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After Cluster Analysis: Engaging the Community, Aligning Systems, Rewriting the Rules Scott Sheely Executive Director Lancaster County (PA) Workforce Investment

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  • After Cluster Analysis:Engaging the Community, Aligning Systems,Rewriting the Rules Scott SheelyExecutive DirectorLancaster County (PA) Workforce Investment Board

  • Industry Cluster AnalysisInvolved with industry cluster analysis since State-mandated strategic planning in 2000;Used Porters theoretical model and mostly anecdotal information to focus workforce investment planning;Never enough public money to do everything that needs to get done;

  • Industry Cluster AnalysisFive industries chosen as priority targets for workforce investment in Lancaster County;Health care;Construction;Food processing;Communications;Advanced manufacturing;

  • Industry Cluster AnalysisIn spring 2001, received a Community Audit Grant from the US Department of Labor to further study and develop metrics to validate the choice of clusters;Engaged Lee Munnich and the State and Local Policy Program at the HHH Institute at U of MN as consultant;Adopted the Understanding Your Industries model for analyzing ES 202 data;

  • Industry Cluster AnalysisGathered a Steering Committee to do local analysis;Academic economists;Economic development planners and statisticians;Private sector planning professionals;State economic and workforce development staff;

  • Industry Cluster AnalysisUsed closely supervised student interns from local universities to do the number crunching;Hired local business calling program from economic development to do qualitative follow-up to the statistical analysis;Steering Committee met three times to examine quantitative and qualitative information

  • Sharing the ResultsBegan sharing information as developed with representatives from key systems;Important organizations that are business intermediaries;Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry;County commissioners and staff;Economic Development Company;Higher education programs operating in County;Sixteen local school districts in County.

  • The ResultsOriginal five clusters retained but enhanced;More broadly conceived;Detailed data to support conclusions;Cluster snapshots to use with the general public.New clusters in automotive and biotechnology addedThirteen other clusters studied and rejected as priority hospitality, education, transportation, and others

  • The ResultsResearch took the next step of identifying the career ladders that support each cluster and the skills, knowledge and abilities that support the various career ladders;This work is underway and should be finished by the end of 2003.

  • During the YearsAs the information was shared and analyzed,As people felt more and more comfortable with the common sense nature of the process,As consensus built around cluster priorities,Things began happening

  • Among our Business PartnersOur planning partners from business began suggesting some specific interventions that would be helpful in their industries;In 2001, began a major regional (ten county) initiative with 35 partners from the health care industry to increase the supply of trained health care workers using the CareerLink system as a primary broker for people needing a connection to education and employment;

  • Among our Business PartnersIn late 2002, responded to the need for more skilled tradespeople in the construction industry by forming a regional initiative with Associated Builders and Contractors, six local homebuilder associations, and the PA Homebuilders Association by putting together a regional consortium to recruit people for the construction industry using a television media campaign;

  • Among our Business PartnersIn 2003, used a Stay! Invent the Future grant to study the needs of the manufacturing community for more skilled workers to fill the technology jobs being created in that sector;Major regional initiative being planned with three workforce investment boards, two manufacturers associations, five Chambers of Commerce, and seven training institutions

  • In Economic DevelopmentLocal economic development planners began using the locally-developed industry cluster priorities in business attraction and investment programs;Lancaster County Planning Commission wrote priority clusters into County plan;Local workforce and economic development partners working on common measures of economic development progress.

  • In EducationThe Lancaster County Career and Technology Center (vocational-technical school) aligned its curriculum into clusters paralleling those of the Board;The School District of Lancaster retooled its Small Learning Communities format for curriculum organization into programs that align with the Board priorities.

  • In Local GovernmentIn early June, the Lancaster County Commissioners called all of these groups together to announce publicly that the five (now six) industry cluster priorities identified by the Workforce Investment Board would be priorities for the County for the next five years.

  • What Happened?By having the five major systemic players business and industry, workforce development, economic development, education, and local government involved in the analysis of the industry cluster data, we engaged key people and developed allies in systems beyond our own;

  • What Happened?By sharing the results of our analysis broadly, we allowed policymakers from all five systems to contribute to the development of a shared vision;By communicating that shared vision throughout the community with the data to back it up, we developed area-wide consensus about the common sense of the vision;

  • What Happened?As consensus developed, changes began happening.At the policy levelEndorsement of CommissionersChanges in State policy around fundingLocal Board priorities into contracting processesAt the planning levelRegional approaches where clusters replace geographyCurricula are realigned and plans change

  • What Happened?Most importantly, service delivery systems have changedIn Lancaster County, everything we do in the delivery of workforce and economic development services now has a cluster emphasis;Cooperative projects among systems;Planning drives service delivery;Service delivery is responsive to the needs of our customers in the business community;Industry-led consortia have changed the way we deliver service.

  • What Happened?Who would have thought thatData could drive policy development;Policy could drive planning;Planning could drive a rethinking of the structure and content of service delivery systems in workforce development, economic development, and in education.

  • A ModelRun the numbers and process the data;Engage actors from the five system players in the analysis of the dataBusiness and industryWorkforce developmentEconomic developmentEducationLocal government;

  • A ModelShare the analysis broadly and listen to the response;Develop a shared vision and talk about it with all of the involved parties;Push for bringing this vision into the planning that drives changes in the service delivery system and look for opportunities that develop;Listen to your business and community partners;Drive changes in your own system.

  • ContactScott SheelyExecutive DirectorLancaster County Workforce Investment Board313 W. Liberty St., Suite 114Lancaster, PA [email protected]

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