||How will we prepare our workforce for
information age jobs?
Many organizations participate in workforce development -- high
schools, community colleges, technical schools, employers, government
agencies, workforce development boards, temporary agencies, and job
seekers. The Web can be a valuable tool for linking these
organizations together. The best solution has to be local, helping
local job seekers, employers, and training institutions connect to each
The ideal workforce development website would have the following
|Information about careers, local pay ranges, and skill requirements.|
|A directory of local training institutions and career counselors.|
|A unified catalog of classes, searchable by location and career
|Where to go for financial aid and how to apply.|
|Local job listings and staffing organizations.|
There are already some websites that help meet these needs.
ERISS has created USWorks,
a national database with regional salary data and listings of training
institutions, job openings and more. The database has detailed
data for 26 regions, most in California, Florida, Virginia and
Texas. Communities can contact ERISS to learn how to increase the
number of listings for their region.
Four counties in southwest Florida have partnered to create the
Alliance of Educational Leaders and a workforce development portal - SW
Florida Education Works. The portal links to a wide variety of
regional resources, including the still-developing Southwest
Florida Career and Service Center.
Rural California's Tulare County has created Climb
the Job Tree, a one-stop job and training information
website. The site includes information on public transportation,
child care, and services for the differently-abled.
Lincoln, Nebraska has LincolnJobs.com,
a nice website for listing and searching for metro area jobs. The
site also has information on relocating to Lincoln, and a link to a
salary comparison tool on Homefair.com.
If you earn $100,000/yr. in Lincoln, you would need to earn $239,742 in
Menlo Park, CA to afford a comparable home. Ouch.
These are all good examples of what can be done through
partnerships. But creating a good website is less than half the
battle. Communities have to reach out to job seekers, employers,
schools, and service organizations to tell them about the site and get job
seekers to use it. Libraries, training institutions, and public
agencies should pass out information on the site and provide public access
computers where people can do their research in private.