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Clackamas Workforce Partnership

Clackamas Q and A

by Bridget Dazey

Clackamas Q and A

Bridget Dazey, Executive Director for Clackamas Workforce Partnership, opens a year-long series of blogs entitled “Clackamas Q&A” to highlight workforce development in our county & region.

Question: What are the biggest challenges facing employers in hiring?

Answer: One of our biggest challenges will be the skill set divide. If our educational institutions are not preparing its students to be competitive in the world of work, we have to ask ourselves “is there a better way?” With every industry vying for talent, workers will be able to write their ticket to any job of their choosing - as long as their skills are easy to recognize and demonstrate. The workforce system, in partnership with economic development and education, can create a no-wrong-door approach and reduce the numbers of job seekers, youth and businesses that could slip through the cracks.

Question: How do you see work changing?

Answer: The shift was subtle at first, then picked up momentum with new developments in technology. It is clear - automation will displace workers, especially those at the entry-level or minimum wage workers. Having more recognized or demonstrable skills will help workers find their way in new industries or occupations. Our economy will still host full-time and part-time jobs, AND people will find more opportunities to cobble together “gigs”. It’s never too early to start identifying what you are good at, what you like to do and how you give to the world around you. “Turns out 85% of manufacturing jobs were lost to automation rather than off-shoring.” (John Kerry @ Davos).

Question: What are the biggest challenges facing job training programs and workforce development sectors?

Answer: Funding and time seem like the obvious answers, but I would argue our relevance in the community should be a no-brainer. We just have to work better together as a SYSTEM. If our programs do not connect the dots for people and ultimately mean more job placements, again, we get to ask ourselves, “is there a better way?” Not one program or entity can be all things to all people; that’s the power of the SYSTEM approach. Budget cuts and the lack of a shared, centralized information hub to speed up intake and slow down errors and waste are two big challenges facing job training programs and the workforce sector region wide.

Questions or Comments? Tweet us @_C_W_P or like us on Facebook @ClackamasWorkforce

Posted on May 9, 2017 in Clackamas Q & A.

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Clackamas Workforce Partnership, formerly known as Workforce Investment Council of Clackamas County, is a nonprofit organization which serves as an advocate for workforce development within Clackamas County and the State of Oregon. Our mission is to address critical workforce, educational, and training challenges, and develop a skilled workforce that meets the needs of businesses and strengthens the local economy of Clackamas County. Learn more about us.