The Chmura team recently attended the 2013 National Association of Workforce Boards Forum held in Washington DC. The event was well-attended by both public and private sector organizations including workforce development agencies, their board leadership, key staff members and community partners such as economic developers, educators, businesses, and elected officials. This year’s big buzz was around businesses-critical and ever-changing need for talent. Workforce Investment Boards and others are talking, now more than ever, about their need to become more relevant to the business community. To accomplish that, thought leaders are placing a lot of emphasis on the importance of quality, insightful labor market data to shape the strategic direction for WIBs. Even more exciting was the conversation around the need to connect workforce planning with the larger regional goals of the communities.
This year’s theme “Dialogue for Workforce Excellence” got to the heart of the matter and the need for workforce development agencies to innovate and deliver relevant programs to support the needs of business and industry. One speaker built upon that by giving the audience a cautious reminder that “innovation has no value until a customer stands beside it.” The lunch speakers were characteristically amazing and included the inspirational Bill Strickland, President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and the insightful Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup. Jim remarked that customers create jobs and not vice versa.
We met hundreds of passionate professionals, learned a lot and relished the opportunity to share our own labor marketing information solution, JobsEQ. Thanks to those who stopped and chatted with Chris Chmura and Leslie Peterson at our booth.
We hope you’ll take an opportunity to check out the NAWB Forum 2013 program site (post-conference material is available now) and leave you with the following ruminations.
- Collaboration is no longer an option—it’s the new normal.
- Leadership is critical and the only way to affect real change in systems.
- Passion without planning is like nailing JELLO to a brick wall.
- Technology and big data has the potential to transform the way WIBs operate and affect change in their communities.
We’ve got an incredible opportunity to get this one right and we’re committed to contributing to the solution.