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The Significance of Workforce Development: How States are Helping Businesses and Individuals Succeed

From: Expansion Solutions Magazine. Communities, states and regions work with economic development agencies along with businesses as well as universities, tech schools, and companies to support their workforce needs with appropriate education and training, incentives and grants available to businesses and/or hired workers. 

It is crucial for companies, states and communities to identify high-demand occupations, the process used to identify the occupations, and if a state publicly displays required training or credentials. Business and economic development leaders identify high-demand occupations and the required training to enter the skilled occupations. High-demand professions are defined as those acknowledged in the state as being in need within the state economy or where employee shortages exist. 

In compliance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), all states have a statewide workforce development board or council, and these groups of community leaders appointed by local elected officials and charged with planning and oversight responsibilities for workforce programs and services in their area. However, some states have gone beyond the requirements in federal policy to expand the board’s membership to include additional members within the education system, such as state superintendents of education and chancellors of postsecondary institutions. 

Additionally, some states have developed policies that expand the responsibilities or charges of the board to include explicit connections to education in both K-12 and postsecondary settings. Let’s look at some outstanding state programs outlined. Read more.