Case Study: Life'sWork of Western PA

“We have open and honest conversations. It’s easy to come up with new things that are supportive, collaborative, and creative. And it’s fun. It’s my favorite meeting of the week. We listen to each other. DETS is intuitive and flexible, and they offer something you don’t typically see anymore—total honesty.”

 -Matt Bittner, Chief Program Officer, Life’sWork of Western PA

Build a new employee continuing education reporting system while paving the way for employee betterment through various learning management system courses.

Life’sWork of Western PA, a non-profit organization that helps adults living with disabilities find employment, needed a robust and reliable way to track, store, and easily document required employee continuing education (CE) training certificates to satisfy state audit requirements. Previously, employees had to print out their CE certificates and give them to an HR specialist, who needed to produce standardized reports for Pennsylvania. It was an auditing nightmare, requiring many hours of labor to keep everything up to date and properly documented. Life’sWork wanted to leverage this initial accomplishment to introduce a variety of self-administered, employee-friendly courses addressing software training and soft skills improvement in such areas as communication and leadership. 

Life’sWork worked with Deep End Talent Strategies to develop and implement an efficient system for tracking and documenting continuing education course certificates. Then, Life’sWork contracted with Deep End to create and roll out a customized employee training and development program through its H2L (Here to Learn) learning management system.

H2L produced easy and reliable CE tracking, enabling a one-click overview of all completed courses by employee and the ability to produce an audit report on demand. A user-and-admin-friendly team dashboard allows a one-stop way to see activities of the entire team, generate a report, and communicate recommendations/course assignments to various employees as warranted.

The camaraderie and collaborative working relationship developed between Life’sWork and Deep End in this first phase led to creating a customized, welcoming employee training platform using H2L to address software training and soft skills enhancement in communication and leadership. Going far beyond many employee training programs, “This has been supportive, collaborative, and creative—an out-of-the-box fun solution with surprisingly positive impacts on team members, many of whom are going above and beyond to seek out H2L training opportunities,” notes Life’sWork Chief Program Officer Matt Bittner.

All employees can access the H2L site through their personal dashboards. One employee with complete loss of sight notes that the site is compatible with the platform he uses for the visually impaired. Everyone can access courses most relevant to them.


Life’sWork and Deep End Talent Strategies collaborated closely to create an engaging employee training environment. The company is now offering robust training to all staff in a convenient package and expanding offerings to address business management and organizational initiatives as well.

Employees are increasingly seeking out new courses to explore when they have downtime or scheduled breaks between projects. This enthusiasm goes far beyond just fulfilling training requirements—the norm in most training arenas. Top accomplishments include:

  • Employees now have the mindset that they can get something new from their computers without attending a conference or lecture. 
  • They stay engaged because of their ability to interact versus listen. Open, honest monthly meetings between Life’sWork and Deep End staff have become laboratories to develop new offerings not originally contemplated. Two chief areas have included courses addressing ways to communicate differently and novel management training. Many courses are being completed that are not required
  • Life’sWork has two main facilities. Training success is proving contagious, as what’s caught on in one facility is now spreading to the other.
  • The stage is set for continuing expansion and enhancement of a full and diverse training system and using the H2L system for onboarding new employees.
  • Because of the developed trusted partnership, Deep End administers the learning management system externally. Life’sWork can stay hands-off, knowing the Deep End Instructional Designers will take care of it.

About Life’sWork of Western PA

Life’sWork of Western PA is a nonprofit organization empowering people to live the life they choose. They partner with people with disabilities, people with other barriers, young adults, children, and families to pursue their hopes and dreams through strengthening workplace abilities, building life skills, and developing meaningful relationships. Since our founding in 1927, more than 100,000 individuals of all ages with disabilities, other employment barriers, children, and families in crisis have utilized the services of Life’sWork to achieve independence and self-sufficiency.

About Deep End Talent Strategies and H2L

Deep End Talent Strategies offers full-service HR and talent management consulting, including entry-level to C-suite recruiting services. Our team is frequently called up to develop and facilitate custom workshops, and we offer outplacement services. We aim to be our client's most valuable partners as they advance business and community, both their internal culture and organization and the communities in which they live and work. 

H2L (Here to Learn) is the first-of-its-kind HR Learning Management System (LMS) that breaks down the barriers that teams face when looking to provide professional development for their employees. Offering everything from a custom-built LMS designed with your organization's branding all the way to turn-key access to our H2L site, H2L has what you need to get your team performing at peak efficiency. With 3,200+ courses addressing software training and soft skills to leadership, speaking, and sales, customization is Job #1.