Pathways to Careers
A Guide to Building Partnerships for Workforce Education and Training

Engaging Employers

When should strategic partnerships engage employers? At the beginning, in the planning stage, in the selling stage, in the implementation stage, and in the evaluation stage.

- Wes Jurey, President and CEO, Arlington (Texas) Chamber of Commerce

Building a competitive workforce through career pathways depends on a strong working relationship with employers. Employer partnerships are necessary to ensure that training and education systems remain relevant to the needs of business and industry and, therefore, the local economy. Other important employer contributions can include leading partnership activities, reviewing curricula, providing feedback on training programs, and offering internships and work-based training opportunities.

The stories below illustrate lessons learned about engaging employers by the community teams that participated in Strategic Partnerships for a Competitive Workforce (SPCW) initiative, a joint project of the U.S. departments of Education and Labor. Teams attended one of several institutes to receive technical assistance in partnership development, strategic planning, and implementation of career pathways in specific high-growth industries. The stories also include advice from the consultants who work with communities on forming partnerships with businesses.

At the end of this section is a list of resources that are either referenced in the text or related to the lessons learned. Each resource includes a brief description and URL.

Lessons Learned

Assess Employers' Workforce Needs

Employers and employer organizations can provide essential information about current and future workforce needs. For a career pathway or other workforce development initiative to succeed, this information should be collected regularly, using such approaches as in-person interviews, surveys, and focus groups. As project consultant Wes Jurey noted, "I've never known a group of businesses unhappy that the city, the county, the workforce board, or the university came to them to ask their opinion."

Interview employers

To identify regional manufacturers' needs in West Central Ohio, researchers with Rhodes State College and other community stakeholders received funding from KnowledgeWorks Foundation and the Ohio Board of Regents to conduct in-person interviews with 43 regional manufacturers. According to project consultant Matt Kinkley, interview templates and procedures (see West Central Ohio Manufacturing Interview Template and West Central Ohio Manufacturing Interview Procedure in Resources) were developed by Dave Brown, dean of engineering technology at Rhodes State College, based on information from the National Skills Standards Board, the National Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing's National Voluntary Skill Standards for Advanced High Performance Manufacturing, and other best practices across the nation. The findings were used to identify job categories within each company and the skill sets, education, and training requirements for each category (see West Central Ohio Manufacturing Job Category Skill Set Grid in Resources).

The results of the interviews, summarized in the report Building an Advanced Manufacturing Pathway in West Central Ohio (see Resources), helped strengthen stakeholders' understanding of the region's workforce development challenges and provided the information needed to develop:

  • A career pathway in advanced manufacturing for incumbent workers and potential new hires;
  • Initial screening and assessment tools;
  • Skill-based curricula; and
  • Certificates recognized by area manufacturers.

The stakeholders also used the survey results to reach out to industry partners to form the West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium (see Web site in Resources), dedicated to improving the manufacturing workforce in the region through pathways. To learn more about the consortium, listen to a presentation by Matt Kinkley included in the Employer Engagement Webinar listed under Resources.

Survey employers

Some members of the Central Florida team attending an SPCW institute were already part of another strategic partnership, Partners for a Healthy Community (PHC). As described in "Team Building," several members of the Central Florida team joined PHC after the institute. When PHC was first formed in 2005, five working committees were established, including the Data Collection and Forecasting Committee. One of the committee's first activities was to survey the region's hospitals to learn more about current and anticipated nursing and allied health staff needs. The survey was developed using questions and definitions from hospital nursing workforce surveys used successfully in several states, including Vermont, North Carolina, and Ohio. The questions and definitions were modified to reflect the organization and structure of Central Florida's hospitals. Finally, the survey was revised and finalized based on feedback from the hospital representatives serving on the Data Collection and Forecasting Committee and other hospital administrators. Survey findings were summarized in the report Nursing and Allied Health Demand in Central Florida Hospitals: Vacancies, Turnover, and Future Need for Personnel (see Resources) and will be discussed during focus groups scheduled for 2008.

