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Workforce Development Boards

Business Engagement Committee

Under the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA), Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) have a renewed focus with respect to business engagement in several key areas including: 1) regional coordination via sector strategies, sector initiatives and delivery of workforce services based on data (e.g., labor market information); 2) a greater alignment with economic development and education to drive a collective response to labor market challenges; and 3) prioritization of an employer-centric system: employer engagement strategies to strengthen business services.

A promising practice to ensure a WDB’s business engagement initiatives are strategically focused is through a high performing Business Engagement Committee that develops a comprehensive Business Engagement Strategic Plan (BEP) to provide clear direction and improve the engagement of regional business and industry. Engagement is defined as a customer (of government-funded services), as a partner (in sector strategies and work-based learning), and as a funder (such as social enterprises and in-kind contribution).

Business U recommends the following strategies to develop an effective Business Engagement Committee:

  • Business members should come from a cross representation of the region’s high growth sectors.
  • Focus on analyzing Voice of the Customer (VOC) data to validate secondary data on sector needs and trends.
  • Develop no more than three overarching goals that builds market position for the WDB and advances sector strategies and work-based learning opportunities.
  • Use a scorecard that aligns with the overarching goals to identify challenges and measure success.
  • Clearly define agendas that provide staff timeframes to complete work and report back.

Let Business U help you design a high performing Business Engagement Committee. Our Business Engagement Orientation provides a WDB and its committee members with a comprehensive three-year roadmap that supports their understanding of WIOA business engagement expectations and the components needed to develop an effective BEP. Contact us for more information and to receive Business U’s Business Engagement Strategic Plan template.

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