Workforce Development

Will you have the skilled labor we will need 5 and 10 years from now?


Business executives and site consultants not only want to know if you have the skilled labor they need now but will the skilled labor be there in the long-term. The Strategic Roadmap is a comprehensive and inclusive process to develop a strategic plan to ensure that your county or region has the future workforce that is needed by the companies in your county or region as well as by companies in your target sectors or clusters. In the Roadmap process, Smart Solutions Group facilitates the development of the plan by including key stakeholders from business, education, workforce development, economic development, and other areas. To develop the Roadmap, we utilize a 4-step process: Step 1: Skills Ready Assessment.  Step 2: Solutions to Key Issues. Step 3: Development of the Roadmap. Step 4: Implementation.

Assessment:  Demographic, industry, and occupation historical trends and projections are analyzed in this initial step in the process. A few of the items that will be explored in this step include:

·         Is the total population, as well as the key working age segments, projected to grow over the next 5 to 10 years?

·         What is the projected growth in total employment as well as employment in each of the target sectors or clusters?

·         How do wages in the labor market compare to the state and nation?

·         What occupations are projected to have the most openings (new jobs + replacement of workers)?

·         How many students are completing degrees and certificates at post-secondary institutions in the labor market that prepare students for careers in the target sectors or clusters?

This step will conclude with stakeholders developing a list of the key labor force issues facing your county or region.

Solutions to Key Issues:  Facilitated sessions are held with stakeholders to discuss the key issues identified in the Assessment step and potential solutions will be identified. The key issues and their potential solutions will be documented in a “Challenges” Report.

Develop of the Roadmap:  The Challenges Report provides the focus for the Roadmap Plan Team, which will be responsible for developing the workforce strategies and programs in the plan. Some of the elements of the Roadmap may include:

·         Key occupations

o   Skilled occupations that are critical in each of the target sectors or clusters

o   Occupations that are projected to have significant gaps (projected openings greater than supply)

·         Skills development

o   Integration of current state or regional skills programs

o   Potential integration of a skills development program, such as the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) or the Manufacturing Institute’s Skills Certification

o   Career pathways in the target sectors or clusters

·         Education

o   Post-secondary programs that need to be expanded to mitigate gaps

o   New post-secondary programs that are needed to support target sectors or clusters

o   New K-12 programs such as STEM

·         Marketing

o   Programs for economic developers to show the availability of skilled labor in the labor market

o   For careers in the targets, programs to attract students and adults to degree and certificate programs that available at area post-secondary institutions

·         Metrics

o   Growth in the labor force

o   Employment and unemployment

§  Total labor market

§  Target sectors or clusters

o   Degree and certificate completions in key programs

o   Others

·         Responsibilities and Timetable

o   Identification of persons responsible for the key tasks in the Roadmap

o   Timetable for the complete of the key tasks

Roadmap Implementation: A team will be formed to oversee the implementation of the Roadmap and ensure the sustainability of the skilled workforce. A process will be developed to compare actual performance with the plan’s metrics. Communications programs will be established to keep all stakeholders aware of progress and performance.