Hold focus groups with employers and educators

Before conducting the employer survey, Workforce Central Florida, the workforce investment board that plays a leading role in Partners for a Healthy Community, held a series of focus groups with local employers and education providers. Initially, the focus groups included representatives from both groups, but Workforce Central Florida soon realized that holding separate focus groups with each would generate more honest feedback. The feedback received from both sets of focus groups, and from a final combined focus group, was ultimately used to identify topic areas for the Partners for a Healthy Community's working committees.

Consider other approaches to collecting information about workforce needs

Partnerships also can learn about workforce needs through organizations such as local Chambers of Commerce, trade associations, and economic development corporations. Further, labor market data from the state workforce agency, the Census Bureau, regional and state workforce development boards, and local governments can help partnerships understand the current and projected state of the regional labor market. The Economic and Skills Gap Analysis (see Resources), shared with teams at the SPCW institutes, also can help partnerships assess how well their communities' education, workforce, and social services support worker access to and job advancement in high-growth industries.

To assess a region's economy and workforce, the U.S. Department of Labor created the Regional Economic Development Quick Start Action Planner (QSAP) (see Resources). QSAP is an online self-assessment tool available on the Workforce3One Web site (see Resources). It is designed to help workforce development stakeholders create and implement a process for regional asset alignment and economic transformation. The QSAP provides a list of indicators to assess an area's current situation and to identify action steps for implementing regional economic planning and development strategies successfully. When the self-assessment is complete, users receive a detailed report with direct links to online tools, information, and resources for each step in the process.

Use industry terms when collecting data from employers

Regardless of the approach, any data collection effort involving business and industry workforce needs should be conducted in their language and on their terms. While working with a 13-county partnership in eastern North Carolina, the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness sought data from industries fundamental to the regional economy. A survey (see Business Survey in Resources) was initially conducted by mail, but the response rate was too low for useful analysis. At that point, project consultant Ken Poole recruited local intermediaries from across the 13 counties to support an in-person data collection effort. Local Chambers of Commerce and workforce boards supplied the staff to conduct an additional 250 company interviews (see Business Survey in Resources) using a questionnaire with open-ended questions designed to elicit business responses in business terms.

"The point of it was to get the company to talk about their issues in their terms rather than asking them to talk about it in workforce terms, economic development terms, education terms," said Poole. "In other words, it may be tempting to ask questions aimed at addressing problems that your organization can solve; however, in-person interviews allow you to ask business managers about what concerns them." He further noted that managers may not be concerned about training or job creation, but they are concerned about the productivity of their workforce and ensuring that their people know how to manage internal processes effectively. He advised interviewers to have a conversation using the questionnaire as a guideline to get the company representative talking and to capture the information needed. "It's best to talk to the companies directly and let them tell their stories," he added. The partnership supplemented state and national data on regional economic growth with its data on local industries in project reports and other documents housed on North Carolina's Eastern Region's Web site (see Resources).

To learn more about how to use data collected from these various approaches, go to "Using Data to Drive Partnership Activities and Meet Objectives."

Form Strategic Partnerships With Employers

By assessing employer workforce development needs, community partnerships are in a better position to encourage employers to collaborate with local competitors, education and training providers, and other community stakeholders to keep their region's economy strong and competitive.

Learn how to motivate employers to work together

After attending the SPCW institute, the Cullman (Ala.) team surveyed community employers (see Cullman Area Workforce Solutions Employment Needs Survey in Resources) and found that they often compete for employees because of the area's low unemployment and high job vacancy rates. The survey findings were summarized in the Cullman Area Workforce Solutions Employment Needs Survey Summary (see Resources). To address this challenge, Judy Bradford of Axsys Technologies, a member of the Cullman team, met with her business and industry colleagues to discuss the effect of this competition on their bottom line. She told them, "If we don't do something different, we're just going to be stealing from each other." She emphasized that her team's goal was to increase the number of people qualified for available jobs, so that businesses would not need to raid each other for skilled workers. She also noted the need to reach out to potential employees who currently commute elsewhere because they are not aware of local job opportunities. Increasing the skilled labor pool, Bradford said, "is beneficial to all of us in the long run. What is good for our community is good for each business."

