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June 1st, 2008
Cuyahoga County needs a workforce strategy, but it’s no secret Cleveland’s business, government and foundation leadership is having a tough time putting one together. (It’s not easy.) Here’s a good model to follow.
Racine County, WI released its workforce development strategy last week. The event is notable for a number of reasons.
- First, it shows how a workforce development organization is moving to orchestrate economic development strategy. The core issue for economic developers in the years ahead will be brainpower. Who has got it? Who knows how to develop it? Who can deliver it to the door step of growing businesses? Effective strategies require bridging the gaps among education, workforce development and economic development.
- Second, the report is remarkably free of jargon. Too often workforce development strategies are technical documents that fail to move people to action. They focus on compiling statistics, not telling a story. The Racine report is different. It focuses on a story.
- Third, the Racine report does a good job of outlining a set of strategic outcomes. How will Racine County be different? We have a sense of a clearer direction than most strategies…which depend too much on vacuous visions or bumper sticker slogans. (For example: “We will match our talent with jobs”)
- Fourth, the report organizes a relatively small set of high level metrics. Metrics are important for two reasons. First, they can help us understand what’s working. In other words, they are a tool of learning. Equally important, metrics keep our conversations focused over a sustained period of time.
- Finally, the folks in Racine rolled out their plan with a video. In other words, they focused on telling their story not just in print, but also on the web.
You can read more about the Racine County strategy from this article.
You can download a copy of the report here.
Racine is not the only place where people are dramatically rethinking workforce strategy. Recently in Nashville, folks learned what was happening in Oklahoma, as the state moves from a job training system to a talent development system.
That’s what WIRED (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development), an important federal initiative is all about. Learn more.
Last 5 posts by Ed Morrison
- Signing off - February 3rd, 2012
- "The current global development model is unsustainable" - February 1st, 2012
- Market opportunities for developing Chicago's green economy - January 29th, 2012
- Plain Dealer flubs its explanation for firing Tony Grossi - January 27th, 2012
- Linking and leveraging university assets to strengthen regional economies - January 27th, 2012