Workforce Development is a collaborative approach to the gradual creation of a stable and prosperous local economy by improving individuals’ work-related skills, knowledge and employment opportunities.
Generally, the collaboration is among local governments, businesses, individuals and educational institutions. It is a modern-day evolution, some say, of the earlier workforce training approaches, which included family apprenticeships, mentoring, and workplace vocational training delivered on the job site.
Ideally, Workforce Development is part of a larger economic development and job creation strategy for a city or region. In a typical scenario, economic development experts evaluate cities or regions and analyze their short and long term needs for human resources. Workforce development may also include an analysis of the region’s equity in educational and employment opportunities and an effort to strengthen the balance in the system.
The collaboration may also seek to predict and fulfill the city or region’s workplace needs and to create an employment “pipeline” wherein, based on the needs analysis, potential workers are educated and the graduates are employed in such a way as to fill the region’s most pressing worker needs, thereby bringing benefit to all.