As a result of Bradford's message about the impact of the labor shortage on the businesses' bottom-line and the potential for building a larger skilled local workforce, she was able to get businesses to consider working together to develop career pathways and other approaches to upgrading the area's workforce.

Be business-driven and business-focused

Project consultant Rodney Bradshaw advises partnerships to "allow employers to identify their greatest needs and their best solutions." The Cullman (Ala.) team agreed that its work should be business-driven and business-focused, so it created a name reflecting that mission-Cullman Area Workforce Solutions (CAWS)-and began to recruit local employers to join the partnership. To do this, Judy Bradford of Axsys Technologies and Dale Greer of the Cullman Economic Development Agency, who had the closest ties to the business community, were put in charge of inviting employers to a recruitment meeting. They invited 10 employers identified as industry leaders. All agreed to attend, but a few were skeptical. They were concerned the partnership would be "more talk with no action." In response, the team members told the employers that they were prepared to be the "worker bees" to help achieve industry goals, saying essentially, "You tell us what you want, and we'll make it happen." The employers, even the skeptics, responded positively to this approach and agreed to join the team. By July 2007, all but one of the initial employers was still actively involved in the partnership.

The team also decided that its governance structure should reflect its business focus and that the chair should be a business representative. Judy Bradford, the original team's representative from Axsys Technologies, was elected chair.

For more information on forming strategic partnerships, go to "Team Building."

Harness the Collective Power of Employer Organizations

Employer organizations such as Chambers of Commerce, trade and industry associations, and economic development corporations can play an important role in ensuring that business needs and concerns are at the forefront of a sustainable partnership. By harnessing the collective power of employer organizations, partnerships can engage business leaders without needing to meet with each individually. As project consultant Wes Jurey noted, "How cost effective is it to go out and recruit one employer at a time? Why not start with the organizations that have already organized the employers and get their input from the organizations they represent?"

As president and CEO of the Arlington (Texas) Chamber of Commerce, Jurey has seen the power of collective partnering first hand. He noted, "If the employer organization is doing its job, it brings individual businesses to the table." He also observed that partnerships "don't go to education and engage one professor at a time, one teacher at a time. They go to the university, to the community college, to the school system. We tend to forget that employers are also organized, and we go to them one at a time."

Team Arlington™, for example, is a Chamber-led coalition that advocates for resources in support of local economic issues. It is composed of representatives from the city government of Arlington, the University of Texas at Arlington, the government of Tarrant County, Tarrant County Community College SE, Arlington Independent School District, Tarrant County Workforce Development Board, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, and the Hispanic, African-American, and Asian-American Chambers of Commerce. The coalition meets with businesses to identify workforce issues and needs. Individual businesses participate in the coalition because they feel they are receiving value for their investment (see "Team Arlington Celebrates 5th Anniversary Promoting Arlington's Economic Development" in Resources). "Businesses are going to be motivated [to participate] if they know you're really going to listen," Jurey commented. "If I can get education, workforce boards, and workforce development listening to my members about how to spend and allocate their resources, haven't I created value? That cuts away a lot of their individual time to do those sorts of things."

Employer organizations can also serve as neutral intermediaries between employers and employees. For example, the West Central Initiative (WCI) in west central Minnesota partners with Minnesota Technology, Inc. to fund and oversee training for incumbent workers in manufacturing companies in the region through the Workforce 2020 grant program. WCI launched Workforce 2020 in 1992 in response to projected shortages of skilled workers, with the goal of providing new technology skills retraining for incumbent workers so they can keep up with industry changes. The partners work with individual businesses to determine their training needs, apply for Workforce 2020 funding, and seek training providers. More than 9,000 workers have been trained through the Workforce 2020 program. Project consultant Nancy Straw noted that providing training through an intermediary, such as the Workforce 2020 program, helps to avoid issues of "self-interest." She added, "While it does complicate the work to have more collaborators, the companies and the workers who receive training are the ones who benefit from more partners and support." Workforce 2020 allows both employers and employees to benefit from working with outside organizations.

