© 2012 IDEASolutions

Workforce Development Strategy

Workforce development is an integral part of economic development.  It helps supply the needed labor for the growing or incoming businesses.  Without the suitable workforce, businesses cannot expand, wages will rise, and traffic problems will worsen as outsiders commute into the region to seek employment.  In the long run, businesses will expand elsewhere because of the lack of suitable workforce.

In most jurisdictions, workforce development is reactive.  One generally waits for requests from businesses before proceeding.  Nowadays, many training programs are dictated by Federal government (e.g., “green jobs”), but some of these occupations just do not have sufficient demand in the market and therefore many graduates fail to find productive employment.  Put it simply, most areas do not have a real workforce development strategy.  Most just spend the WIA dollars on a variety of training programs and mandated services and call it the day.

A real workforce development strategy involves

Without a strong workforce development program, it is impossible to have a successful economic development initiative that can sustain continued business growth.  Businesses hire workers because they need to increase their productive capacity.  Help them grow and get the resources they need, and they will create jobs.


The Cycle of Economic Development was originally developed by the McKenzie Company.  It has been modified and expanded by George Huang.

Are you interested in creating a workforce development strategy? Please contact IDEASolutions via e-mail if you wish to get a practical & actionable strategy for your area.