As a result of the work of Minnesota’s Itasca Project, a cross-section of Minnesota leaders from industry, government, education, philanthropy, and community organizations formed the Workforce Alignment Committee to identify solutions to Minnesota’s growing labor force shortage concerns. The Workforce Alignment committee was motivated by conversations with employers who said that they couldn’t find the talent they need and concerns that job seekers continued to struggle to find work. The Workforce Alignment Committee identified a need to work across the sectors that impact supply and demand, engaging academic leaders, faculty, employers, workforce and economic development planners, and career counselors to develop a common understanding of the issues impacting labor force alignment and begin working towards common solutions.
The Workforce Alignment Committee brought together leaders from all sectors to identify potential causes of and remedies for these persistent challenges. Participating in focus groups and surveys, these leaders provided critical insights into the workings of our state’s labor force system. The Committee analyzed multiple programs designed to prepare Minnesota workers for high wage / high demand occupations and best practices were highlighted. Additionally, programs and initiatives across the US were reviewed for possible replication. The Committee put forth two recommendations following these analyses: Identify a means of providing more immediate, comprehensive, and job specific labor market data to inform service and decision-making across the state. Identify or form an organization focused solely on labor force alignment with the ability to work across and between the different sectors of the talent ecosystem.