Avoid Common Mistakes When Engaging Employers

When seeking to engage employers, community partnerships often fail to

  • Connect workforce development goals to the larger economic picture;
  • Ensure that those goals truly meet employer needs;
  • Develop a common language and perspective; or
  • Think creatively about solutions, regardless of funding challenges.

Paying attention to these issues will help partnerships secure and keep employer involvement.

Help employers see how workforce development affects their bottom line

When discussing workforce development needs with employers, it's important to relate those needs to the overall economic well-being of the business and the regional economy. According to project consultant Ken Poole, employers don't view workforce issues in a vacuum: "Corporate executives think about workforce talent, products, strategic objectives, and markets in a composite way." Businesses don't necessarily separate these issues; they see workforce education and training as one element in the larger picture. Therefore, he advises partnerships to let businesses talk about their needs in their own terms.

"What business leaders want to know is 'How do I take my core product and sell more of it? Or, how do I develop a new product? And, oh, by the way, what are the people skills I need to do those things?'" Businesses see education and training dollars as resources to support company objectives, Poole added: "They don't care where skills or training money comes from unless it is aimed at helping to reduce the amount of money the company has to invest. Mostly what they want to know is that they have people who can do the job."

Listen to employers

The need for qualified workers provides the initial motivation for businesses to participate in a partnership. With their focus on the bottom line, though, businesses want to see value for their participation. They want to know that their needs are heard and their concerns addressed. As project consultant Wes Jurey, president and CEO of the Arlington (Texas) Chamber of Commerce, noted, one of the biggest mistakes that teams make in soliciting employer involvement is not listening to business needs: "Too often the workforce side [workforce development representatives] simply wants to sell business on what they themselves want to do, rather than truly saying 'What is it that you really need? Let us try to meet your needs.'" By listening carefully to employers' needs and trying to address them through education, training, and workforce development, partnerships can ensure that employers and employer organizations remain supportive of their efforts.

Develop a common language and perspective

Wallace State Community College representative Suzanne Harbin of Cullman Area Workforce Solutions (Ala.) noted that differences in language and perspective can be a barrier to effective communication between education and industry. "It's been a challenge to get everyone on the same page. We each work with our own set of guidelines," she said. Because perspectives and priorities will vary among partners, it's important to make sure that everyone is using the same guidelines to accomplish common goals.

Talk solutions first and funding last

Project consultant Rodney Bradshaw advised keeping quiet initially about money when discussing possible solutions to workforce shortages. "We [the Gulf Coast Workforce Board] never talked about funding; we talked about what they wanted. And then later on we found ways to fund parts of it and bring new resources to the table, but we did not let grant funds dictate what their response would be," said Bradshaw.

Keep Employers Involved by Generating Results and Benefits

To maintain their involvement, employers need to see the partnership's positive effect on their bottom line. In general, employers will continue to contribute to the partnership if their time and effort lead to benefits for their company.

Produce and document results

As project consultant Wes Jurey noted, "Businesses want to see tangible results that are quantifiable, qualifiable-you can touch them, you can feel them, you can see them." Judy Bradford, a business representative to the Cullman Area Workforce Solutions (Ala.) partnership, agreed. "Businesses like to cut to the chase, be told the bottom line." Her partnership has sustained business involvement and leadership by helping businesses see what's in it for them. She said that they stay interested when they see activities under way that support the goals of the partnership and, ultimately, their businesses. Recognizing this, her partnership produced a document listing the partnership's mission statement and current projects (see Resources), which include an educator exchange program, a dedicated Web site (see Resources), a career expo, and a resource and training manual (see Resources). Advertising such activities show local employers that the partnership is thriving and addressing their workforce needs.

