From: Claudia Kinville
ABE Managers, lead teachers, and workforce education facilitators (WILMAs) were invited to take part in the Governor's Workforce Development Council (GWDC) initiative focusing on sector workforce development across the state. The focus of the meetings was this: to implement an initiative that expands industry-based work in order to provide better training and higher wages for low-income earners. This work is possible as a result of the 2006 WIA incentive grant.
The morning session was led by Larry Good of the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce. Good defines a sector strategy as an "industry-specific, regional approach to employer's needs for skilled workers and workers' needs for good jobs." 10 years ago this didn't exist. 16 states are now using and developing sector strategies and Minnesota is one of them. The students in our ABE classrooms are the new workforce as one large regeneration retires and a smaller one moves into the workforce.
Two initiatives were highlighted, the "M-Powered" initiative to recruit and train individuals for precision manufacturing (Hennepin Technical College, HIRED, and Robbinsdale ABE) and Workforce Development Inc.'s Healthcare Academy in southeastern Minnesota, working with health care providers and educators to recruit and train certified nursing assistants and others necessary to the hospital and nursing home industry. Both programs work with employers and training providers, including ABE in some instances, and have had great success supplying employees for better paying jobs. (www.aspenwsi.org has posted the results for Workforce Development Inc.'s Healthcare Academy.
www.M-Powered.Info provides contact information for that program.)
The afternoon session included round-table discussions about "Sector Solutions: Why, What and How?" and "Co-creating the Initiative--What We Know and What We Don't Know". From these discussions will come the initiative design and the RFP for planning grants: RFP out in March, due in April, awards in May, planning to begin in June.
Documents from the meeting will be posted on the Governor's Workforce Development Council web site: http://www.gwdc.org <http://www.gwdc.org/>
Lyon County Government Center • 607 W. Main St. • Marshall, MN 56258 • (507) 537-7046