Sector strategies are basic sector partnerships comprised of companies from the same industry that focus on a set of key workforce development issues or any issue related to an industry’s competitiveness, growth, retention and job creation.
Yavapai County’s foray into Sector Strategies began in 2014 as part of a state-wide effort. Spearheaded by the Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG) and under the guidance of the Yavapai County Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB), has identified its emerging sectors as Healthcare, Manufacturing, Tourism, and Construction, with the initial strategic thrust placed on Manufacturing.
Manufacturing continues to rank among the top (5) industries in the county as well as the number and quality of jobs created. However, the challenge remains to attract and retain skilled workers and provide specialized training when needed.
Two surveys (2015 and 2018) were conducted of Yavapai County manufacturers to determine the areas of most concern, and without a doubt, workforce and workforce development problems such as the inability to attract and retain skilled workers ranked among the highest. In these surveys, skilled worker availability and stability was rated as either Very Poor or Poor by over 50% of the respondents. The other problem facing employers is the quality of their current workforce and pool of potential employees available. “Employers often complain about issues such as employee’s lack of professionalism, poor job performance and attendance, lack of basic math, reading and problem solving skills as examples of the daily challenges they face managing their workforce,” said Teri Drew, Regional Director of NACOG, “Sector Strategies is one very effective way NACOG along with the Workforce Development Board can engage with manufacturers to provide assistance.
Yavapai County Local Workforce Development Board and NACOG work as a team to support the Manufacturing Sector Strategy efforts as part of a larger cross-program integration strategy with academia, various public and private sectors and economic development entities. NACOG’s Business Assistance Centers (BAC) located in Prescott and Cottonwood are invaluable in supporting manufacturers by providing services such as hosting job fairs, interviewing assistance for companies, job seekers’ workshops, initial employee screening, business space and general assistance to any job seeker and eliminating barriers to employment. “Yavapai County Workforce Development Board is proud of the work we do at our One-Stops” “Our goal is to help individuals in our community improve the quality of their lives by finding stable employment and also serving our manufacturers by helping to solve some of their workforce problems,” said Chairman Anita Payne, “It is important that both individuals and companies seeking assistance know that we are here to help!”
For more information about YAVAPAI@WORK and county services as well as the Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB), please visit us at www.nacog.org or contact us directly at 221 Marina Street, Ste 201, Prescott, AZ 86301, 928-778-1422.