Ensure that participation provides benefits to employers

Community partnerships can benefit employers in a variety of ways. For example, according to project consultant Matt Kinkley, one of the top benefits of membership in the West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium (WCOMC) is marketing. The consortium helps manufacturers promote a positive image of manufacturing careers by connecting industry partners to job-shadowing events and promoting entry-level, intermediate, and advanced certification programs in the high schools and tech prep programs in other area venues. The consortium also has developed a pathways DVD that it shares with a wide range of constituents.

Membership in the consortium also connects employers to training for their employees through the Endeavor Program, which gives incumbent workers access to classes at Rhodes State College and Apollo Career Center at substantial savings to their employers. When the college realized that many engineering courses were not filling to capacity, it offered the courses to consortium members at 50 percent of the normal cost. For $100 per course, employers can send employees to up to three classes. Although participants do not receive credit for the courses, employers now have an inexpensive way to train employees. At the same time, the college gets the opportunity to expose more people to its courses and training options and to fill empty seats.

The Gulf Coast Workforce Board (Texas) has taken a different approach. It recognizes that all employers offer something to the local economy, but some employers bring more and better jobs than others. So the board decided to offer three levels of services to meet the different needs of employers. Project consultant Rodney Bradshaw said, "We welcome all employers to use our system, but frankly some employers bring something that we want more than other employers, so for those employers at tier three-the most important employers-we're willing to make additional investments for them." Employers that qualify for "tier three" services, such as those from the Gulf Coast's targeted industries, may get the opportunity to participate in one of the board's industry groups or arrange special applicant screenings. Bradshaw observed, "We'll spend time and money to keep the good jobs in our system." Likewise, to ensure that employers' needs remain at the forefront, the board formed a committee to focus specifically on employer services. Led by employers, this committee receives prominent attention during board meetings, such as being first on the agenda, and is consulted first for guidance on decisions related to employers.

To learn more about the activities of the Gulf Coast Workforce Board and the West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium, listen to the SPCW Employer Engagement Webinar listed under Resources.


2006 Vacancy/Turnover Study: Human Resources Data

Greater Cincinnati Health Council, 2006
Includes a survey administered to health care employers and a data report from the survey. Survey requests information on three topics: hiring and separation dates, openings and the number of current employees, and the time needed to fill positions. In addition to data on these topics, the report includes a list of vacancy/turnover job titles and descriptions.
Download/View PDF (493kb)

Building an Advanced Manufacturing Pathway in West Central Ohio: A Study of Manufacturing Workforce Development Needs

Rhodes State College, 2004
Describes results of a manufacturing survey in West Central Ohio and the development of a design for an advanced manufacturing career pathway. Survey results focus on current and future manufacturing workforce needs in the region and identify skill-set gaps. Information on the advanced manufacturing career pathway includes a flow chart of program entry and exit points, as well as a chart of the skills needed at various job levels.
Download/View PDF (1.42mb)

Bureau of Labor Statistics: U.S. Economy at a Glance

U.S. Department of Labor-sponsored Web site, n.d.
Provides state and metropolitan area information and access to a wide range of additional employment, workforce, industry related data, and unemployment statistics.

Business Survey - North Carolina's Eastern Region (mail version)

Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, n.d.
Mail survey sent to businesses in eastern North Carolina to determine their workforce needs. A low response rate led to a follow-up interview survey.
Download/View PDF (100kb)

Business Survey - North Carolina's Eastern Region (interview version)

Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, n.d.
Open-ended questionnaire used to interview eastern North Carolina businesses to determine their workforce needs. An in-person data collection effort followed an earlier similar survey sent by mail. Local Chambers of Commerce and workforce boards helped conduct 250 company interviews, with goal of eliciting responses "in business terms."
Download/View PDF (101kb)

CareerOneStop: State Labor Market Information Center

U.S. Department of Labor-sponsored Web site, n.d.
Provides links to state workforce and labor market information Web sites and portals.

