An industry sector partnership (IP) provides a mechanism for employers in an industry sector to connect with each other, identify shared needs of their industry and work with partners to design new approaches that will solve the identified problems. IPs also are a strategy for Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) to leverage resources and create long term solutions and connections for important regional industries. Wisconsin’s sector efforts exist along a continuum based on engagement and commitment of the industry. An established sector effort should include:
· A stable and committed group of businesses
· Industry champions in leadership roles
· Identified needs to address short and long term sector growth
· Activities and projects in place to address identified needs
· An ability to document impact and demonstrate ROI
Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) in Wisconsin operate employment and training programs that provide job seekers with employment skills and employers with a skilled workforce. Since 2005, the Boards have been building upon their relationships with employers to create and convene Industry Partnerships. Through the years, funding has helped to establish new, and elevate existing Industry Partnerships in various industries. Original industry partnerships were created under the Governor’s GROW initiative in 2005-2006, which provided funds to help offset the cost of convening Industry Partnerships. They continued from 2006-2009 with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor WIRED project, then from 2009-2010 using Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Sector Strategy funding. In 2012 DWD provided a second round of funding through the Sector Grants. In 2014, the WDBs were awarded industry partnership funds from the Skills Wisconsin grant.
The WDBs continue to convene the Industry Partnerships with some resulting in employer driven, class-sized training.
Skills Wisconsin Grant
Over the past several years the Workforce Development Boards (WDB) have helped many industry partnerships begin, grow and mature.
Through the Skills Wisconsin grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Innovation Fund, $275,000 was made available to the WDBs. Each WDB received $25,000 each to fund targeted efforts to up to 40 industry partnerships that are in various stages of maturity. The Skills Wisconsin grant funds will help the support the creation or advancement of to 40 industry partnerships. Synopsizes of the funded applications are included below.
Southeast Workforce Development Board
Information Technology & Logistics Industries
The Southeast WI Workforce Development Board is partnering with the Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Board and Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB), employers, and technical colleges to convene employers to identify and inventory skill and hiring needs of IT and logistics employers, create an inventory of industry recognized certifications, and develop a matrix and career pathway(s)s in the identified occupations.
Milwaukee Area Workforce Development Board (MAWIB)
The Healthcare Industry project will allow better matching of the labor market data with specific employer's needs, and then tie these needs to current post-secondary educational providers, including facilitating Registered Apprenticeship opportunities. The Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Board, the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, and the Southeast Wisconsin Workforce Development Board will create a matrix of top hiring needs, develop a curriculum alignment summary and recommendation for training or preparation training programs.
Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Board
The project will provide an increased understanding of manufacturing sector training needs, broaden outreach to employers, identify sub-sector specific training needs, and assist technical college partners in identifying upcoming training needs. Through employer meetings, the Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Board, the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, and the Southeast Wisconsin Workforce Development Board will identify training and workforce development needs common to manufacturing employers, current career pathways, specialized skills and emerging equipment and production trends.
Fox Valley Workforce Development Board
The Fox Valley Workforce Development Board will start a statewide association of healthcare associations in WI. The project will include preliminary scheduling and planning, convening conferences, and define a project for the association to focus on.
The Fox Valley and Bay Area Workforce Development Boards will establish an Industry Partnership in the IT sector. The project will build upon initial ground work laid by the Steering Committee and engage a broader community of businesses and education stakeholders to create a sustainable Industry Partnership.
The Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, in partnership with the Fond du Lac Association of Commerce, is helping to develop a system and marketing plan to match retirement age individuals with employers for hiring part-time positions.
Bay Area Workforce Development Board
Information Technology Industry
The Bay Area and Fox Valley Workforce Development Boards will establish an Industry Partnership in the IT sector. The project will build upon initial ground work laid by the Steering Committee and engage a broader community of businesses and education stakeholders to create a sustainable industry partnership.
The project will fund a nationally recognized speaker to present the topic of integrating the Millennial generation into the regional workforce - specifically, to address a key challenge in adapting business management to successfully integrate the new wave of Millennial workers into our economy in the manufacturing sector.
North Central Workforce Development Board
A Health Careers Exploration program will be delivered to high school students (grades 9 through 12) to expose students to healthcare careers. Students will visit seven leading healthcare facilities and have the opportunity to hear directly from practitioners. The North Central Workforce Development Board will create a structured career exploration format that can be replicated, increase the number of students exposed to health care careers while reducing the financial and patient impacts of student job-shadowing activities on health care employers.
Information Technology Industry
The North Central Workforce Development Board will establish an Industry Partnership in IT. That group will establish commonly-accepted IT job titles, skill sets/knowledge base, and education requirements, develop a database of regional workforce deficiencies, identify sector attraction strategies, and advance two policy recommendations to improve access to or remove institutional barriers from enhanced career pathways between all educational levels.
The North Central Workforce Development Board and WATEA will work with automobile and diesel credentialing entities and local education institutions to design training curriculum for incumbent workers. A task force will be created to develop the curriculum and identify funding opportunities for training.
Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board
The Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board will develop a two, day-long events, to expose youth to manufacturing careers with local tours of manufacturing facilities, research the feasibility for a three-day summer event, and convene, coordinate and conduct meetings and presentations to achieve the outcomes.
The Northwest Workforce Development Board will create and disseminate materials showing trucking as a modern and desirable career, and conduct presentations at regional community events to attract talent. This is a new twist on a job fair for the trucking industry.
West Central Workforce Development Board
The project will build upon the Healthcare Academies to attract workers to healthcare careers, orient them to opportunities, and initiate entry-level training for youth, adults and dislocated workers. Additionally, the project will increase clinical site availability and coordination through replication of a regional Clinical Registry developed by Fox Valley.
Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board
The Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board will coordinate the industry partnership and develop manufacturing marketing materials geared towards high school students, implement a web-based interactive career exploration tool for middle and high school students, and host an event introducing youth to manufacturing.
Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin
The Workforce Development Board of South Central WI , AGC of Wisconsin, and the area Building Trades Council will develop a 5-month campaign to expose students, counselors, teachers and parents in 16 school districts to high-growth high-wage careers available in the construction trades and through apprenticeships. Additionally, the Board will develop a "cook book" that details how to run a Trade Up Campaign, with templates that can be shared for replication statewide.
The Workforce Development Board of South Central WI, Dodge County Manufacturing Council and Moraine Park Technical College will increase awareness of career pathways within the Advanced Manufacturing industry, and develop a proto-type of an outreach campaign. The project will build on work completed by the Northeast Manufacturing Alliance and West Central Gold Collar Career consortium.
Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board
The Southwest Workforce Development Board will convene the manufacturing industry partnership to develop a training plan that identifies employer-required skills and suggestions for new training pathways to fulfill employer skills requirements. The industry partnership will assist in developing a training curriculum based on employer needs.
Logistics & Transportation Industry
The Southwest Workforce Development Board will develop a logistics and transportation industry network, and create one or more career pathways that will ensure that employers in the region have access to skilled labor to meet their future logistics and transportation related needs.