Through education and training, workforce development drives the economy by investing resources in people rather than the businesses themselves. Workforce development aims to identify emerging needs, and accordingly train a productive workforce. It is crucial that we create workforce development systems to bridge the skills gap and ensure Americans can make use of the jobs created by energy clusters.
However, all-around reluctance — both political and commercial — to invest in human capital, particularly low-skilled workers, coupled with individuals’ minimal resources that render them averse or unable to invest in education themselves makes it all the more important that we devise productive systems of workforce development.
As the U.S. job market shifts toward more highly skilled manufacturing and service jobs, workforce development, either sector-based or industry-based, in our modern American economy is critical. Sector-based training with clusters will allow companies to find workers with appropriate skills for available jobs. An industry-based approach would include the development of training programs and industry partnerships. Examples of such industry-based workforce development programs include targeted education degrees, apprenticeship opportunities, partnership with cluster businesses and local community colleges, and public policy training.
Explore more best practice strategies for workforce development in our policy bank.