Bridging the Skills Gap: Building the Bridge Process

Building the Bridge Process


Step 1: Look at Community Assets

What is it now and what could it be?


•  What are the skills, talents and expertise?


•  Identify local, regional and online resources.
•  Where are the educators with the passion and experience?


•  What are the industry clusters?
•  Who are the innovative leaders?


Step 2: Use Data to Support Decision Making for Local/Regional Development

Local Data

Examples of how to do this or where it may already be found: BR&E surveys by the local Chamber; done in-house by the business; etc.

•  Ask current employees what they need to stay (retention); Ask potential employees what they need to relocate (attraction)
•  Ask businesses what skills are needed now and in the future

Outside Data

Examples of where to go to get it: State Economic Development Departments, Regional Development Districts; private data sources like EMSI, etc.

•  Growth sectors
•  Skills needed
•  Training availability

Community assets and opportunities


Step 3: Identify Opportunities & Prioritize


•  Is there something that is already happening that could be strengthened?
•  Are there obvious simple actions that could result in big results?
•  Are all the players at the table?

Longer term

•  What is the first step that will move toward a long-term goal?
•  Should some new organizations or groups be added?


Step 4: Develop a Plan of Action Between Stakeholders

•  Stakeholders: workforce, education and training, business & industry, and the community
•  Link to assets, leverage partnerships and explore other resources (state, national)


Step 5: Implement Actions

•  Customized to assets and opportunities
•  Linking Education, Business and/or Community

•  Explore & Educate

Creating a Team Environment to Attract and Retain

Upskilling Workers via Manufacturing Bootcamp

County Led Collaborative for Youth

Incorporating Soft Skills Training

•  Attract and Retain 

Drive for Five: 500 New Employees in Five Years

Virtual Workforce Opportunities in Healthcare

Welcoming Foreign Workers


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