Public Policy Associates, Inc. is at the forefront of workforce development program evaluation and research across the country, currently working in five states. In the spirit of contributing to conversations to improve the effectiveness of workforce systems across the country, PPA project manager Michael J. Polzin, Ed.D. convened a workshop at the 2018 National Association of Workforce Boards Forum in Washington, D.C.
The workshop session, Fostering Employer-Driven Talent: A Facilitating Role for Workforce Development, brought together leaders from the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board (EWIB) and West Michigan Works! Panelists described how their demand-driven systems have led to employer-driven, industry-based talent pipelines in their regions.
The panelists discussed how development of their training initiatives was facilitated by deep employer involvement and mutually beneficial partnerships with education and training providers. This was achieved by collaborating on workforce projects over a period of several years.
The demand-driven practices applied in each region were developed in response to the need for greater efficiency and effectiveness in serving the workforce system’s two primary customers—job seekers and employers. This called for identifying current and anticipated employer needs, and aligning their labor preparation processes accordingly.
The initiatives prepare workers with the specialized skills employers need while accommodating the time and financial resource constraints faced by unemployed and underemployed adults.
Workshop participants learned how to demonstrate to employers that they are a priority customer of the workforce system and how to earn the trust and confidence necessary to be invited to play a greater role in their talent development efforts.
Dr. Polzin is PPA’s project manager for the third-party evaluation of EWIB’s Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative. He also co-created the curriculum and is a principal instructor/facilitator for Michigan’s highly regarded, demand-driven Business Solutions Professional certification program, now in its eleventh year providing professional development for workforce and economic development professionals. For more information contact, Dr. Polzin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-485-4477.