CareerOneStop: Regional Economic Development

U.S. Department of Labor-sponsored Web site, n.d.
Supports the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) initiative's Blueprint and features hyperlinks to a wide variety of information sources and tools for regional economic development and the emerging talent development system including a catalogue of workforce information sources.

Community Economic Development HotReport

U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Census Bureau, and U.S. Department of Commerce-sponsored Web site, n.d.
Provides community and business leaders quick access to information tailored to economic development decision-making. Free service offers a multifaceted view of local and regional economic information using graphs, maps, tables, and text. Topics include the population, demographics, economy, top industries and occupations, transportation, housing, and community assets.

Cullman Area Workforce Solutions (CAWS)

Web site designed and maintained by CAWS, an industry-driven partnership supporting career pathways development and implementation in Cullman, Ala. Web site is still under development and will include information for job seekers, parents, and students. Currently includes background information on CAWS and a discussion forum.

Cullman Area Workforce Solutions Employment Needs Survey

Cullman Area Workforce Solutions (CAWS), 2007
One-page survey administered by CAWS to local employers, with questions about types and numbers of available jobs, specific hard-to-fill positions, and training needs.
Download/View PDF (81kb)

Cullman Area Workforce Solutions Employment Needs Survey Summary

Cullman Area Workforce Solutions (CAWS), 2007
Compilation of direct responses to the CAWS employment needs survey. Includes employers' comments on the quality of the applicant pool, need for skill upgrades, and suggestions for strengthening regional workforce development activities.
Download/View PDF (100kb)

Cullman Area Workforce Solutions: Mission and List of Activities

Cullman Area Workforce Solutions (CAWS), 2007
Marketing tool developed to advertise CAWS and related activities to regional employers, educators, job-seekers, parents, and students. Describes current projects, including the Educator Exchange, Career Expo, and programs for 8th-12th grade students.
Download/View PDF (84kb)

Cullman Area Workforce Solutions Resource and Training Manual

Cullman Area Workforce Solutions (CAWS), 2007
Comprehensive manual of career-related information for Cullman, Ala., including job opportunities, career training, adult education programs, postsecondary educational institutions, and more. Designed for businesses, job seekers, and incumbent workers.
Download/View PDF (4.28mb)

Economic and Skills Gap Analysis

Workforce Strategy Center, MPR Associates, Inc., and DTI Associates, Inc. for the Strategic Partnerships for a Competitive Workforce (SPCW) Institutes, 2006
Used at the SPCW institutes to describe a process that helps partnerships assess how well their communities' education, workforce, and social services support worker access to and job advancement in high-growth industries. Outlines how to identify and collect regional demographic data and analyze current and projected workforce needs.
Download/View PDF (500kb)

Employer Interview Protocol

Workforce Strategy Center, MPR Associates, Inc., and DTI Associates, Inc. for the Strategic Partnerships for a Competitive Workforce (SPCW) Institutes, 2006
Shared with teams at the SPCW institutes, document provides a framework and sample interview questions for education providers to ask potential industry partners. Questions focus on workforce development goals, challenges in meeting goals, and anticipated workforce needs.
Download/View PDF (33kb)

North Carolina's Eastern Region (NCER)

North Carolina's Eastern Region-sponsored Web site, n.d.
Web site houses regional economic and labor market data for 13 counties in eastern North Carolina. Includes a copy of the NCER business survey and various reports and publications on regional economic development.

Nursing and Allied Health Demand in Central Florida Hospitals: Vacancies, Turnover, and Future Need for Personnel: A Report from the Data Collection and Forecasting Committee

J. Nooney, M.L. Brunell, and D. Lenahan, Partners for a Health Community (PHC), 2007
Summarizes results from a survey of area hospitals in Central Florida to determine regional demand for nurses and other allied health staff. Includes individual hospital-level data on the number of nurses employed in the region, vacancies, and turnover rates. Found that all hospitals reported a projected growth in their nurse staffing needs. A copy of the survey is included in the appendix. Download/View PDF (83kb)

Regional Economic Development Quick Start Action Planner (QSAP)

Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, n.d.
Online self-assessment tool, available on Workforce3One Web site, designed to help workforce development stakeholders create and implement a process for regional asset alignment, economic transformation, and action. Provides a list of indicators to use in assessing an area's current situation and identify action steps for effectively implementing regional economic planning and development strategies. After completing the self-assessment, users receive a detailed report with direct links to online tools, information, and resources.

