Shifting Workforce Development into High Gear: How Economic Developers Lead Workforce System Alignment – Executive summary

Source: Emily J. Brown, Joshua Morris Hurwitz, Matt Mullin, Mishka Parkins, Tatiana Puscasu, International Economic Development Council, Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP), 2015

A skilled workforce is one of the most important factors impacting a community’s competitiveness. To address this issue, IEDC’s in-house think tank, the Economic Development Research Partners (EDRP) focused their latest paper on new policies in workforce development, and how economic developers can take a lead role in creating talent pipelines. The paper provides an overview of the players in workforce development, a survey of economic developers’ approach to the issue, five case studies of organizations making an impact, and recommendations for how to best influence workforce development on a regional, state, and local scale.

For economic developers, the nationwide mismatch between jobs and workers translates into a business attraction, retention, and expansion issue. Communities without a talented workforce cannot compete when the most important factor in company relocation or retention is human talent. This is a game-changer for economic developers; tools such as tax incentives and utility or land deals are no longer enough to entice businesses.