On June 9th, workforce development partners including Skillsource, NCW Tech Alliance, the North Central Educational Services District (Career Connect Washington), Big Bend Community College, and the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) came together to connect and hear from dozens of local employers.
The discussion highlighted potential strategies and additional local and system partners like the Workforce Development Council, Association of Washington Businesses, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Labor & Industries, Office of Insurance Commissioner, and Employment Security Department who could add valuable resources to the collective effort.
The format for the round table was structured in a way that encouraged small group conversations. Each table had an anchored workforce development partner and attendees from the industry rotated through small-group conversations to highlight their needs and consider strategies for the credentialed workforce, short-term skilling, worksite skilling and apprenticeship, long-term talent development, and specific recruitment strategies.
The overwhelming feedback from attendees was that this was a valuable conversation, and many employers noted that they had not realized that they had so many resources available to them to support their workforce development needs.
At the close of the event, it was decided that there will be a subsequent roundtable event dedicated to workforce development perhaps on a quarterly basis. Future events will include additional workforce partners and AJAC has suggested several potential topics and workshops that could be considered to help employers consider strategies for employee engagement.
These continue to be challenging times, and these complex issues aren’t solved in a single morning, but communities that can come together to listen and learn from one another benefit from the connection and coordination of their efforts, shared resources, ideas and leadership get a collective impact that is greater than the sum of the individual parts, and that is a great reason to be at the table in Grant County.