Monday, April 6, 2009

Key SECTORS Legislation Spotlights Skills Needs

US Congress 02(h/t The Workforce Alliance)

In recent years, Pennsylvania has been a workforce leader when it comes to Sector Initiatives. Now, based on the success of our programs and similar programs in other states, legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to promote similar programs at the national level.

In an Industry Partnership, businesses in the same industry (and, usually, the same region) come together to discuss their workforce needs usually regarding job retention, skills gaps, and recruitment. The IP often partners with a community college and with other local organizations to offer classes and training in needed skills that can be used throughout the industry.

These classes benefit workers by providing an opportunity for them to earn the skills they need to succeed professionally and financially, and they benefit the employers by ensuring a pool of skilled workers to meet their employment needs. In Pennsylvania, IPs focus on High Priority Occupations, which are high-growth occupations that pay self-sufficient wages and/or provide opportunities for workers to move up a career ladder to better jobs.

At the national level, the Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act will target industries in need of skilled workers (yes, even in with high unemployment, there are some industries that can’t find skilled workers to meet their needs). Grants through the program will go towards businesses that provide opportunities for their workers to reach economic self-sufficiency.

To learn more, please check out the links at www.workforcealliance.org, and come back to our blog for more updates!

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