Workforce Development for Economic Developers Part 5: Strategies for Reducing Skilled Worker Shortages

Workforce Development for Economic Developers

Part 5: Strategies for Reducing Skilled Worker Shortages

There are three general areas for reducing Skilled Worker Shortages in a region: (1) Increase the skills of workers that reside in the labor market; (2) Reduce the out-migration of skilled workers; and (3) Increase In-Migration of Skilled Workers. There are many tactics that can be taken for implementing these strategies but most economic development organizations do not have the resources – time and funding – to undertake all the possible strategies to mitigate shortages.

Here are some of possible programs in each of the three areas:

  • Increase the skills of the workers that reside in the area
    • Expand and/or develop new apprenticeship programs
    • Provide training and education programs to workers that are currently in occupations that are projected to decline to prepare them for occupations with projected Skilled Worker Shortages
    • If educational programs at postsecondary institutions do not exist for occupations with significant Shortages, create new certificate and/or degree programs
    • Provide training in needed occupations to the unemployed and those that are not in the workforce
  • Reduce the out-migration of skilled workers
    • Create greater awareness among young adults and students of the employment and educational opportunities available in the region
    • Encourage employers to provide internship programs for high school and college students
  • Increase the in-migration of skilled workers
    • Recruit needed skilled workers to your region
    • Recruit veterans with needed skills

Another approach that can be used to mitigate labor shortages is to automate in order to improve the productivity of the existing workers.

To address the shortages, a team of key business leaders, educators, workforce developer, and economic developers should be formed. This group will be responsible for developing and implementing an action plan.

In Part 6 of this series, we will outline the process to develop a Strategic Roadmap for Workforce Development. The Roadmap will be a comprehensive planning process that will include the items that were presented in Parts 2 through 5 of this series, Workforce Development for Economic Developers.

Next Previous