U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D. C. 20210
November 7, 1995
|DIRECTIVE||:||TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION NOTICE NO. 12-95|
|TO||:||ALL STATE JTPA LIAISONS
ALL STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY ADMINISTRATORS
ALL STATE WORKER ADJUSTMENT LIAISONS
|FROM||:||BARBARA ANN FARMER
for Regional Management
|SUBJECT||:||Facing the Future: Private Industry Councils in the '90s|
Purpose. To announce publication of a new study on Private Industry Councils (PICs) and their evolution into workforce development boards.
>Background. Legislation currently under consideration to restructure the nation's employment and training system assigns an important role to "workforce development boards," private-sector-led bodies similar to existing Private Industry Councils but with expanded powers and purview. During the upcoming transition to a new workforce development system, one of ETA's challenges will be to oversee the successful evolution of PICs into these new boards.
A new study by the National Association of Private Industry Councils (NAPIC) demonstrates that some PICs are already pursuing new approaches to meeting the workforce needs of their local communities. The experiences of these "cutting edge" PICs can serve as models to states and localities as they begin to put in place the more consolidated, customer-oriented employment and training institutions envisioned in the proposed legislation.
Lessons Learned. Facing the Future: Private Industry Councils in the '90s examines five representative PICs that have altered their missions and goals, their client and program mix, and their operational strategies in response to changing workforce demands brought on by such factors as technological advances and corporate downsizing. Included are profiles of the PICs in Quincy, MA; New Haven, CT; Kankakee Valley, IN; Sunnyvale, CA; and Eugene, OR.
As the study notes, these PICs exhibit common characteristics which distinguish them from traditional PICs and make them more viable in today's job training environment. Among these common traits are a strong identification with the local business community and a belief that employers are their customers, trainees their product. These PICs seek to serve a client base beyond the adult disadvantaged jobseeker and as a result are involved in mainstream education and training institutions, school-to-work programs, business-education partnerships, and business-led school reform. Support of local economic development efforts is high on their list of priorities as is the active pursuit of multiple funding sources.
The manner in which these PICs have implemented their agenda varies. Some have taken what the study's author Joseph Fischer calls the "supermarket" approach--offering a wide range of services to as broad a client base as possible through diverse funding sources and fee-for-service arrangements. They cater to their business customers and are very much a part of the local business culture. Others have taken a "mall manager" approach, assuming the role of planners, facilitators, program coordinators, and overseers. These PICs see their strength in their ability to expedite negotiations and resolve conflicts among program managers. They prefer to relinquish direct control over programs.
The study concludes that if PICs are to continue to effectively provide employment and training services to America's workforce in the twenty-first century, they must follow the lead of these cutting-edge examples. Congress is preparing to make major changes in the nation's workforce development system--changes that will compel all PICs to reexamine their reason for existence, identify their basic strengths within the context of their business community, lobby for increased status among state and local policymakers, and create new programs to prepare disadvantaged and dislocated workers to succeed in the labor market. Only then, the study contends, will PICs be in a position to deal with the workforce challenges of the future.
Distribution. NAPIC has distributed one copy of Facing the Future to each PIC and State Job Training Coordinating Council free of charge. Additional copies are available for a small fee from NAPIC, 1201 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 289-2950.
Action Required. None.
Attachment. Facing the Future: Private Industry Councils in the '90s.
NOTE: Attachment(s) not available to DMS