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Northeast Indiana receives $1.7+ million in Strategic Skills Initiative funding June 7, 2006

Posted by Tom in Community, Economic Development, Innovation, Technology, WIRED, Workforce.

Indiana Workforce Development today began the process of announcing their awards in the Innovating Indiana Strategic Skills Initiative program (SSI). The northeast Indiana region (called Economic Growth Region 3, or EGR-3) was awarded over $1.7 million in new workforce funding for six targeted projects over a two-year period.

Similar to the US Department of Labor’s WIRED or the High Growth Job Training Initiative, SSI is a demand-driven workforce program. In a demand-driven model, workforce planning is aligned as close to economic development goals as possible. Rather than focussing on the supply side of the equation (the available and emerging workforce), demand-driven programming focusses on the demand side (the employers of the workforce). SSI is predicated on the theory that Indiana has high-wage, high-skilled jobs that the existing workforce cannot fill – forcing companies to spend inordinate amounts of money trying to lure people to the state or forcing them to leave the state altogether to go where the workforce resides.

In addition to identifying these critical shortages, regions had to identify the root cause reasons for the shortages and then develop innovative solutions to the shortages by addressing the root cause issues.

I was hired by my regional Workforce Investment Board to manage the SSI project in Northeast Indiana, and I hope to share much of what I know about this bleeding-edge workforce program with you readers. In fact, Convergence was created because of the amazing research uncovered in the SSI process…there was so much to share that I had to find a vehicle!

There is much more to write about SSI, but I’ll leave you with a few links for now. Expect much, much more in the days ahead!



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