Creating a workforce development program that works in the United States is challenging for many reasons. Oftentimes, when I look for information on best practices for implementing workforce development for the ongoing electrification of power generation in the United States, I unearth examples of workforce development being created in a developing country far from the shores of the United States.
Such a resource is limited in scope as to the applications that align within the economy of scale within the United States.
Unlike a developing country, the United States is complex because infrastructure exists for every good and service you may want. However, some rural communities fit the description of a developing economy but are mired in regulations for existing entities outside of their community.
The first data point in project creation is to decide if the community is an established or developing economy. Determining the state of a communities economy is complex, but a quick way to determine if a community has an established or developing economy is to review the available businesses. Excluding a gas company, a community with a franchise in operation points to a more established economy. Communities where individual-owned businesses are still viable are developing economies.
When creating the workforce development program, things to consider are that with an established economy, the training may require a focus on retraining the existing workforce for new technology. Meanwhile, in a developing economy, the training will focus on basic work skills and new technology training, and sometimes there may be a need for both.
A second data point is immediate upon determining if the community is an established or developing economy. If the economy is established, then project creation must pivot to understand that entities already perform some of this work.
In either scenario, the first step in creating a workforce development program in the United States is to identify what businesses exist near the community where the program will be implemented that might be a valued partner. A partner is any business, organization, or group that will directly benefit from the graduates of the program.
Identifying early on who those businesses are will help to uncover more opportunities.
A possible employer of graduates may sponsor the program and help provide attendees with a better workshop experience by providing extra financial support for course room amenities or providing a presentation.
Once partners are identified, the location for the workshop can be set. There are different mindsets when it comes to developing a course. Today’s students do better with individual course learning systems than in the past, and other
students may still prefer a traditional classroom setting. Regardless, you can still find businesses that will create a SCORM LMS or Sharable Content Object Reference Model Learning Management Systems with your direction and information for your learning courses. Alternatively, you can build a SCORM-capable LMS module if you have the capacity. A few of these companies that handle SCORM LMS include
An LMS vendor may partner with you to create the workforce development course material. An opportunity for change may be available; inquire if the creating vendor will be open to offering the course material at a discounted rate to other nonprofits working similarly with communities outside of your coverage area. If they say yes, you can inform colleagues or a coalition that a SCORM LMS for a given topic is available. Anytime we can share our workforce development material, it is a win for everyone.
In the United States, the success of a workforce development program is contingent not only on the support of government bodies but also on the support of existing business partners.
Workforce development programs positively change communities for years to come. A consideration is to request a follow-up with participants of the courses at 6 months and 12 months after course completion. These times may reveal the need for additional support services for future courses.