Bridging the Skills Gap: Community Process & Collaboration

The Need for a Collaborative Approach

Workforce development has joined the ranks of housing, unemployment, substance abuse and crime as among the toughest issues confronting rural communities in the 21st century. In today’s knowledge economy, the workforce arena has become incredibly broad and complex and as a result, requires a collaborative, multi-pronged approach. For one, it encompasses several historically separate policy domains (labor, education and economic development) under a single umbrella and touches on issues as diverse as immigration policy, collective bargaining, and the nature of training at the local level. As well, many of the forces that shape a community’s labor dynamics and workforce system, be they international events and global markets, or national-/state-level legislation and regulation, run well beyond the decision-making reach of local leaders and community constituents. Simply put, workforce issues cannot be solved by individuals and organizations acting independently; rather, an effective approach calls for a host of community stakeholders getting involved, sharing resources, defining the issues, and taking action.


Understanding the Problem
Project Overview
Community Process & Collaboration
•  Components of Community Action
•  Critical Role for Industry
•  Building the Bridge Process
•  Take Action
Importance of Labor Market Data
Promising Practices
Bridging the Skills Gap Team