What determines if a college’s workforce development is
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There has been a good deal of debate around the description a college that is “demand-driven”. The basic meaning is that a college builds and offers training programs that are uniquely oriented toward meeting the workforce and skills needs of the employers within its service area. We offer the a description of a college that is demand-driven.
We don’t claim that this definition is final or has the endorsement of any “official” group. It is offered to continue the debate, as we believe it important to eventually reach a working definition against which a college can measure itself.
Every college’s workforce development role is shaped by the needs of its service area and the college’s partners. In some regions the college will lead and in other regions the college will act as partner, collaborator, and contributor – as other organizations lead. Further, it is acknowledged that among the 1,200+ colleges, many are currently and wholly filling this leadership role while others have yet to recognize and/or accept the role.
The following is a list of what we imagine a workforce development demand-driven college to be. We welcome your comments (put link to firstname.lastname@example.org).
The college has a deep, thorough, data-based understanding of its local economy (economic analysis):
Knows the state of the local workforce.
Knows emerging/growing industries and businesses
Knows the declining businesses
Knows the state of workforce supply and developers
It understands and can describe the gaps in the local economic development support system: that is, knows what is missing in services, organizations, resources, other… to have a strong economy (a gap analysis).
Knows the skills and competencies required to fill the emerging jobs in the region.
Works with the unemployed, soon-to-be unemployed and the under-employed to transition them to emerging jobs.
Knows what resources are required to build a more effective system.
The college provides a variety of needed services to fill the gap: worker training, partnership building within the community, identification and procurement of resources, demand-driven career guidance, individual service delivery, and more…
It routinely assesses the effectiveness of the college’s economic development and workforce development services.
It provides leadership, or supports leaders, to build local/regional coalitions that work toward solutions.
The college understands the role of, and actively partners with the local Workforce Investment Board to assure that WIB assets support solutions for a full array of services that support all populations.
It creates strategic partnerships and works cooperatively with other workforce development providers to align systems and leverage resources.
The college works collaboratively with business and other workforce providers to develop demand-driven workforce strategies and solutions.
Has knowledge of, and is partnering with, the other organizations and the businesses that contribute to a growing economy.
Understands and addresses the needs of all the differing populations within the region leading each toward economic security and employment including: Immigrants, minorities, youth, seniors, persons with disabilities.
This definition is what we used to develop the Quick Start Action Planner(“QSAP”) a unique tool to help you build a workforce development strategic plan.