Workforce Development Strategies

Date: September 27-28, 2018
Location: Atlanta, GA

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Skilled workers are the backbone of a productive and efficient economy. This versatile course explains the strong relationship between economic and workforce development through case studies, practical examples, and current research. Course participants will learn what programs currently leverage federal, state, and local financial resources to support workforce development. Learn about what collaborative programs will help upgrade the skills of your community's existing workforce. Other topics of discussion will include: talent attraction, K-12 development and integration, occupational analysis, target industry clusters, and more.


Course Highlights:

• Reviewing the core components of the workforce development system
• Availability of funding sources at the local, state and federal levels
• Accessing Department of Labor grants and initiatives (e.g., WIRED)
• Understanding occupational data analysis and career pathways
• Assessing qualifications, skills and abilities of current workforce
• Recruitment and retention of a skilled labor force
• The role of higher education in workforce and economic development
• New alliances, new models and best practices in regional & local initia



8:30 am - 9:00 am


9:00 am - 10:30 am

Introduction: Why Workforce? Why now?

This session will focus on the connection between workforce and economic development and their relationship to regional competitiveness and wealth creation. Getting the workforce component right is one of the most important aspects in a globally competitive world and an economy increasingly driven by knowledge and innovation. Workforce is the primary concern of businesses when looking to re/locate in any area and increasingly more important than some traditional ED factors. Discussions will include why workforce development is important for economic developers as well as how workforce development is related to business retention, attraction and entrepreneurship activities - the three-legged stool of economic development.

10:45 am - 12:15 pm

Understanding the Workforce System

This session introduces the attendees to the workforce system and how economic developers can apply it to their benefit. The workforce system and its ability to evolve and adapt to the emerging trends will also be a factor in the regional competitiveness of communities. Topics will include:

a. Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Workforce Investment Boards, how they work and why it is critical to understand and engage in this system (30 mins)
b. Actors and their roles in the System (federal, state, regional, local, educational institutions, unions) (30 mins)
c. Workforce Categories: Emerging, Transitional, Incumbent, Talent, Retirees/Free Agents (30 mins)

12:015 pm - 1:30 pm

Lunch on your own

1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

The Role of the Economic Developer in the Workforce System - Talent Recruitment and Retention

Part II:
a. How economic developers can be actively engaged in talent recruitment and retention?
b. How can we build relationships and partnerships within the community of the creative class?

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Role of the Economic Developer in the Workforce System - Challenges and Opportunities to Alignment

Traditionally economic developers and workforce developers approach the same issues from different perspectives. Sometimes it is as if we speak different language, live in different geographies and follow different clocks. The challenge is creating common ground for increased effectiveness. This session will discuss the role of the economic developer in the workforce development system.

Part I:
c. What's the role of the ED practitioner in the workforce system?
d. Where do workforce and economic development activities align?
e. What are the opportunities for collaboration between economic and workforce development?
f. What are the challenges and obstacles to collaboration?

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Interactive Workforce Development Discussion

9:00 am - 10:30 am

Integrating Workforce Development into Economic Development and Innovation Strategies

Traditionally workforce development and economic development strategies have operated in silos, with economic development strategies focusing on targeting businesses and industries, and workforce strategies focusing on human development. This session will explore the merger of these two fields and will outline strategies directed at different types of workers that can aid in spurring local and regional innovation.

10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Accessing Workforce Resources to meet Economic Development Goals

In this session, participants will learn how to navigate the workforce system to access resources for economic development purposes. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA's) Workforce Innovation for Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Initiative has helped to integrate workforce and economic development throughout 39 different regions in the country. Also, this session will provide an overview of workforce data and statistics that will help economic development professionals understand measure and impact their community's workforce readiness.

12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Lunch on your own

1:15 pm - 2:45 pm

Understanding Occupational Analysis

Clusters have evolved into a complex facet of economic development. Cluster development is now becoming an integral strategy in the ongoing merger of workforce and economic development. This session will explore cutting edge cluster strategies used in addressing the workforce challenges as part of an economic development agenda.

