The shape of the workforce and state of the economy is changing. Businesses are often asked to do more with less, while education and workforce institutions are tasked with a deeper engagement of industry partners. Business leaders and community partners around the region are rising to the challenge. Healthcare and manufacturing are two highly impactful, rapidly growing industries not just locally, but nationally, and globally. Key stakeholders in industry, along with workforce, economic development, and education partners identified these two industries to develop Next Generation Industry Sector Partnerships in West Central Texas.
Next Generation Sector Partnerships are collaborative efforts to address workforce needs and opportunities to remain competitive within a single industry and shared labor market. Strong sector partnerships require commitment and leadership from businesses to work with support partners in education, workforce development, economic development, and community organizations. It is also crucial for support partners to enter the partnership with a listening ear, willingness to receive feedback, and readiness to take action on provided feedback.
The video below provides additional details on the purpose and goals of Next Generation Industry Sector Partnerships.
Work got underway in 2016, and the official launch of this initiative was held on January 24th and 25th, 2017 when employers from across the region in manufacturing and health care industries participated in an Employer Roundtable. This meeting allowed employers an opportunity to: identify common industry priorities, address issues related to shared vitality, create solutions to similar pressing issues, and more! Community partners in education, economic development, and community organizations also attended the Employer Roundtable as "listeners" in order to better understand what businesses in the region identify as priorities.
Since the partnerships were launched in 2017, follow-up phone conferences, quarterly meetings, and networking events have been held. Thanks to the support of Educate Texas, meetings were facilitated by a professional from The Woolsey Group. Established priorities in healthcare and manufacturing are below. The manufacturing partnership has grown into the Big Country Manufacturing Alliance. Learn more about the activities currently underway!
The partnerships focus on key impact areas where business leaders in the region see the most opportunity for growth. The following items have been identified as priorities for each industry to begin taking action around a shared commitment to addressing workforce and other competitiveness needs.