Workforce development is a critical aspect of economic and community development. At its best, workforce development brings together industry and businesses, economic and workforce professionals and education to address the needs of the community. A strong workforce supports innovation, a stable but dynamic economy and a general prosperity.
Workforce in general has moved from service provision to a multi-sectorial conversation where solutions are addressed by the community working in collaboration. We have come to realize there is no one magic bullet, and workforce and economic development is a team sport.
Workforce development has historically occurred in two forms: place-based strategies that attempt to address the needs of people living in a particular neighborhood, and sector-based strategies that focus on matching workers' skills to needs in an industry already present in the region.
Across both approaches, themes for best practices have emerged. Successful workforce development programs typically have a strong network of ties in a community, and are equipped to respond to changes in their environments. Additionally, they take a holistic approach to the problems faced by participants.
- Manufacturing in Colorado - http://choosecolorado.com/key-industries/advanced-manufacturing/
- Manufacturing Extension Partnership - https://www.nist.gov/mep
Community colleges’ role
Colorado community colleges play a vital role in workforce development. CSU partners will all community colleges in Colorado and has deeper connections through our series of Engagement Hubs with Arapahoe Community College (ACC), Northeastern Junior College and Morgan Community College.
ACC activities encourage new business, assist existing business, and create long-term economic growth. The college enhances worker skills and provides customized training to local business and industry. An estimated 1.455 million ACC credits have accumulated in the ACC Service Area workforce over the past 30-year period as former ACC students enter the regional workforce each year.
Resources for workforce information:
- Career Center - https://career.colostate.edu/
- Alumni Association - http://alumni.colostate.edu/career-services/
- Rural Economic Development Institute - http://redi.colostate.edu/
- Extension - http://adams.colostate.edu/fcs/index.htm
- College of Engineering - http://www.engr.colostate.edu/industry-relations/workforce.html
- College of Business (placeholder)
- School of Education - http://www.soe.chhs.colostate.edu/school/ or http://www.soe.chhs.colostate.edu/students/doctoral/olpc/index.aspx
- Rich Feller, School of Education - http://www.soe.chhs.colostate.edu/faculty-staff/feller.aspx
- Larimer County Workforce Center - http://larimerworkforce.org/
- Colorado Department of Labor and Employment - https://www.colorado.gov/CDLE
- U.S. Department of Labor - https://www.dol.gov/
- Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce Workforce Strategy - https://fortcollinschamber.com/program/talent-2-0-2017/
Workforce Development Contact
Geniphyr Ponce-Pore, M.S., is the Assistant Director of Community and Economic Development and is the Workforce Specialist for CSU Extension. With 15 years of experience working in community, economic and workforce development in Colorado, she joined CSU in 2010. Having lived and worked in both rural and urban Colorado, Ponce-Pore has pulled together teams to develop and implement projects that address community, economic, and workforce development issues ranging from strategic planning for regional tourism, emerging workforce needs and developing next generation talent, small business development, and training to support new and seasoned entrepreneurs.
Contact Gen at (970) 491-6148 or firstname.lastname@example.org