3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

New Alliances, New Models: Best Practices in State and Local Initiatives

This session provides an overview of best practices between economic development and workforce development programs. Attendees will learn how economic development strategies can integrate workforce development as an important component. Examples include:

1. Organizational approaches to integrating workforce and economic development such as merging workforce and economic development departments or creating a new organization that addresses workforce and economic development issues under one roof
2. Economic development departments working directly with an educational institution(s) to meet workforce development needs/goals

4:15 pm - 4:30 pm

Wrap-up and Certificates

* Agenda subject to change

**PLEASE NOTE: In order to receive full IEDC certification credit for this course and a certificate indicating course completion, participants must attend the entire course and stay through the final session on the last day. Please make travel plans accordingly.**



Vernon J. Gerth, CEcD
Assistant City Administrator for Community & Economic Development
City of Franklin, TN

Vernon serves the City of Franklin, TN as Assistant City Administrator for Community & Economic Development. He has over 30 years of community and economic development experience and has also served the cities of Kenosha, Wisconsin and Vernon Hills, Illinois. Prior to pursuing a career in public service, Vernon spent 14 years working in the construction industry as a project manager.

Vernon’s primary responsibilities include managerial oversight of Franklin’s development services and support of the Planning & Sustainability, Engineering, and Building & Neighborhood Services Departments.

Vernon recognizes that Franklin is a special place that offers a very desirable quality of life. He understands the value placemaking has in economic development and embraces the philosophy that public input is essential to preserving a community’s heritage while employing community planning best practices to encourage quality, sustainable development that enhances its economic well-being and quality of life.

Vernon received his BA and MBA from Concordia University – Wisconsin and has achieved the designations of Credential Manager from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and Certified Economic Developer from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

Diane Lupke, CEcD, FM, HLM
Lupke & Associates

Ms. Diane Lupke, CEcD, FM is President of Lupke & Associates, Inc., Consultants in Community Economic Development. Lupke & Associates, Inc. is a consulting firm specializing in market-based solutions for communities in economic transition. Since its founding in 1990, Ms. Lupke, her Associations, and Staff have helped more than 100 communities to identify niche opportunities, build consensus, and transform lagging economies with “new economy” methods.

Ms. Lupke is an authority on the use of enterprise zones and other special tools for development, and she has twenty-five years experience in designing and implementing development strategies. Lupke & Associates has earned distinction for its work with distressed communities that face particular challenges: urban neighborhoods, struggling downtowns, and isolated rural economies. Ms. Lupke has been an active member of IEDC and its predecessor organization CUED since the mid-1980s and has served on the Board of Directors of both organizations. Ms. Lupke holds a BA from Earlham College and the MPA degree from Indiana University. She is on the Board of Advisors for the Local Policy Journal based in the United Kingdom and co-author of the OECD publication “Entrepreneurship: A Catalyst for Urban Regeneration”.

John P. Metcalf
Workforce Systems Associates

Residing in Charlotte, North Carolina, John P. Metcalf has been involved in solving workforce development challenges for over 20 years. First as a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board, where he served as the Vice-chair; then as a senior partner with the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce; consultant with Coffey Consulting and Thomas P. Miller and Associates, National Association of Workforce Boards, and now as president, Workforce Systems Associates. Workforce Systems Associates leads workforce, education, and community visioning efforts engaging community stakeholders to create strategies that build on a new vision.

John Metcalf brings outstanding private industry experience coupled with public consulting work related to workforce investment and economic development, including sector strategies, regional community planning, strategic planning, and leadership development. John continues to create innovative integration strategies for workforce, economic, and education development at the community level.

John has worked in 43 states at both the state and local levels helping stakeholders create and implement workforce and community planning policies and strategies. With his experience in working with over 200 boards, he is called on to provide insight on what matters to move communities forward and overcoming workforce challenges.

Before his involvement with solving community workforce challenges, John spent 30 years at AT&T in a broad range of sales, marketing, and executive leadership positions allowing him to bring a business focus to workforce, economic, and community planning. In his last AT&T assignment, John served as General Manager Business Network Sales for North and South Carolina where he oversaw a revenue stream of $1.3B and a workforce of 300 sales and technical professionals


Accommodations/Training Location

Hyatt Regency Atlanta
265 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (888) 421-1442

IEDC Room Rate: $201 single/double
Group Rate Cutoff: September 5, 2018

Book your room




By August 17

August 18 - September 14

*After September 14

IEDC Member








Full Time Student**




*Walk-in registrations will be accepted. Full payment must be made on-site in order to attend the course.
** Copy of current transcript required.

Refunds less a $60 cancellation fee will be issued for all cancellations received in writing to fax: (202) 223-4745 or email: at least 10 business days prior to the course - please allow 3-4 weeks. All registrations regardless of payment status are subject to the $60 cancellation fee. No refunds or credit transfers to a future course will be issued for cancellations received within 10 business days of the course. Telephone cancellations are not accepted. Attendee substitutions for a course may be made at any time prior to the course.