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Online Training Course: Workforce Development Strategies

Date: August 31 - September 1, 2021

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. ET

Location: Online



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Skilled workers are the backbone of a productive and efficient economy. This versatile course explains the strong relationship between economic and workforce development through case studies, practical examples, and current research. Course participants will learn what programs currently leverage federal, state, and local financial resources to support workforce development. Learn about what collaborative programs will help upgrade the skills of your community's existing workforce. Other topics of discussion will include: talent attraction, K-12 development and integration, occupational analysis, target industry clusters, and more.


Course Highlights:

• Reviewing the core components of the workforce development system 
• Availability of funding sources at the local, state and federal levels 
• Accessing Department of Labor grants and initiatives (e.g., WIRED) 
• Understanding occupational data analysis and career pathways 
• Assessing qualifications, skills and abilities of current workforce 
• Recruitment and retention of a skilled labor force 
• The role of higher education in workforce and economic development 
• New alliances, new models and best practices in regional & local initiatives



August 31




Introduction: Why Workforce? Why now?

This session will focus on the connection between workforce and economic development and their relationship to regional competitiveness and wealth creation. Getting the workforce component right is one of the most important aspects in a globally competitive world and an economy increasingly driven by knowledge and innovation. Workforce is the primary concern of businesses when looking to re/locate in any area and increasingly more important than some traditional ED factors.


Understanding the Workforce System

This session introduces the attendees to the workforce system and how economic developers can apply it to their benefit. The workforce system and its ability to evolve and adapt to the emerging trends will also be a factor in the regional competitiveness of communities. Topics will include:

  1. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Workforce Development Boards, how they work and why it is critical to understand and engage in this system

  2. Actors and their roles in the System (federal, state, regional, local, educational institutions, unions)

  3. Workforce Categories: Emerging, Transitional, Incumbent, Talent, Retirees/Free Agents




The Role of the Economic Developer in the Workforce System - Talent Recruitment and Retention

  • How economic developers can be actively engaged in talent recruitment and retention?

  • How can we build relationships and partnerships within the community of the creative class?


The Role of the Economic Developer in the Workforce System - Challenges and Opportunities to Alignment

Traditionally economic developers and workforce developers approach the same issues from different perspectives. Sometimes it is as if we speak different language, live in different geographies and follow different clocks. The challenge is creating common ground for increased effectiveness. This session will discuss the role of the economic developer in the workforce development system.

  • What’s the role of the ED practitioner in the workforce system
  • Where do workforce and economic development activities align
  • What are the opportunities for collaboration between economic and workforce development?
  • What are the challenges and obstacles to collaboration?


Interactive Workforce Development Discussion


September 1


Integrating Workforce Development into Economic Development and Innovation Strategies

Traditionally workforce development and economic development strategies have operated in silos, with economic development strategies focusing on targeting businesses and industries, and workforce strategies focusing on human development. This session will explore the merger of these two fields and will outline strategies directed at different types of workers that can aid in spurring local and regional innovation.


Accessing Workforce Resources to meet Economic Development Goals

In this session, participants will learn how to navigate the workforce system to access resources for economic development purposes. This session will provide an overview of workforce data and statistics that will help economic development professionals understand measure and impact their community’s workforce readiness.




Understanding Occupational Analysis

Clusters have evolved into a complex facet of economic development. Cluster development is now becoming an integral strategy in the ongoing merger of workforce and economic development. This session will explore cutting edge cluster strategies used in addressing the workforce challenges as part of an economic development agenda.


New Alliances, New Models: Best Practices in Regional and Local Initiatives

This session provides an overview of best practices between economic development and workforce development programs. Attendees will learn how economic development strategies can integrate workforce development as an important component. Examples include:

a. Organizational approaches to integrating workforce and economic development such as merging workforce and economic development departments or creating a new organization that addresses workforce and economic development issues under one roof

b. Economic development departments working directly with an educational institution(s) to meet workforce development needs/goals.

     *Agenda subject to change.

