Describe the Specific Problem and Goals

Step 3: Describing the Specific Problem and Goals

Now that you have framed the problem in a general way so the audience recognizes it as one shared by many communities, employers, and workers, the story is much more dynamic. Plan your narrative to include the steps taken to implement solutions and creative approaches taken.

Example: Unframed

ABC Organization noticed the lack of comprehensive training when having difficulty filling positions for skilled workers. To address this, ABC Initiative was established in July 2009 to develop and deliver energy efficiency workforce training programs

How can it be re-framed?

    • This inadvertently makes it seem like the organization was not in touch with the needs of local agencies for skilled workers
    • The story does not elaborate on the specifics of the training nor on what makes the approach innovative. It does not identify who took the active role in solving the community problem, nor focus on the elements of common issues facing all workers.


The downturn in the construction industry has hurt XYZ County particularly hard. In response to workers looking for jobs, many of them former construction workers who are uniquely positioned to add value to “green” retrofit programs, ABC Organization established a training program specifically for them, emphasizing the latest developments and innovations in the weatherization world.
Director Joe Smith met with local community members and trainers to plan how WAP could have the biggest impact on the local workforce. The resulting program educates trainees in building analysis, energy auditing, home energy ratings, lead dust sampling, and health and safety.
This version uses strong active verbs to describe how the organization’s leaders moved to solve the problem. Your story must avoid vagueness about who did what. In this problem, the staff sees an issue and a leader then reaches out to the community to discover common concerns and develop a shared goal that benefits the workers and the community by solving a defined problem and providing opportunity. This shows that the WAP is an engaged partner in the community and adds value beyond direct services.