You can save training costs by connecting with other businesses in your area that have similar training needs. Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) facilitate these connections to maximize the productivity and success of businesses in their region.
What are Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs)?
WIBs are part of the Public Workforce System, a network of federal, state, and local offices that support economic expansion and develop the talent of the nation’s workforce.
State and local WIBs serve as connectors between the U.S. Department of Labor and more than 2,500 local American Job Centers that deliver services to workers and employers. The WIBs’ role is to develop regional strategic plans and set funding priorities for their area.
Think of your local WIB as your link to the public workforce system. As one of their many functions, many WIBs facilitate partnerships between local businesses with similar training needs. WIBs also rely on labor market information to develop sector strategies that focus resources on a particular high growth industry for their area, often involving skill training for local businesses.
More than 50 percent of each WIB’s members must come from the business community. In addition, WIBs are required to have representation from local community colleges and other training providers, as well as elected officials and workforce program leaders. This ensures that current skill needs of local businesses are communicated to relevant training programs.
A successful WIB partnership
Through their local WIB, Tacoma, Washington area manufacturers collaborated with their local college to develop a manufacturing skills training program.
“The net result is that we enjoyed 50% growth in the midst of a recession, we were able to keep people on the job – in fact we were able to hire. It all began with Workforce Investment dollars that were channeled into that community.”
Tacoma-Pierce County, Washington WIB Chair Eric Hahn, VP of Human Resources for General Plastics
For more on this story, watch this video.
Learn more and get involved
Your local WIB wants to hear from you—to learn about your workforce training needs, growth opportunities and challenges, and ways you’d like to partner. Some ways to connect and learn more:
- Locate your local WIB to learn about available services and how to join.
- Learn more about WIBs through the National Association of Workforce Boards.
- Read about WIB success stories and innovations.
- Start your workforce planning now with this regional map.
Want to learn more about business partnerships and other workforce issues? Contact your local American Job Center and connect with a Business Services Representative or other resources that can help.