Investment and expansion of business services marks strategic shift in SCPa Works’ operations.
A critical part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is how workforce development boards need to focus more on strategic employer engagement as a means for demand-driven investments in education and training. I am excited to announce that SCPa Works has launched an expansion of our business services operations as an important step towards better serving regional employers, helping them to identify and train and skilled workforce, and building sector partnerships that provide cohort training for companies that have similar training needs across the industry.
SCPa Works is in the process of expanding our business services team. We have recently hired a new Director of Business Partnerships, and the PY18/19 budget provides funding for expanding that team with two more industry specialists.
Through the Engage! grant (Department of Community and Economic Development), SCPa Works will use this business services team to help support and build a robust referral network with our economic development partners in the region. The Engage! grant has gotten off to an outstanding start – the goal is to serve more than 400 businesses in our region to support their retention and expansion in Southcentral PA.
By expanding and streamlining our business services, SCPa Works will help serve regional employers in a number of ways, including:
- Creating a single-point of contact for workforce development programs/services for the region
- Better integration with other business-facing programs, such as economic development agencies
- Better collection of data through investments in Hoovers D&B and JobsEQ (real-time labor market information)
- More bandwidth and capacity to grow and expand sector partnerships across the region
Increasingly, workforce development has become one of the most pressing challenges for regional businesses. I am excited about making these strategic investments in SCPa Works’ operations to better meet the need of our business community that helps to drive our region’s economy forward.