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Making the perfect jobseeker-employer match is no easy task for workforce development professionals. A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed a total of 12.8 million individuals were either unemployed, under-employed or marginally attached to the labor market. On the employer side, key industries report a shortage of qualified applicants for a wide range of jobs. The trick to helping jobseekers find their way to the right position with the best employer starts with a solid foundation of preparation.

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It’s no secret that companies in all employment sectors are facing challenging workforce shortages and gaps. What many companies don’t know is that apprenticeships offer a viable solution for recruiting, training and retaining world-class talent. Apprenticeships are an earn-as-you-learn, flexible workforce development tool and training strategy that can be customized to meet the needs of any business.

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Manufacturers are facing a dire employee shortage. While nearly every industry is being affected by the rapid retirement of the Baby Boomer generation and the reduced rate of Generation X and millennials entering the manufacturing workforce, the greatest risk the industry faces is failing to adapt. Some of the reasons for lack of adaption include: the low employment rate, skills gaps, and the inability to attract qualified workers.

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Broadly speaking, current federal workforce policy aims to bridge the needs of employers and jobseekers through training and other support measures. Is this happening and how successful is it? At a time when close to 65% of our country’s open positions require some form of higher education or post-secondary credential, it is crucial for education and workforce development partners to work together to meet the needs of employers and jobseekers.

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It is estimated that over 5 million youth (16-24 years old) now referred to as “young adults” are not in school and are not employed. The challenge is how to serve these young adults and prepare them to succeed in today’s workforce. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title-l youth formula funds now provide state and local workforce development boards the resources needed to assist the youth in their communities.

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While just about every industry feels the burden of the mass exodus of boomers from the workforce, the manufacturing industry faces the greatest risk of failing to adapt. In this article, we’ll offer a snapshot of the current and projected state of the manufacturing industry, and even more important, we will outline four implementable strategies manufacturing companies can use to overcome the skill gaps facing the industry.

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If there is one key word to pull from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA), it is collaboration. WIOA has created a unique and exciting opportunity for collaboration at the state level between local workforce and economic development agencies. The law requires states to submit plans outlining how they will collaborate with partners, including economic development agencies. But, doesn’t this call for collaboration seem like a no-brainer?

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Did you know that the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) to partner with Economic Development Organizations (EDOs)? The benefit of this partnership reaches far and wide. By working with EDOs, Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) will be able to identify new services, align resources and deliver training service offerings which meet the needs of employers.

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Did you know that WIOA requires states and Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDB) to develop and deliver Career Services through the American Job Centers? Basic Career Services must be made available to all customers interested in seeking assistance from American Job Centers.

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