Dee Baird President & CEO Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance

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1 Dee Baird President & CEO Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance

2 Paper Structure Overview Survey of Economic Developers Role of Economic Developers in Sector Strategies An In-Depth Look at the Players in the Workforce System How Does WIOA Support Sector Strategies Defining the Problem Case Studies (5)

3 Overview Labor pipeline is slowing and changing Older, highly skilled workers are retiring Fewer workers to replace them Mismatch in worker training 60 %of all new jobs created will require skills only 20% of the current workforce possess

4 Game Changer for Economic Development? Business attraction, retention, and expansion issue Tools such as tax incentives and utility or land deals are no longer enough to entice businesses. The availability, quality, sustainability, flexibility, and cost of the workforce is the most common critical location factor -Area Development Magazine,2014

5 economic developers can provide context to workforce development, linking an individual-focused perspective and an organizational one Supply Side Training Entities i.e. WIBs and Edu (Individually Focused) Economic Development (Societal Perspective) Demand Side Businesses (Organizationally Focused)

6 Defining Sector Strategies Alignment of workforce and education partners around the needs of industry can improve outcomes for employees and workers alike. Stakeholders include: Government, education and training entities, economic development, labor and union organizations, community organizations, and state and local workforce boards

7 Survey of Economic Developers 10 Questions 8 related to workforce, 2 demographic Conducted September October responses

8 Survey Results Workforce as a Priority 64% agreed it was one of top 3 priorities 72% agreed it had become a higher priority in past 3 years Activities of Economic Developers Involved in Workforce aligning business needs with education and surveying businesses on workforce needs were most cited collaborative activities undertaken When surveyed on top six collaborative activities, over 50% had engaged in top six Respondents worked most often with businesses, community colleges, and WIBs Changes in Regard to Perception of Workforce An overwhelming majority of respondents noticed greater attention and a sense of urgency regarding workforce development strategies and programs

9 Questions 3 and 4: Sorting Activities Under the Umbrella of Workforce and Economic Development

10 The Role of Economic Developers in Sector Strategies Economic developers can take the lead in developing sector strategies that: Are regionally focused; Identify future business needs; Support partners and programs; and Utilize information to connect workers with jobs.

11 Regionally Focused Plan for cross-jurisdictional engagement; Start small, prove results, and ramp up by engaging regional and/or state partners; Concentrate on industry, rather than individual companies; and Seek partners regionally.

12 Identifying Business Needs Leverage existing business relationships to access data on future workforce needs through BRE programs and other surveys. EDOs should serve as main point of contact between industry and training providers. Back survey results up with data from national sources. If needed, big data analysis can detail the skill sets, certification requirements, and hiring key words for industry.

13 Support Partners and Programs Strategic planning is at the core of a successful sector partnership; from this plan, goals and objectives for different partners can be identified. EDOs are in an ideal position to convene partners, track metrics, and ensure success. Applications for federal and foundation grants are stronger when many partners, including EDOs, are involved. EDOs can leverage existing incentives for sector strategy support.

14 Utilize Information Showcase workforce development programs as an effective incentive to potential companies; Using EDO marketing skills to provide outreach to target populations; and Programs that differ from traditional educational pathways can be marketed through EDOs to avoid conflicts of interest.

15 An In-Depth Look at Players in the Workforce Development System Business Educational Institutions Workforce Investment Boards Federal Policy Environment

16 How Does WIOA Support Sector Strategies? Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law July 22, 2014 First major overhaul since 1998 Advantages Advancements in program administration, planning, and accountability; Calls for alignment of state and workforce plans with regional economic development strategies; Disadvantages Lack of required inclusion of economic development professionals at both state and local board levels; Involvement of economic developers encouraged, but not guaranteed; Funding through 2020 not yet acted upon by Congress

17 What can Economic Developers Do? Regulations to be released early 2015 Actively engage fellow stakeholders in sector strategies Assert themselves in the process of state and local workforce planning early and often.

18 Defining the Problem Demographic Shift Economic Shift Emerging Workforce Challenges for Economic Developers Manufacturing Rebirth Lack of STEM Workers Changing Structures of Corporate Environment Framework of Knowledge Quantification Changing Jobs Regionally Misaligned

19 Case Studies Seattle-King County Washington Tulsa Regional Chamber Switzerland County, Indiana Mahoning, Columbiana, and Trumbull Counties, OH CareerSource, Palm Beach County, FL

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