Bridging the Skills Gap: Resources


During the course of the project the team located several resources that may be of help to others as they work through community workforce skill issues.  This list highlights just a few of the many resources that are available on the Internet along with key sources from the community development literature.

National Policies and Practices

Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century explores how new policies and practice can meet the changing needs of workers, businesses and their communities. Produced in partnership by the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Kansas City, and the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, this edited volume presents contributions from more than 65 leading scholars and practitioners engaged in workforce development.

The White House. 2014. Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity. Washington: The White House.

Winthrop, R. and McGivney, E. 2016. Skills for a changing world: advancing quality learning for vibrant societies. Washington: Brookings Institute.

South Dakota and Nebraska State Resources

In 2014 South Dakota initiated a series of workforce summits across the state.  The link below includes the overview, state context, strategies to build an effective workforce system and ways to create a roadmap.  In addition, it contains a summary of regional discussions that were held around workforce development.

Huron, South Dakota focused to connect their business community with education to improve and expand workforce development.  This video showcases a few of their efforts:

Nebraska developed a series of video business tours in 12 industry clusters.  These virtual tours allow people, especially young adults, to get a feel for what it is like to work in one of these areas.

Selected Resources from Other States

Midwest/US – Hatch, C. 2015. “Rural Workforce Issues: A Look at Metro and Non-Metro Areas of the US and Midwest.” Presentation at Labor Issues Facing Agriculture and the Rural Midwest. Chicago: conference organized by the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

Indiana – Hall, T. 2013. The skills gap problem: literature review and recommendations. Bloomington: Indiana Business Research Center, Kelly School of Business.

Washington – Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Area:

New York – Tompkins Cortland Community College:

Eastern Kentucky – Concentrated Employment Program:

NW Tennessee – Workforce Board:

Kansas – K-State’s Advanced Manufacturing Institute:

Washington – Grant County EDC

Central Wisconsin – Incourage Community Foundation, Workforce Central. An innovative community approach to family sustaining career opportunities in central Wisconsin.

Appalachian Region – Economic Diversity in Appalachia

Ohio – Ohio’s smaller communities innovate to retain and attract talent

Selected Community College Practices

Monroe Community College, in the Finger Lakes region of New York, has worked extensively to identify skill gaps.  The links below show different aspects of the effort.

Other Workforce Related Topics

Soft-skills: Background and Resources

Skills Gap or Training Gap? The Role of Manufacturers in Solving the Skills Problem

Addressing Skills Gaps and Economic Mobility Through Middle-Skill Pathways

How Business Leaders Can Strengthen American Schools

The Hunt for Qualified Workers

Strategies for Talent Retention and Attraction in Rural Regions

Lessons from America: Why Colleges Must Collaborate Rather Than Compete

Workforce Development and Competency-based Education – Webinar/Document

North Central Regional Center for Rural Development NCRCRD Webinar/Document

Program Will Send Teachers to Manufacturing ‘Bootcamp’

International Workforce Development

Why Germany Dominates the U.S. in Innovation

Community Development Literature


Understanding the Problem
Project Overview
Community Process & Collaboration
Importance of Labor Market Data
Promising Practices
Bridging the Skills Gap Team