II. Workforce

Workforce: Enhance Skills and Earnings

This is the second section of the Cleveland Policy Platform

  • Create within the Ohio Skills Bank an explicitly targeted strategy for connecting disadvantaged residents with career pathways that are relevant to job needs in the region.
    • The Regional Talent Network (RTN) strives to promote systemic change that strengthens employers’ ability to fill high-demand positions while building the employability of Northeast Ohio workers. RTN is a collaborative effort between the State of Ohio, the Fund for Our Economic Future, and the metropolitan chambers of commerce of Northeast Ohio.
  • Adopt a competitive grant program modeled in part on the federal Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) program that focuses on preparing disadvantaged urban residents for jobs in growing regional sectors
  • Link workforce development training to regional economic development needs.  The state should rethink its approach to workforce development (re)training for low skilled, entry level workers by creating a career ladder initiative that looks at strategic, long-term regional labor market needs.  Career ladders typically outline the progression from entry level positions to higher levels of pay, skill, responsibility, or authority.
  • Although traditional manufacturing jobs have steadily declined over the last few decades, the advanced manufacturing industry has the potential to attract investments and create new job opportunities. To capitalize on this, skilled workers, especially those with a traditional manufacturing background, should be prepared to fully transition into identified advanced manufacturing sectors.
    • WIRE-Net focuses on strengthening Cleveland’s manufacturing sector by providing expertise to manufacturers in a number of different areas including the attraction, retention and development of top workforce talent to meet the demands of the advanced manufacturing sector.
  • Provide financial and technical assistance to build capacity of local One Stop shops and community-based groups, such as Chambers of Commerce and local non-profits, in core commutes to serve as intermediaries between employers and disadvantaged workers.
  • Give preference to state Workforce Investment Act (WIA) competitive grants and Request for Proposals (RFPs) for areas that demonstrate innovative strategies that foster meaningful collaborations and outreach to targeted populations. Unspent WIA funds should be quickly reallocated to other local providers who can assure that funds will be spent within required timelines and that local services are uninterrupted.

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