Workforce development systems encompass much more than traditional employment training. They include an array of strategies that address industry needs and ensure career advancement opportunities. Workforce development requires the engagement of employers, community networks and agencies, and government. Recognizing the current momentum to improve conditions for the most vulnerable job seekers, this two-day event was an opportunity to hear from two New Yorkers — Angie Kamath and David S. Berman — who helped lead the approach to innovative sectoral employment and training strategies that have shaped NYC’s workforce development system. Panels were moderated by noted workforce development expert Sheila Maguire. Sector-Based Workforce Development was presented by the Metcalf Foundation, the Intergovernmental Committee for Economic and Labour Force Development, and the Toronto Workforce Innovation Group.
A New York City Perspective
Thursday, February 12, 2015 9:30am – 12:30pm
This session focussed on approaches undertaken, by practitioners and policymakers, under both the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations. The discussion highlighted New York City’s emphasis on integrating investments in workforce activities across city agencies, connecting hiring and training opportunities to economic development investments, working with employers to meet their talent needs, and improving human resource practices in low-wage sectors.
Strategies and Learnings
Thursday, February 12, 2015 2:30pm – 5:00pm
The focus of this session was employment approaches to workforce development being adopted in the U.S. by local and state government agencies, community-based organizations, labour and management partnerships, and community colleges. The presentation included an in-depth analysis of Per Scholas, an organization that runs a national workforce development program focused on IT industries.
Learning and Leadership
Friday, February 13, 2015 9:00am – 4:00pm
This day was for leaders in the non-profit sector who manage both strategic and operational responsibilities. There was discussion about New York City’s innovative sector-based strategies. Ideas and implications for Toronto were explored. Participants had an opportunity to develop their leadership skills and identify the tactics required to advance sector-based approaches that can improve low-wage workers economic mobility and stability.