Wednesday, October 5, 2016

We Are? .....WORK FORCE!

Most Penn Staters would have answered the question...WE ARE? with....PENN STATE!! 
And although I enjoyed my time in Happy Valley and the Creamery Ice Cream is delicious, I was not there for football. I was at Penn State to attend the 2016 PA Workforce Development Symposium.

The PA Workforce Development Association (PWDA) serves as the voice of the Pennsylvania workforce development system and a clearinghouse for workforce development information statewide. PWDA develops and provides professional training to local workforce development boards while continuing proactive advocacy efforts on behalf of the workforce development system.

I traveled to Center County with our collaborative partner The Chamber. Michelle Griffin Young, EVP of Government and External Affairs and I presented an open discussion about "Employer Engagement: Being Strategic"

Engaging employers is an important strategy for all local workforce development boards to align training and programs with employer needs.  The public workforce system has sought to engage employers for several decades, and WIOA strongly emphasizes the importance of partnering with employers.  Despite this push for workforce organizations to be more responsive to the industries that might hire program graduates, workforce systems and organizations often struggle with how to effectively engage employers and build deeper partnerships.  We represented the state largest regional Chamber and a highly-engaged local board with an active employer community to offer some practical strategies that will help you develop long-term, deep relationships with your employers through a well-developed strategy.

This two day conference was bursting with various state and regional experts sharing their best practices to improve our Pennsylvania workforce.
Many topics were discussed but some of the highlights were: 

  • Apprenticeship:  Models in Practice

Successful apprenticeship programs are aligned with sector strategies, industry partnerships and other investments to meet the needs of the business community

  • Industry Partnership Roundtable 

Local board staff, intermediaries, partners and members of the state’s industry partner‐ ships will convene to discuss emerging issues involving Healthcare, Advanced Manufacturing, Agriculture and Connecting to Apprenticeship Work

  • JOBS1st Economic Development Best Practices

WIOA explicitly recognizes the need for the coordination of economic development and workforce programs. The commonwealth’s 10   established regions have developed their first regional WIOA plans and have worked together under the JOBS1st grants.

If you are interested in attending this conference next year please please contact my office.
Phone 610-841-1122  Fax: 610-437-3527 Email: or visit the PDWA website

Some photos from our presentation.

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