Interview conducted by Daniel Bardin. Written and edited by Jessica Turcotte.

FMS building cover photo FMS Workforce Solutions Center, Amsterdam, NY location.

FMS Workforce Solutions has been a client of Tech II for several years, and recently sought out Tech II’s services in order to unify their three centers. FMS (serving Fulton, Montgomery, and Schoharie Counties) is a non-profit organization which utilizes several resources to help local people who are looking for work.

Denise Stafford is the Database Coordinator for FMS, orchestrating all of their technology-based workings. Since first starting with FMS, Tech II has served as her go-to for any tech problems she has experienced, utilizing their services as a complement to her own knowledge. If she needs tech assistance, Tech II is just a call or email away.

FMS’s contribution to the community is far-reaching. In 2015 alone, they helped almost 8,000 people. Unemployment rates in Fulton, Montgomery, and Schoharie Counties have noticeably decreased from 2014 to 2015, and the unemployment rate in New York State as a whole decreased by 1.2% in that same time. FMS works to bring job seekers to employers, and employers to job seekers.

There are at least six different agencies represented in the Centers that FMS partners with in order to help people gain employment. According to executive director Gail Breen, if FMS does their job right, the individual will walk away not even knowing which organization helped them. The FMS website states that the organization aims to “bring together multiple programs and services in a manner seamless to job seekers and business customers.”

Gail explained that STEM careers are one of FMS’s focuses. STEM encompasses the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. FMS’s website gives examples of common STEM careers which exist locally, such as health and medical care, advanced manufacturing, bio-technology, information technology, energy, and nanotechnology. FMS offers a wealth of other information pertaining to STEM career paths, such as their average salaries, accommodations for those who need them, and even ways of obtaining training. STEM careers are an excellent option for those seeking a career path, as they are in increasing demand by employers, and often offer a stable income and benefits.

Phone system New Centralized Telecommunications System.

Due to the limitations of offering non-profit service, it can be difficult for such organizations to attain the resources needed to achieve efficiency. This is why the collaboration between FMS and Tech II is significant. FMS operates out of three centers at different locations, which is where consolidated technology becomes critical. Communication and cooperation between centers impact the work FMS does. As time and budget has permitted, Tech II has worked with FMS to centralize their technology and become more efficient. At this point there are fewer systems, providing more Voice and Data functionality than before, to all users from any location. Denise and Gail agree that some of the most beneficial enhancements include centralized voicemail, ability to transfer callers transparently between locations, and centralized access to files (e.g. databases and resumes). Not only does FMS now have more control than ever over their centers, but they also have the continued support of Tech II when technology problems arise. Essentially, Denise is the contact between FMS and Tech II. If she needs backup in any situation, she contacts Tech II. Tech II has the ability to remotely monitor the systems of their clients in the event of any kind of problem or change, offering advanced efficiency in the form of saved time and resources for the client. If Tech II sees something pop up on their side of things, they’ll contact Denise to alert her and get more information. From there, they can possibly tackle the problem remotely, or go to the location already equipped with the information and resources they need to resolve it. Denise commented that, when working with users, if an issue comes up that is related to networking, servers or the telecommunications system, that she considers Tech II to be her IT department. Denise emphasized how she is never made to feel like a bother when she requests assistance. She reports that in all of her experience with Tech II’s technicians, she has felt that they genuinely care about getting to the root of the problem, and always take the time to educate her in order to help her better troubleshoot in the future, without making her feel belittled or inferior. The value of this consistency across Tech II’s staff has been an important factor in FMS’s efficiency.  On one occasion, Denise faced challenges with a new conference system for which the vendor offered little support. On another occasion, she was experiencing obstacles with a telecom provider. In both of those instances, Tech II bridged the gap for Denise, speaking the language of the other technical people she encountered.

Denise emphasized how she is never made to feel like a bother when she requests assistance. She reports that in all of her experience with Tech II’s technicians, she has felt that they genuinely care about getting to the root of the problem, and always take the time to educate her in order to help her better troubleshoot in the future, without making her feel belittled or inferior. The value of this consistency across Tech II’s staff has been an important factor in FMS’s efficiency.  On one occasion, Denise faced challenges with a new conference system for which the vendor offered little support. On another occasion, she was experiencing obstacles with a telecom provider. In both of those instances, Tech II bridged the gap for Denise, speaking the language of the other technical people she encountered.

wiring

Tech II’s Cabling Team reorganized the existing voice cabling as part of the installatio

Denise also mentioned that another thing that stands out to her is that not once has she experienced a technician speaking poorly of a colleague’s work, indicating a high level of cohesion and confidence among Tech II’s team; a shining compliment in an industry that relies on the cooperation of many brains in order to get the job done effectively.

The centralization of FMS’s centers truly reflects the benefits of advancing technology. FMS is a valuable asset to the community in which we live and work, and Tech II takes pride in contributing to the organization’s continued success. Efficiency “behind the scenes” goes a long way in ensuring the growth of any business or organization, and one should never underestimate the value of a solid technological framework. We’re excited to see what 2016 brings for FMS.

video conference

Denise Stafford (far right), Database Coordinator for FMS, demonstrates the new Video Conferencing system used for training sessions, meetings, and other important communications between the FMS Centers

For more information about FMS Workforce Solutions and they work they do for the community, please visit their website at http://www.fmsworkforcesolutions.org/.

If you would like to find out how Tech II could help your business run more efficiently, give us a call, or check out the rest of our website.