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Smarter, More Strategic Workforce Development in America

Posted November 30, 2012 3:44 PM by Angie Mareino

The typical American worker is changing across America, but the education systems aren’t keeping up. Too many Americans are stranded without the skills to get jobs in their own communities. This also puts growing employers in a challenging position: wanting to hire but not finding qualified employees. How can we have high unemployment, yet certain employers struggle to fill positions? Workforce Development programs attempt to tackle this important mission head on.

Fred Dedrick, the President of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, has been leveraging national and local funders to support regional funding collaboratives that invest in worker skills and key regional industries. The National Fund makes it their job to help provide career advancement opportunities for low-wage workers using a model of substantial employer engagement. The impact is a better skilled workforce and changes in public policies in 32 regional communities to make businesses more competitive and communities more sustainable. The National Fund understands that different communities have different profiles of the jobs that are in high demand, so there’s not a cookie cutter approach across America to solve the problem.

The Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council (SAWDC) is one of the regional funding collaboratives with which the National Fund partners. Laura Chandler, its executive director, has made huge strides through partnerships with education organizations and industry groups to align workforce development with workforce needs.  And what has helped make SAWDC so successful? A little thing called the Balanced Scorecard. (We may have mentioned this tool before. wink) We’ll let Ms. Chandler show you how.

During a can’t-miss breakout session at our Mission-Driven Management Summit this March, Chandler and Dedrick will present each of their challenges and successes and lead a discussion about measuring your impact in areas where you rely on partnerships

National Fund has 32 partners like SAWDC and innumerable funders who want to see results. SAWDC has several industry clusters and many community colleges and other training organizations who all have different needs. How can they unite these various partners and interests to make an impact? The breakout session will explore how to apply these challenges to your own organization’s situation. Come to the Summit and return with new ideas to help your organization make a bigger impact. We think that’s pretty smart.


Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter with #MDMS13 and register while our rates are great!