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  • Workforce Investment Board, TREO urge local businesses to form sector partnerships

    Sep 12, 2014 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Workforce Investment Board and Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO) brought local business, government, education and job training leaders together on Thursday, Sept. 11, to launch industry-driven partnerships to address workforce needs and explore common opportunities.
    Sector partnerships
    The gathering of about 100 people included Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, Supervisor Ramón Valadez, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart, Pima Community College Chancellor Lee Lambert and representatives from health and bioscience, aerospace and defense, manufacturing, infrastructure, and transportation and logistics companies and economic and workforce development groups.

    Lindsey Woolsey, a national expert on sector partnerships, told the group that sector partnerships involve companies within one industry coming together to work with educational institutions, government and workforce and economic development groups to address common needs and pursue common opportunities.

    “There are thousands of sector partnerships happening all over the country,” Woolsey said. “These partnerships show real results for the companies and their communities.”

    Lindsey WoolseyThese partnerships often come about to align education and training needs to meet industry needs for skilled employees, she said. But they have also explored common supply chain needs, sharing costs of distribution, and marketing and branding as a region.

    The Southern Arizona Manufacturing Partners is a local example of a sector partnership. With the assistance of the Pima County One-Stop Career Center, representatives of more than 20 manufacturing companies have come together to align curriculum at local high schools and Pima Community College and provide internships and training that lead to machining certificates and jobs.

    Participants in Thursday’s gathering met in industry-focused groups to talk about whether sector partnerships could benefit companies here. Many agreed that the need to replace skilled retiring employees created opportunities to create or improve education and training programs.

    Gregg Johnson, campus director at University of Phoenix and former chairman of the Workforce Investment Board, offered to make Woolsey’s consulting services available to any industry groups interested in forming sector partnerships.

    “The Workforce Investment Board will work with TREO and other groups to move this forward,” he said. “We’re willing to help.”

    Huckelberry told the group that getting “more people employed” and “more people employed in higher-wage jobs” is crucial to the region’s economic development.

    “We’re all in this together,” he said.

    The Pima County Workforce Investment Board is appointed by the Pima County Board of Supervisors to provide recommendations on local workforce policy and oversight of the Pima County One-Stop Career Center. The board includes representatives of local businesses, nonprofits and educational institutions.

    One-Stop works with employers in local growth, high-demand industry occupations to address their current and future workforce needs.

    For more information, please visit the Workforce Investment Board online.