Ursa Major News (11)
On Saturday, March 18, 2017, I will present Great Association Websites on behalf of the Washington, DC Chapter of the Community Associations Institute.
Please contact me if you are interested in attending. As soon as I have the final flyer, I will post it here.
The NOVA Housing Resource Guide is now live! The Virginia Housing and Supportive Services' Northern Virginia Regional Implementation Team (NoVA RIT) educates individuals, families and service providers about integrated, independent housing and housing resources.
Ursa Major Consulting created its Housing Resource Guide website. The Resource Guide incorporates a database on apartment complexes, housing resources and programs, and provides videos and webinars as part of a toolkit to help individuals move to independent housing. The site was created using Joomla! and associated components. New housing resources and programs can be submitted for approval by members of the public and administered by the NoVA RIT.
The Guide contains information about public and private organizations that provide housing and housing-related assistance for residents in Northern Virginia, including the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William, and the Cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park. While the guide was produced for the benefit of residents with developmental disabilities, their families and support coordinators, many resources within the guide are available to the broader community based upon income or need.
The contents of the Guide are reviewed and updated by volunteers on a bi-annual basis. However, if you find inaccurate information listed for a program or organization, please contact us so that we can rectify the error as expeditiously as possible. We have provided the ability to submit program / resource information and information on additional housing resources.
This version of the Guide contains about 100 pages of information already and will continue to grow and be updated. There are basically three types of information included:
- Database entries on housing (primarily apartment complexes). To search it, select Find Housing Query.
- Database entries on programs and resources. To search it, select Find Resources / Programs.
- The Housing Assistance menu provides articles that may also be of assistance.
To search the database, go to Find Rental housing or Find Housing Resources on the main menu, and then look for the Find Housing or Find Resources Queries on the sidebar menu.
Just a little placeholder to let the world know that we are alive and kicking despite neglecting update of this website!
Working hard on a wide variety of efforts, including:
- Organizational study for Arlington County
- Work in support of the Housing and Supportive Services Consortium (HSS)
- Developed and delivered capture and proposal training for a national nonprofit agency
- Developed and delivered a website for Delta Consulting Group, will add it to my portfolio shortly
- Serving on the board of the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (WMCCAI)
- Continuing to serve as secretary of the Northern Virginia Joomla! Users Group, President of Talltree South and MapleTree Pool Associations
- Will have an article in Quorum Magazine and shortly, a video
- Supporting other web and proposal-related clients
- And much more. Helping others debug code and write stories!
We recently had the opportunity to create a new Joomla! website for JMA Solutions. Their prior website had been a Cold Fusion site (yes, I've done that in the past), but their hosting provider was pulling the plug on Cold Fusion.
Within two weeks, and over the Thanksgiving holiday, the new website was up and running. It incorporates both enhanced information on the company and the awards they've won, and an employee portal with internal policies, forms, calendar, and other features.
Everyone was very pleased with the new site, which is at www.jma-solutions.com.
We are pleased to announce that we are assisting Virginia Industries for the Blind (VIB) with their strategic planning effort.
VIB is is a division of the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI), and provides employment opportuniities for Virginians who are blind or visually impaired in two manufacturing plants, eleven base supply stores, and six service locations. They have diverse contracts with federal agencies through the AbilityOne Program (e.g., contract management and closeout services for the U. S. Army), contracts through State Agency agreements such as the Virginia Court Debt Collection Office, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Virginia Employment Commission, and manufacture items as diverse as mattresses for the U. S. Navy and state colleges and universities and reflective vests for the Virginia Department of Trnsportation.
Given the improvements in assistive technology and more ambitious expectations of young people who are blind and people who lose their sight after gaining work experience, VIB is exploring ways to attract workers who are looking for more than traditional product manufacturing. In fact, some of VIB's experienced contract closeout employees have already been hired by the government, which is quite a successful outcome for those people.
We look forward to helping VIB plan the modernization of its business to meet the evolving needs of people who are blind or vision impaired.
We are pleased to announce that we are assisting Goodwill Industries of South Florida in implementation of new case management software. Goodwill is dedicated to providing rehabilitation, on-the-job training, work experience, and placement services to help people with disabilities and special needs overcome barriers to employment and become employed in the community. Goodwill of South Florida is one of the largest Goodwills in the country and serves a diverse population.
The anticipated benefits from this change include:
- Streamlined processes
- Reduced redundant work
- Better data and improved ability to access data on clients, programs, and services provided, both for daily operations and for strategic decisions
- Better insights into outcomes achieved, and
- Improved and easier reporting.
With Catoctin Consulting, we will assist Goodwill with the change process, from requirement validation and planning onward. We look forward to working closely with them to make this effort a success!
In support of the Enterprise Business Transformation (EBT) within Programs and Resources of the U. S. Marine Corps, Ursa Major developed an analysis of thirty-eight Management Touch Points (MTPs). This work was done through Catapult Consultants and Catoctin Consulting.
These MTPs are Federal, Department of Defense (DoD), Department of the Navy (DON), and Marine Corps guidance documents, organizations, objectives, and standards that govern the management of enterprise architectures (EA), systems, and data across the Marine Corps. The MTPs were analyzed across the solutions life cycle, to identify gaps and potential duplications and create a resource providing insight into this important area.
Through this work, Dorothy Firsching updated her knowledge of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF-II), Federal guidance, the DoD Architecture Framework (DoDAF), DoD guidance, DON EA guidance and organization, and Marine Corps EA Guidance and organization. Lifecycle frameworks, including the Business Capability Lifecycle (BCL) and the Joint Capability Integration and development System (JCIDS) were also analyzed, as were the requirements for interoperability and supportability of IT and national security systems (NSS). The MTPs were mapped to the solutions and investment life cycle.
Gaps and overlaps were identified, and additional MTPs were proposed to fill the gaps. MTP overlaps are not redundancies, but instead require a roadmap to determine the most appropriate or mandated path for a given effort. There is recent and continuing work to update the management of DoD, DON, and Marine Corps EA and systems investments. Additional actions were recommended to leverage these improvements.
Overall, it was a very interesting and well-received project. We look forward to continuing to support the EBT office in the future.
The Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian, located in Boston, Massachusetts, offers help to those who were sexually abused by teachers, coaches, priests, scout leaders, and others in authority. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian has achieved results for more than 1000 victims / survivors and has been instrumental in publishing the names of the perpetrators that so long were kept silent.
Ursa Major supported the redeployment of the website, which had been hosted by Lexis Nexis Martindale Hubbell. When the site was at Lexis, it was difficult for the firm to get website updates made in a responsive manner. We are now in a position to provide nimble support to the law firm by keeping the website current, so that it reports the latest results achieved for victims and survivors of sexcual abuse. We are also applying Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best principles to increase website traffic and enable other sexual abuse survivors and their friends and families to find Garabedian Law.
Ursa Major's recertification as a small, woman-owned business in the Commonwealth of Virginia was approved. Virginia is increasingly turning to SWAM-certified vendors for its needs. Ursa Major is a team partner on Catoctin Consulting's contracts with the Commonwealth of Virginia for facilitation, strategic planning, and performance management.
The Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS ® (NVAR) engaged Ursa Major Consulting to provide Joomla! expertise in supporting the transition to a new website. A usability study and brand design was done by WM Design Group. Ursa Major supported the high-traffic, high-content site in Joomla! for several years before its recent transition to integrate with a membership management soution.