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2016 Sector Partnership Step-by-step guide

November 17, 2016

This step-by-step (created October 2016) is the product of the past ten years of lessons learned from the sector strategy field across the United States. The Woolsey Group partnered with Collaborative Economics and Genz Consulting to create this curriculum, and the State of Oregon provided funding to support its development. Oregon, like many other states, is pro-actively building next gen industry sector partnerships across its local economies, targeting their most critical industries. Thank you to the Oregon team for your support!

Next Generation Sector Partnerships

July 27, 2016

Still wondering what a Sector Partnership is? Still curious what’s new about industry sector partnerships today? Here’s a short Primer to help answer your questions. If you’re still confused, just contact us for a conversation.

State Legislation in Support of Sector Partnerships, Career Pathways and Workforce Development, 2006-2015

December 1, 2015 - Naumann, M. and Woolsey, L., State Legislation in Support of Sector Partnerships, Career Pathways and Workforce Development 2006

This compendium of state legislation was prepared in 2015 for the State of Oregon in response to inquiries for examples of successfully-passed legislation related to sector partnerships and career pathways across the United States. This compendium is not an analysis or assessment; it is however the best known inventory of the past decade of state legislation related to industry-driven workforce programs, sector or industry partnerships, and career pathways.

Applying Next Generation Business Engagement Practices to Opportunity Youth Sector Initiatives -- Pew Charitable Trusts

February 2, 2015 - Woolsey, Lindsey 2015

Over the past two decades, young adults ages 16 to 24 have experienced steady declines in employment. There are approximately 6.7 million young people who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market. Known as “Opportunity Youth” or “Disconnected Youth,” they are named for the enormous opportunity, both socially and economically, if they are successfully connected to education and jobs. This paper discusses the need for a greater emphasis on strong employer engagement strategies for organizations and programs serving youth. It also is unique in that it offers a comprehensive history of sector strategies in the U.S. over the past three decades. 

Upskill/Backfill Strategies: Advancing Incumbent Workers and Opening Opportunities for Jobseekers

July 1, 2014 - Woolsey, L, Shanbacker, E. Upskill/Backfill: Advancing Incumbent Workers and Opening Opportunities for Jobseekers, National Governors Association, July 2014.

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) High Growth and Emerging Industry Sectors grant program from 2009 to 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor funded 152 grantees across the country to train unemployed and dislocated workers in emerging and growing sectors such as health care and “green jobs.” Their experience offers insight into how training programs and employers partnered to advance incumbent workers and open entry-level posi- tions for unemployed job seekers—an approach known as “upskill/back ll.” This paper summarizes key lessons learned from that experience and documents benefits to job seekers, employers, and communities.

Scaling Up Work Experience in Colorado: Policy and Practice Choices

August 1, 2014 - Woolsey, L. Scaling Up Work Experience in Colorado: Policy and Practice Choices, Colorado Workforce Development Council

In Colorado in 2014, the issue of work experience surfaced in many forums, and was raised by multiple industries and a variety of stakeholders, including key leadership across three major state systems: economic development, education and workforce development. The recent uptick in dialogue reflects a confluence of co-existing forces occurring nationally: increased employer demand for more experienced jobseekers coupled with a short supply of work experience components in education and training programs. This paper was commissioned to present the national landscape of promising practices related to work experience programs; to highlight the best models currently up and running in the State of Colorado; and to provide a set of policy and practice recommendations and tools to guide Colorado in scaling work experience up.

Sector Strategies Coming of Age: Implications for State Workforce Policy

Jan 1, 2013 - Woolsey, L. and Groves, G. Sector Strategies Coming of Age

Sector strategies are partnerships of employers within one industry that bring government, education, training, economic development, labor, and community organizations together to focus on the workforce needs of an industry within a regional labor market. At the state level, they are policies and investments that support the development of local sector partnerships. This paper offers a snapshot of sector strategies in 2013, an overview of what makes them different from traditional workforce and economic development programs, and a description of actions that state administrators and policymakers can take as part of a policy framework to support their creation and effective operation.

Findings from Washington State's Workplace Based Learning Initiative

June 24, 2013 - Woolsey, L., Findings from Washington State's Workplace Based Learning Initiative, Washington State Workforce and Education Training Coordinating Board, 2013.

The Workplace-Based Distance Learning project was a proof of concept initiative, and as such provided a testing ground for an expanded definition and approach to providing the critical education, skills and experience to working adults that will allow them to remain attached to, and advance in, today’s labor market. This report summarizes outcomes of three college-industry partnership projects focused on adult workbased learning. 

America's Manufacturing Workforce: Make or Buy?

April 26, 2013 - Woolsey, L. and Coxen, T. America

This report is intended to dispel the notion that an adequate supply of skilled employees is beyond the reach of American manufacturers. In fact, there are several choices that American manufacturers can make to ensure a pipeline of talent
for the foreseeable future. However, manufacturers must be strategic in their thinking and rigorous in their execution of these options. With that in mind, America’s SMMs can and should take steps to fill their skilled worker gaps before they become insurmountable challenges.

innovation and Product Development in the 21st Century

February 10, 2010 - Yakimov, G. and Woolsey, L. Innovation and Product Development in the 21st Century, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, commissioned by the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board, February 2010.

This paper lays out the complex realities of the manufacturing industry, identifies responses of successful firms to the dynamic technological and economic changes in front of them, and suggests opportunities for action that can be taken to help leading manufacturers retain their global competitiveness while helping all manufacturers navigate the difficult terrain before them. Specifically it recommends four areas of action: Innovate constantly to adapt to economic and technological changes; Embrace green and "green lean"; Recognize and navigage global markets; and Develop and retain good talent.

Application of Industry Cluster-based and Sector-focused Strategies to Rural Economies

July 1, 2008 - Woolsey, L. Application of Industry Cluster-based and Sector-focused Strategies to Rural Economies, The Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, commissioned by the Seattle Foundation, 2008

As industry sector partnerships gain in popularity, arguments are still made that rural areas cannot successfully implement the model like their urban counterparts. Research for this paper indicates that all regions can benefit from better integrating industry cluster growth strategies with sector partnership building. It may be at the intersection of these where regional economic growth occurs.

The Policy Intersection of Sector Strategies and Policies to Advance Low Income Workers

Jul 1st, 2008 - Woolsey, L. The Policy Intersection of Sector Strategies and Policies to Advance Low Income Workers, The Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, commissioned by the Seattle Foundation, 2008.

Despite their popularity as regional, industry-driven approaches to workforce development, it can be argued that sector partnership approaches are not being utilized to their full capacity to address the needs of low-income workers. In turn, human service organizations may not recognize the validity of the sector model to lift low-income individuals to conditions of self-sufficiency. This 2008 paper still offers policy and practice recommendations to close these gaps.