WCCCD Helps Assess Work Force Needs

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(Courtesy of Observer & Eccentric)

Wayne County Community College District is assessing the area’s workforce needs and supplying metro Detroit employers, educational institutions, workforce development agencies, and policy makers with the information they need to further cultivate and transform the region’s workforce as a partner in the Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) for Southeast Michigan.

Funded by a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the New Economy Initiative, WIN is a region-wide collaborative effort between metro Detroit’s eight community colleges, seven workforce boards and economic development partners to assess and serve three primary roles for southeast Michigan:

  • Gather, analyze and distribute real-time workforce data specific to southeast Michigan.
  • Serve as a connection point for regional business, industry and other stakeholders in regard to workforce development.
  • Research talent-related policy concerns.For each role, WIN will understand needs and apply a plan of action to achieve desired outcomes. WCCCD serves on the WIN board and will help provide strategic direction for WIN and help implement collaborative regional strategies to support regional jobs.

    “Collectively, these community colleges and workforce boards designed this concept to leverage assets to build a comprehensive and cohesive workforce and talent system across the region,” said WIN Executive Director Lisa Katz. “Their investment in this network will arm economic developers, business accelerators, colleges, universities, training institutions, employers and policy makers with the data and strategies they need to help redefine the region’s workforce.”

    The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) also is providing in-kind support to the WIN initiative, including technical expertise and resources.

    WIN is made up of the following eight community colleges – Macomb Community College, Monroe County Community College, Mott Community College, Oakland Community College, Schoolcraft College, St. Clair Community College, Washtenaw Community College and Wayne County Community College District. The seven workforce boards are Career Alliance, Detroit Workforce Development Department, Livingston County Michigan Works!, Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!, Oakland County Michigan Works!, Southeast Michigan Community Alliance and Washtenaw County Employment, Training and Community Services.

    “We are very pleased to join forces with the other regional community colleges, workforce boards and economic development organizations in Michigan to create a strong and unified approach to address the current and future needs for jobs and business development in our area,” said Dr. Curtis L. Ivery, chancellor of WCCCD. “We believe this strategy not only allows us to share information and knowledge but will help to build stronger partnerships and create more employment opportunities for the people in Southeast Michigan.”

    WIN is working to address such regional workforce issues as:

  • Identifying regional skill training needs of the corporate IT sector, a growth opportunity in southeast Michigan, and will coordinate accelerated training approaches for short term and ongoing industry needs. Moving forward, the WIN will also work to implement regional training strategies and leverage private, state and federal workforce training resources.
  • Developing a career pathway for the energy workforce with special focus on entry level and apprenticeship resources. This sector is anticipating a retirement crisis among skilled workers and came to WIN to develop strategies for rebuilding the talent pipeline.
  • Supporting the demand of the rebounding auto sector for skilled engineers and technicians with hybrid and electric vehicle expertise. WIN is working with business and government partners to bring together the combined expertise of regional workforce boards and community colleges to develop a blueprint for short and longer-term talent development.

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