Workforce development professionals play a crucial role in helping American workers find jobs and employers find skilled and qualified workers. Without their hard work and support, a thriving American workforce would not be possible. And without a thriving American workforce and effective workforce training programs, the economy and the American people suffer.
Now more than ever, these hard-working men and women are the key to helping millions of Americans get back to work after the devastating effects of the pandemic.
Building and Bridging Connections
Professionals in the employment development department do an important and challenging task of bringing people together to drive meaningful outcomes across a wide range of stakeholders. Every day job seekers, employers, and businesses are connected because of the work these professionals do.
Despite the multitude of complicated and out-of-date administering systems and the maintenance and accuracy issues that come with them, workforce development professionals bridge the needs of States, localities, training providers, and employers to support economic stability. According to the Workforce Board Operations Survey Report, 71% are doing this with a team of 10 or fewer.
Events like a recent curbside job fair hosted by the Eastern Local Workforce Development Area Business Services team and local business Hino Motors are a great example of the positive effect of these programs. This particular joint effort drew 221 job seekers from Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi, and 135 of the attendees have been hired. Imagine how much more effective these programs would be with new technology, like an interoperable digital credentials ecosystem, that could make it so much faster for people to find new jobs, leaving experienced professionals more time to solve complex problems. Digital credentialing could assist workforce development professionals in upskilling, reemployment, and workforce innovation as a whole.
Why Workforce Development Is So Important
Federal employment and skills training programs help U.S. workers obtain the education and training services they need to get back to work and help businesses find the workers they need. In August 2020, The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 13.6 million people unemployed – over eight percent of the country. During a time where we’ve never needed them more, businesses and workers can’t afford cuts to these programs. Workforce development professionals help connect employers with job seekers and job seekers with training resources, creating a link between each ecosystem.
Workforce development is essential to economic growth and recovery, and we are proud to honor this important and underrecognized work.