SPCW Employer Engagement Webinar

Workforce3One, 2007
Webinar provides a model for partnerships interested in maximizing the effectiveness of their workforce investment board and developing industry-based, employer-led systems. Includes presentations from Rodney Bradshaw with the Gulf Coast Workforce Board in Texas and Matt Kinkley with West Central Ohio Tech Prep Consortium. To access the webinar, users are required to register with the Workforce3One Web site.
Presentation: http://www.workforce3one.org/members/getfileinfo.cfm?id=887
Recorded Version: http://www.workforce3one.org/view.cfm?id=3431

Survey of Nurse Employers

North Carolina Center for Nursing, n.d.
Survey administered to nursing employers every two years to track change in the nursing labor market. Includes questions about the number of nurses employed and recruited, as well as expenditures on staffing and overtime.

Team Arlington Celebrates 5th Anniversary Promoting Arlington's Economic Development

Team Arlington, Arlington (Texas) Chamber of Commerce, 2007
Newsletter published by the Arlington, Texas Chamber of Commerce to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Team Arlington, a partnership led by the Chamber to support regional economic development activities, including career pathways development. Articles feature the partnership's history and activities since 2002, current members, and recent advocacy work.
Download/View PDF (910kb)

West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium (WCOMC)

Web site for a partnership of manufacturers dedicated to improving the workforce in West Central Ohio and overseeing career pathways in advanced manufacturing. Includes mission statement, by-laws, career pathways information, and more.

West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium Interview Procedure

West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium (WCOMC), 2007
Guidelines for conducting interviews to determine employers' workforce needs developed by Rhodes State College and WCOMC with funding from the KnowledgeWorks Foundation. Includes suggestions for pre- and post-interview activities.
Download/View PDF (90kb)

West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium Interview Template

West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium (WCOMC), n.d.
Survey developed by Rhodes State College and WCOMC with funding from the KnowledgeWorks Foundation and distributed to 43 manufacturers in West Central Ohio. Questions focus on manufacturers' needs with respect to products, processes, and personnel to identify job categories and training opportunities for each company.
Download/View PDF (48kb)

West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium Job Category Skill Set Grid

West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium (WCOMC), n.d.
Based on results from the WCOMC manufacturer survey, categorizes skills, education, and training requirements for jobs at 43 companies in West Central Ohio.
Download/View PDF (77kb)


U.S. Department of Labor-sponsored Web site, n.d.
Online clearinghouse of workforce development events, resources, and tools for economic developers, educators, employers, and members of the workforce investment system. Compiles "workforce solutions" in a variety of categories, such as competency models and career ladders, curriculum materials, and program management tools. Applicable to a wide range of industries, including biotechnology, health care services, and construction. Site requires free registration.

Department of Education logo

This represents a major section of Pathways to Careers: A Guide to Building Partnerships for Workforce Education and Training, a document that reports on activities connected with an initiative jointly sponsored by the U.S. departments of Education and Labor (the Strategic Partnerships for a Competitive Workforce initiative). It was produced under U.S. Department of Education Contract No. ED-04-CO-0121/0001 with MPR Associates. Jessica Reed served as the contracting officer's representative. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the departments of Education or Labor. No official endorsement by the departments of Education or Labor of any product, commodity, service or enterprise mentioned in this publication is intended or should be inferred. Further, the inclusion of URLs is a convenience to the reader; it does not imply endorsement by the departments of Education and Labor of either the information presented on these Web sites or of the organizations that sponsor them. All URLs were last accessed on June 16, 2008.

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Last Modified: 05/11/2009