Statewide Solutions to Address Information Technology Industry Workforce Needs
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a series of investments totaling more than $7.8 million to address the workforce needs of the information technology industry. In preparing for these investments, the U.S. Department of Labor hosted forums with IT industry leaders, educators, and the public workforce system.
On February 26, 2004, ETA convened an IT Industry Executive Forum at CompTIA Headquarters in Oakbrook Terrace, IL. Executives representing 18 companies from sectors such as IT hardware, software, cross-industry end users, and service providers discussed a wide range of workforce issues concerning the information technology industry including the role for government in the IT industry's workforce initiatives, the need to develop the workforce soft skills, transferable IT skills, and the development of an industry competency model.
DOL has sought to understand and implement industry-identified strategies to confront critical workforce shortages. It has listened to employers, industry association representatives, and others associated with the information technology industry regarding some of their efforts to identify challenges and implement effective workforce strategies. DOL's Employment and Training Administration is supporting comprehensive business, education, and workforce development partnerships that have developed innovative approaches that address the workforce needs of business while also effectively helping workers find good jobs with good wages and promising career pathways in the information technology industry.
This set of workforce solutions is based on the information technology industry's priorities that address issues such as:
- Over 90% of IT workers are performing jobs outside the IT industry, therefore it is necessary to have both IT training and complementary training in a respective business sector such as health care, manufacturing, and financial services.
- Government may serve as an honest broker for specific issues such as promotion and image, forecasting the future of the workforce and their training needs.
- Educators should expose kids to the new dynamic, global workplace and teach more about today's business culture.
- Incumbent worker training has helped retain workers.
- When recruiting for high-end jobs, the industry sees a need to develop soft skills, as well as transferable "umbrella skills."
The grants are intended to provide genuine solutions, leadership, and models for partnerships that can be replicated in different parts of the country.