Plotting our Prosperity: Metro planning requires Metro data
By Luke Weisberg, LukeWorks LLC
When there are large layoffs or major hiring needs in a tight labor market, workforce services make the headlines.
During those moments -- and in the less dramatic times in between -- the Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) of the metro region are working to ensure that job seekers and businesses have the services each needs to find each other efficiently and effectively.
In our region, there are eight individual WIBs that cover 18 counties and the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. These WIBs are led by private business leaders and appointed by local election officials. They provide oversight for federal workforce funds that flow to counties and cities and they plan for workforce services in their areas. Tools like Twin Cities Compass are a valuable resource for our Workforce Investment Boards.
Although services are managed and delivered through the eight individual WIBs serving the region, planning is often best done on a regional basis. Commute time from Anoka to Eden Prairie notwithstanding, the Twin Cities is still a regional labor market. As the data from Twin Cities Compass illustrate, actions in one part of the region clearly affect businesses and residents throughout the region.
Recognizing that interdependence, our individual WIBs come together as the Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan Workforce Council (GMWC) to jointly shape publicly-funded workforce development services in the Twin Cities region.
In 2009, the GMWC is bringing together businesses leaders from local Chambers of Commerce and the Itasca Project, educators, economic developers, and other workforce service providers to shape a venue in which regional leaders can review data from Twin Cities Compass and other sources to create short- and long-term plans to ensure our region's economic vitality. This initiative, tentatively titled the Greater Twin Cities Prosperity Partnership, will strengthen relationships among regional leaders and create venues to actively plan for workforce needs facing the region.
During this recession, your local Workforce Investment Boards are responding to market changes daily and providing services accordingly. The Greater Metropolitan Workforce Council and its partners will be using Twin Cities Compass to look ahead, beyond the crisis of the day, and shape actions to help workers and businesses alike to thrive.