There's been a lot of talk on economic development in Delaware, but there's another element that shouldn't be neglected: workforce development. Workforce development is a set of solutions put in place to meet employment needs, such as changes to company culture and attitudes. It plays a significant role in a business's success as it correlates directly with employer needs and requirements.
Workforce development is crucial because before you can attract traditional industries or create new sectors in your area, you must have a strong labor pool that can meet the demands that come along with it.
In Delaware, employers assert that while jobs exist, the workforce needed isn't there to take on them. As a result, Delaware is placing a lot of its focus on workforce development and forming solutions that center around skill development, particularly for technical and professional ones.
Have a more in-depth look at why Delaware is focusing on developing its workforce:
There's a discrepancy between the number of job seekers versus available job openings.
While many efforts are being made to train individuals for employment, some job openings in specific industries aren't a match for them to take advantage of. One way Delaware is combating this mismatch is by creating training and employment programs designed with the specific industry's needs in mind.
Students at the University of Wisconsin, for example, can pursue water-related studies across the university's 13 campuses. Upon graduation, a plethora of new talent will be added to the workforce to help meet the demand for skilled workers in the water sector. This is the type of model Delaware wants to replicate. Luckily, Delaware is home to a strong public research university, which would make this job matchmaking initiative easier to implement.
Skills need to be matched with available employment opportunities.
Since there's a discrepancy between job openings and job seekers, those looking for employment must be able to match their skills with the opportunities that are available to them.
New training programs centered on building upon technical skills are beneficial as job seekers search for employment. These programs will allow them to be better prepared to tackle the responsibilities of their new job since they're learning specific skills they'll need for their job and industry. Luckily, these programs will be plentiful in the next years as Delaware is working on workforce development.
Employees need to build their skills in preparation for employment.
The people of Delaware see a strong need for higher education opportunities, especially in the form of traditional classroom education. While the majority of jobs created in Delaware after the recession required a college degree, less than half of the state's working-age adults possessed two- or four-year degrees.
In other states like Washington, Complete Washington was created to delivers online degree programs to economically vulnerable populations. This program gives young adults access to upper education opportunities in which they can pursue a bachelor's degree.
In Delaware specifically, eligible high school graduates can obtain two-year degrees at Delaware Technical Community College or the University of Delaware through the SEED program and the INSPIRE scholarship. Both the program and scholarship offer significantly reduced tuition or a tuition-free education to students at these universities.
The workforce can further be developed through work-based learning approaches.
Like traditional classroom education, work-based learning programs allow members of the workforce to develop their skills further. These programs are especially helpful in Delaware's agricultural industry, where workforce development should also be active. Wisconsin's Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, for example, links current and aspiring farmers so they can share skills and knowledge with each other.
Although it may not seem like it, technology has come to play an essential role in the agriculture industry. This only shows that both traditional education and work-based learning programs are crucial to helping Delaware's workforce develop their skills to bring success to companies, businesses, and industries.
If you're currently searching for your next top talents, you may find them in Delaware where immense efforts are being made to enhance workforce development. Let ICS help guide you in your candidate search. We are committed to helping you meet the right person that fits your needs and expectations. Click below to explore our top candidate pool!