Team PA and the Departments of Community & Economic Development (DCED) and Labor & Industry (L&I) collaborated to bring the Next Generation Sector Partnership Academy to State College on September 21st and 22nd. Over 500 attendees from Pennsylvania education, workforce development, economic development and community organizations gathered at the Next Generation Sector Partnership Academy to learn how to take these partnerships to the next level. The Academy was designed for regional teams of 6-10 leaders. It was strongly recommended regions attend as teams to get the most out of the Academy. Highlights of the Academy included:

  • Practical tips for building and sustaining next generation sector partnerships;
  • Facilitated opportunities for regional teams to make a shared plan of action;
  • A panel of industry leaders panel discussing what makes them get – and stay – involved;
  • A hands-on, simulated launch meeting; and
  • Tips on how to convert existing Industry Partnerships to the Next Generation model.

Regions across the country and Pennsylvania are experimenting with strategies for aligning workforce and economic development to more effectively engage with and respond to the needs of industry. With the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), regions are looking to align their workforce and economy development efforts around the needs of the economy. This nationally benchmarked model of industry-led sector partnerships mobilizes a critical mass of business leaders from a specific sector to work collaboratively to address the competitiveness needs of their industry.

This work began in December 2016 and January 2017, when Team PA worked with DCED and L&I to convene regional summits in each of the 10 Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (PREP) in Pennsylvania. The summits served as an introduction into the Next Generation Sector Partnerships model. Building on the ten summits, many regions asked for further in-depth training and technical assistance to build capacity among regional teams to launch and sustain Next Generation Sector Partnerships. Team PA, DCED and L&I were happy to oblige and thus planned the Next Generation Sector Partnership Academy. Learn more about Next Generation Sector Partnerships here.