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Workforce Development

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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


Sample Agenda

Day 1

8:30 - 9:00 am


9:00 - 9:15 am

Introductions and CEcD Presentation

9:15 - 10:30 am

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. Discussions will include why workforce development is important for economic developers as well as how workforce development is related to business retention, attraction and entrepreneurship activities - the three-legged stool of economic development.

10:45 am - 12:15 pm

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:

a. Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Workforce Investment Boards, how they work and why it is critical to understand and engage in this system (30 mins)
b. Actors and their roles in the System (federal, state, regional, local, educational institutions, unions) (30 mins)
c. Workforce Categories: Emerging, Transitional, Incumbent, Talent, Retirees/Free Agents (30 mins)

12:15 - 1:30 pm

Lunch on your own

1:30 - 2:45 pm

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

Part II:
a. How economic developers can be actively engaged in talent recruitment and retention?
b. How can we build relationships and partnerships within the community of the creative class?

3:00 - 4:00 pm

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.

Part I:
c. What's the role of the ED practitioner in the workforce system?
d. Where do workforce and economic development activities align?
e. What are the opportunities for collaboration between economic and workforce development?
f. What are the challenges and obstacles to collaboration?

4:00 - 4:30 pm

Interactive Workforce Development Discussion

Day 2

9:00 - 10:30 am

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.

10:45 am - 12:00 pm

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. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA's) Workforce Innovation for Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Initiative has helped to integrate workforce and economic development throughout 39 different regions in the country. Also, 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.

12:00 - 1:15 pm

Lunch on your own

1:15 - 2:45 pm

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.

3:15 - 4:15 pm

New Alliances, New Models: Best Practices in State 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:

1. 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
2. Economic development departments working directly with an educational institution(s) to meet workforce development needs/goals

4:15 - 4:30 pm

Conclusions, Wrap-up and Certificates

* 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.**



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