The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which was signed into law in 2014, envisions strong partnerships between local workforce development areas and local economic development agencies.

Local workforce boards are encouraged to collaborate with their economic development partners in the implementation of WIOA. 

Promoting Your Community's Prosperity

The reason to partner with your local stakeholders and your economic development leaders is that you are all working toward the common goal of fulfilling your community's vision for its prosperity. 

Economic development focuses primarily on recruiting new, expanding or relocating firms into your region.  But, growing local businesses and retaining local businesses is also a goal of workforce development, because it ensures that there is job growth or solid employment prospects with expanding and thriving local businesses.

Adding Value to Your Planning Efforts

There are numerous reasons for local workforce areas to collaborate with their economic development partners, including local chambers of commerce.  Among them are:

  • Engaging in sector strategies

  • Conducting regional planning

  • Gathering local wisdom about labor market trends in the area

  • Learning about business practices, and employer expectations

  • Finding out about industry events and conditions

  • Tapping data on building permits, expansions, unused facilities and utilities

  • Staying up-do-date on new business recruitment efforts and relocating companies

  • Understanding the business establishment tax and incentive environment

  • Getting the word out on how you can assist with vacancy postings, job fairs, referrals, applicant screening and job description writing, and

  • Seeing how you can play a role in your community's development plan.

    One woman and two men dressed in business attire talking

Securing Economic Development Partnerships

This resource page provides information and resources related to the joint promotion of regional economic development strategies in your community.

The key, as with approaching all businesses and industry leaders, is to ensure that you have done your homework. 

  • Learn as much as you can about your local sectors and establishments. 
  • Understand the basics of current labor market and economic trends. 
  • And, have an idea or solution formulated in advance that you can offer as part of your collaboration with a chamber of commerce or economic development entity.

When you make that call, do it armed with information from your market research, and with solutions that fit the issues the business community is facing, and you will be well equipped to partner in enhancing your region's prosperity.