Ed Fund Launches Digital Credential Program

The union has launched a new initiative to make it easier for members to manage and share information about their professional credentials and skills development with their employers and other interested parties.

Through a partnership with a New York City-based digital credential platform, called Credly, DC 37 will use “digital badges” to recognize members’ knowledge and competencies. This technology will also help provide members with a clear sense of the skills they need to advance in their chosen fields.

How does a digital badge work?

“A digital badge is similar to a paper certificate you receive for a training course you have completed,” explained Diallo Shabazz, chief administrator of the DC 37 Education Fund, which manages member training and workforce development programs on behalf of the union.

“However, because digital badges are issued and verified online, unlike paper certificates, their authenticity is easy to confirm. This new initiative empowers members to easily showcase their talent and skills to partnering agencies and employers.”

Upon completing a course with the Education Fund, a member will be issued a digital badge instead of a certificate. Members will still be able to access paper certificates by clicking on the appropriate digital badge and downloading the certificate as a .pdf file.​

Each digital badge has a unique web-link that can be shared electronically via social media (Facebook, LinkedIn), in your email signature, on your resume, and more. Organizations and colleges throughout the United States are now using digital badges; DC 37 is one of the first labor unions to provide this service to members.

“DC 37 is committed to providing important education benefits to our members so they may further develop their skills while creating opportunities for pay raises and promotions,” said Henry Garrido, executive director of District Council 37.

“Issuing digital badges to our members in collaboration with our training partners and CUNY colleges is one way we will work with the City of New York to recognize our members’ achievements and promote career advancement.”

The DC 37 Blog is an online publication of District Council 37, AFSCME, which represents 125,000 municipal employees in New York City. This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of Public Employee Press.

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