Selling workforce strength to businesses

Many recent surveys, including those from Area Development Magazine, echo the assertion that workforce strength is the primary consideration for new business location decisions.

Economic Modeling Specialists International recommends five core data points that communities should be able to communicate to prospects: workforce size, earnings, concentration, education completions, and demographics.

Site Selection Magazine recently interviewed workforce development officials in 12 states about new initiatives undertaken to up-skill their residents; some highlights are listed below.

Kansas: The Career and Technical Education Initiative covers the cost for high school students to take post-secondary technical classes.

Wisconsin: Wisconsin Fast Forward’s Blueprint for Prosperity provides additional funding to address technical school wait lists in high-demand fields and school-to-work collaborations that provide high school students with industry certifications.

Iowa: Home Base Iowa is designed to grow the state’s population by attracting transitioning military personnel.

Ohio: The In-Demand Occupations Report is a database of the state’s most urgent job needs that compiles labor statistics, online job posting trends, and direct employer feedback.

South Dakota: Day-long workforce summits have been used to engage a cross-section of stakeholders in an open-forum format to discuss pressing workforce needs. Summits were also used to publicize the Community Matching Incentives Program, which provides matching funds to communities that implement cross-sector workforce development programs.

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