2017 CA LMI Summer Institute

The pre-conference included an overview of the CA LMI and its work to date, an introduction to collaborative structures and Michael Fullan’s Coherence Framework, and research on the positive impacts of labor management collaboration. In addition, it showcased the journey of Santa Clara Unified School District’s path to genuine labor-management collaboration.

Over the next two days, teams were welcomed by State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, heard keynote presentations from Michael Fullan (see video below for Fullan’s breakout session) and Pedro Noguera, had critical time for district team discussion and planning, and attended breakout sessions on various topics (see the meeting website for a list of breakout session topics).

To learn more about the CA LMI, visit the CA LMI website, where you can find additional resources, photos, videos, and information about past convenings.

GPG is pleased to have supported this event by providing meeting design, preparation, and logistical support.

City of Richmond Employment and Training Department Receives Environmental Workforce Development Job Training Grant

US EPA LogoThe City of Richmond Employment and Training Department was one of 14 organizations to receive FY 2017 Environmental Workforce Development Job Training Grants (EWDJTG) Program funding from the EPA. The $200,000 award will be used to operate an environmental job training program for residents of Richmond.

The EWDJTG program is designed to help individuals learn the skills needed to secure employment in the environmental field. These grants help prepare people for green jobs that reduce environmental contamination and provide more sustainable futures for the communities most affected by solid and hazardous waste contamination. The program focuses particularly on recruiting, training and placing unemployed and underemployed individuals who have to overcome a variety of barriers to employment. Many are from low-income neighborhoods. The training programs also serve dislocated workers who have lost their jobs as a result of manufacturing plant closures, minorities, tribal members, transitioning veterans, ex-offenders and other individuals who may have faced barriers to employment.

The funded Richmond program will offer nearly 300 hours of training in a variety of environment and construction related workforce skills, including topics such as: HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response), Lead Abatement, Asbestos Abatement, Confined Space Entry, OSCA (Refinery Safety), OSHA-10 (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) training, Pre-Apprenticeship Construction, and Solar Technology. Participants will be able to obtain an array of certificates that increase the likelihood of post-training employment. Upon completion of the program, individuals will receive a year of follow up support focused on obtaining and retaining employment. Of the expected 60 participants enrolled in the program, 85% (51) will complete the program, and 75% (45) will be placed in environmental positions, while an additional 8% (5) will pursue further training prior to employment. This is the third award for EWDJTG funding received by the City of Richmond since 2013.

GPG was proud to have the opportunity to work on this successful workforce development grant proposal for the City of Richmond Employment and Training Department.

Quickly and Collaboratively Set Meeting Agendas with Lean Coffee

Pen and sticky notesIn-person, virtual, conference–the latest model for meetings is entirely crowd-sourced. Designed in Seattle in 2009, Lean Coffee is a structure for meeting participants to gather without a pre-set agenda and collaboratively identify and prioritize topics for discussion.

The Lean Coffee model differs from traditional meeting designs in that the agenda for the meeting is democratically generated as part of the meeting process. As its name suggests, the format for a Lean Coffee is simple and aims to provide the least structure necessary for a coherent and productive meeting. The process is as follows:

  1. KanbanCreate a structure. Set up a simple “kanban board” that includes columns for: 1) To Discuss, 2) Discussing, and 3) Discussed. Throughout the meeting, discussion topics or questions will be moved from column 1 to 2, and then from 2 to 3.
  2. Generate discussion topics. Distribute post-it notes, pens, and dot stickers to participants. Meeting participants write one topic for conversation per post-it note and add each note to the “to discuss” column. The decision to limit the number of ideas (and when) rests with the meeting facilitator. When enough topics have been posted, participants share a 1-2 sentence introduction for each of their suggested topics.
  3. Vote on topics. Each participant gets two dots to stick on the topics they wish to vote for. The facilitator then tallies the dots and identifies the highest-interest topics of conversation.
  4. Discuss high-interest topics. The meeting facilitator announces the time limit for the discussion (45 minutes to 1.5 hours is recommended), and can choose to apply a time limit to each post-it note topic (5 to 10 minutes is recommended). As the discussion begins for each topic, the facilitator moves the post-it note to the “being discussed” column. When the discussion is finished that post-it note is moved to the “discussed” column to provide a visual representation of the meeting flow and allow participants to track items as they are discussed.

Lean Coffee enables meeting participants to have an open-ended conversation that is democratically directed, increasing ownership and participation. The model ensures that ideas the team collectively wants to emphasize can be discussed and agreed upon.

While this approach does not replace the need for structured meeting designs with pre-selected topics and activities, GPG has found that using Lean Coffee as a facilitation method is useful and adaptable for a variety of situations. For example, including a Lean Coffee session near the end of a half- or full-day meeting can provide an opportunity for participants to lift up important topics that were not included in the agenda or did not arise in earlier conversation, or to propose topics that were discussed but that need further attention from the group. An additional benefit of this approach is the documentation of all discussion topic ideas. For a group that meets multiple times, topics that did not receive enough votes for discussion at a previous Lean Coffee session might inform the next Lean Coffee opportunity.

Learn more about the Lean Coffee history and approach at

Webinar Highlights and Recording: Research to Policy: Evidence-Informed Opportunities for Advancing the Needs of Young Dual Language Learners in California Education Policy

In California, nearly 60% of children from birth to age five are Dual Language Learners, meaning they are learning both English and another language at the same time. This is a major asset for the Golden State. However, ensuring that California’s Early Learning system is able to support multilingualism requires building awareness, building capacity, and making investments in the program and workforce that serve our diverse youngsters.

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) recently released a consensus study, “Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English: Promising Futures.” (Also see report highlights) that can aid in these efforts. The Promising Futures report evaluates research on the development of Dual Language Learners (DLLs) and English Learners (ELs) from birth to age 21, and makes recommendations on policy, practice, and research and data collection to better support and educate DLLs/ELS from birth to grade 12.

In addition, the report includes recommendations specific to early childhood. Chapter 4: Capacities and Influences on Language Development reviews the evidence on young children’s underlying capacity for dual language development and examines the factors that may influence the full expression of this capacity among DLLs in the United States. Chapter 5: Promising and Effective Early Care and Education Practices and Home Visiting Programs for Dual Language Learners, reviews relevant research on guiding principles, programs, practices, and strategies that promote positive developmental and educational outcomes for DLLs in home visiting programs and Early Childhood Education (ECE) settings and provides relevant research on features of high-quality ECE for infants and toddlers generally, combined with the developmental literature on DLLs reviewed in earlier chapters, to arrive at findings and conclusions about effective practices for the youngest DLLs.

On May 31, 2017, GPG facilitated a well-received Webinar: From Research to Policy: Evidence-Informed Opportunities for Advancing the Needs of Young Dual Language Learners in California Education Policy. Funded through the generous support of the Heising-Simons Foundation and Sobrato Family Foundation, the webinar reviewed essential elements of the report and examined the ways in with the report can be incorporated in advocacy work in California. The webinar featured presentations from the following experts on Dual Language Development and early learning advocacy:

  • Anya Hurwitz, Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) Deputy Director;
  • Deborah Kong, Early Edge California;
  • Linda Espinosa, University of Missouri, Columbia (emeritus); and
  • Vickie Ramos Harris, Advancement Project.

A recording of the webinar is available at the following link: