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Economic Development

 Opportunity Area #21: Grow, Develop & Retain Key Workforce Talent

Opportunity Area #21 – Grow, Develop & Retain Key Workforce Talent

Migration patterns have a correlative relationship to the quality and type of workers available. Talent is highly mobile and moves toward places with the most to offer in terms of opportunities and quality of life. A decrease in young professionals in a region can cause a “brain drain” effect that particularly impacts the technology-based portion of an economy but can also be a concern for other economic sectors.

Between 2010 and 2020, the OKI region has seen an increase in educational attainment among residents, shown by a rise in the percentage of residents holding bachelors’ and post-graduate degrees.

Policy Recommendations

21.A Local governments should collaborate with local businesses, workforce policy boards, and adult educators to influence curriculum based on local labor needs and ensure the development of locally-driven training and placement programs that offer high-quality education to potential employees and technical assistance to new and established businesses.

21.B Regional workforce boards and economic development agencies at all levels should collaborate with educational institutions and local businesses to encourage a regional approach to our workforce systems, enhanced collaborative outcomes, and training opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

21.C Educational institutions at all levels should encourage and support mutually beneficial school-to-work alliances with local employers to ensure that students are learning the technical and non-technical skills needed by businesses and necessary to function in the work environment before they enter the workforce full-time.

21.D Local comprehensive plans should support a living and working environment that is attractive to highly skilled and educated adults so that they find sufficient reason to come to and remain in the region and the regional workforce.