Communications that work for workforce development

Strategy, Brand, and Website for Worksystems, Inc.


Worksystems, Inc. is a key coordinator and funder of jobs programs and workforce training in the Portland metropolitan region.

As a backbone organization, they organize a cross-sector group of partners to find innovative and creative approaches to driving economic growth. Their role in policy debates and with community providers is unique.

But try saying that five times fast. 

Bringing clarity to a complex employment issue

Decreasing federal funding. Increasing unemployment—especially for the long-term unemployed. And a growing gap between available jobs and the skillsets of local people who need them.

As the stakes rise for employers and unemployed workers, the need for Worksystems’ resources and expertise has become ever more pressing. The organization needed a better way to connect with community, labor, and business partners as well as policymakers to reach the right audience and communicate their difficult-to-explain, often complicated story.

Our challenge as their strategic partner was to craft an integrated brand and story that clarified their role in the community, reached their audiences, and clearly showed how to connect with Worksystems—all in service to strengthening their impact on Portland’s economy.

To tackle this, we re-positioned the Worksystems communications strategy from a B2C to a B2B focus and developed a position that went beyond describing what Worksystems does, towards why they do it. We found something everyone can agree on: Because work matters—to people, to business, and to our community.

Because work matters: The idea comes to life

We then applied that strategy to a new responsive website and a suite of materials with a crisp visual brand.

Print materials.
Design materials.
The website.

Worksystems' previous website was built in an outdated, difficult-to-use content management system (CMS). No one could figure out how to add content, or put it in a findable location. So we turned to Drupal, our “Swiss army knife of the web,” to create something both functional and flexible. The design highlights valuable information while converging multiple areas of content. Users move seamlessly from learning about programs and projects to connecting easily to the staff members that can help them.

Communications that work

"We receive very positive feedback on our website on a pretty regular basis. Visitors tell us that they have a much better understanding of our role in overseeing the public workforce system – a role that has been historically difficult for us to describe with any success in the past. The website has helped us articulate our intermediary role and the value that we bring to ensuring high quality programs and services for job seekers."

- Tricia Ryan, Chief Operating Officer, Worksystems

Now, Worksystems, Inc. has the communications tools it needs to share their story—without getting interrupted by “So, what does that actually mean?” We continue to collaborate to provide creative and content services as needed, ensuring a seamless continuity in their verbal and visual brand.


Launch website


Who was involved

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