**PLEASE NOTE: In order to receive full IEDC certification credit for this course and a certificate indicating course completion, participants must attend the entire course and stay through the final session on the last day. Please make travel plans accordingly.**



Vernon Gerth, CEcD
Assistant City Administrator for Community and Economic Development
City of Franklin, Tennessee
Arrington, TN

Vernon serves the City of Franklin, TN as Assistant City Administrator for Community & Economic Development. He has over 30 years of community and economic development experience and has also served the cities of Kenosha, Wisconsin and Vernon Hills, Illinois. Vernon’s primary responsibilities include managerial oversight of Franklin’s development services and support of the Planning & Sustainability, Engineering, and Building & Neighborhood Services Departments. Vernon recognizes that Franklin is a special place that offers a very desirable quality of life. He understands the value placemaking has in economic development and embraces the philosophy that public input is essential to preserving a community’s heritage while employing community planning best practices to encourage quality, sustainable development that enhances its economic well-being and quality of life.

Diane Lupke, CEcD, FM, HLM
Diane Lupke & Associates, Inc.
Newton, WI

Ms. Diane Lupke, CEcD, FM has more than thirty years of experience, currently as President of Diane Lupke & Associates, Inc., an economic development consulting firm, and previous experience in banking, government, and academia. Her work focuses on the identification of unique assets and opportunities on which a community can build, grow, and sustain itself over time and the financial and organizational structures to support them. She has provided technical assistance to more than one hundred cities, states, and non-profit organizations.

Ms. Lupke has special expertise in working with distressed communities and emerging markets, in particular, sub–economic regions and micro clusters. Ms. Lupke wrote tax and financial incentive legislation creating or modifying enterprise zones in seven States and provided technical assistance to eleven Federal Empowerment Zones. Ms. Lupke has also written legislation to create seed and venture capital funds and support angel investments.

The wide range of her practice includes work focused on:
■ Strategic Planning and Organizational Capacity
■ Competitive Asset Analysis
■ Industrial Policy Design and Restructuring
■ Talent Strategies
■ Seed Capital, Financing, and Tax Legislation
■ Rural Town and Region Regeneration

Prior to founding Diane Lupke & Associates in 1990, Ms. Lupke held management positions with Trustcorp Bank and the State of Indiana. Earlier, she was a Research Associate at Indiana University where she also served as an Adjunct Professor.

Ms Lupke has been an active member of the International Economic Development Council for many years and received the Chairman’s Award for Excellence in Economic Development in 2012. She previously served on its Board of Directors. She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives, serves as the North American Editor for the journal Local Policy based in the United Kingdom, and co-authored the OECD publication Entrepreneurship: A Catalyst for Urban Regeneration.

John Metcalf
Workforce Systems Associates
Charlotte, NC

John Metcalf brings outstanding private industry experience coupled with public consulting work related to workforce investment, including sector strategies, regional community planning, strategic planning, and leadership development. John continues to create innovative integration strategies for workforce, economic, and education development at the community level. Before his involvement with solving community workforce challenges, John spent 30 years at AT&T in a broad range of sales, marketing, and executive leadership positions allowing him to bring a business focus to workforce and community planning. He has had the opportunity to work with over 200 local boards, including work with 10 state boards, to help develop public policy positions, create long range strategic planning, and help streamline workforce delivery systems. Workforce Systems Associates leads workforce, education, and community visioning efforts engaging. Workforce Systems Associates has the expertise and capability of providing comprehensive data-driven and practical planning to strengthen the effectiveness of the workforce system. In today’s highly competitive state, it is all about developing a regional competitive workforce advantage to benefit business needs and achieve economic outcomes important to local communities.



  CEcD logo

This course meets the professional development requirements for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) exam. CEcDs earn recertification credits for participation.




By Jul 21

Jul 22 - Aug 18

After Aug 18

IEDC Member








Full Time Student**




** Copy of current transcript required.

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Refunds less a $75 cancellation fee will be issued for all cancellations received in writing to fax: (202) 223-4745 or email: prodev@iedconline.org at least 10 business days prior to the course - please allow 3-4 weeks. All registrations regardless of payment status are subject to the $75 cancellation fee. No refunds or credit transfers to a future course will be issued for cancellations received within 10 business days of the course. Telephone cancellations are not accepted. Attendee substitutions for a course may be made at any time prior to the course.