Workforce Development Institute

When workforce development met entrepreneurism

By ROSALIE DRAGO // This has certainly been a busy year for workforce development – especially if you know what workforce development truly is. In 2019, in this space, we’ve discussed key tools for robust and impactful workforce development, including equitable and inclusive growth strategies; leveraging relationships between economic developers, employers and high-school educators; and evaluating the work-first and college-first paths. But we haven’t focused specifically on one of the most critical components of workforce…


College or work? Maybe the path isn’t so cut-and-dry

By ROSALIE DRAGO // As costs rise and debt mounts, debate rages about the “necessity” of college. Throw in a worker shortage in technical occupations that don’t require degrees, and the lines are clearly drawn for most high school graduates: work vs. college. Usually absent from the conversation is another pathway to a degree: work, then college. It’s easy to understand why. Most people, parents in particular, believe anything short of college limits future opportunities….


No. 431: Inventing Google, superior supercomputing and just the fax, ma’am

  Equatorial shift: Over the hump we go, dear readers, as we slide into the second half of this summertime workweek on Long Island and around the world (except in the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s winter). Senior circuit: Whatever your season, it’s Aug. 21 out there – and to the 47 million-plus U.S. citizens ages 65 and older (according to the 2017 census), enjoy your National Senior Citizens Day. Readers of all ages can get…


As workforce development evolves, childcare shall lead

By ROSALIE DRAGO // At a recent Long Island Regional Development Council meeting, co-chairman and Long Island Association President Kevin Law earned rousing applause when he said, “Childcare is not a mother’s problem or a parent’s problem – it is an economic-development problem and our region’s problem.” As a workforce-development professional, a parent and a Long Islander, this was good to hear. It’s tempting to see childcare as a value-add, especially now. Current job market…


‘Manifesto’ destiny: colorblind economic development

By ROSALIE DRAGO // Cities across the nation are committing to an “Equity Manifesto,” not just as a matter of social fairness but a matter of economic survival. Equity and inclusion, as they relate to economic development, mean ensuring that all people can fully participate in the creation of socioeconomic growth – and fully share in its benefits. So, as Long Island’s demographics shift and minority populations grow, where are we on this? According to…


Giving the LI innovation economy plenty of STEAM

By ROSALIE DRAGO // Employers in technical trades lament the loss of “shop” class and its hands-on maker skills. Business owners complain that candidates possess minimal work experience. But there is tremendous work-readiness power in STEAM – enough to fuel a 21st century workforce. Beginning in elementary school, education institutions are using STEAM (for science, technology, engineering, arts and math) to contextualize core classroom subjects in a way that aligns with skills required by the…


No. 403: On Truman, workforce development and Adelphi diversity – plus, casting a new Spellman

  Fair to middling: A pleasant Wednesday to you, dear readers, as we reach the midpoint of our latest busy workweek. Before we dive in, welcome new newsletter subscribers Donna, Sammy, Eric, Pearlene, Luke, Shaun, Hamlet, Catherine, Andre and Marshall. If any of you had the house of Zhao beating the house of Zhi (ending the Battle of Jinyang in the State of Jin on this date in 453 B.C.), collect your 100 bronze Yibi…


With jobs waiting, Island must master apprenticeships

By ROSALIE DRAGO // Apprenticeship is one of the most powerful weapons we have to advance Long Islanders, regional business and the local economy. It’s time to deploy it. At a time when many employers report a lack of skilled workers, employer-led training – which develops workplace skills based on the latest industry practices, while incorporating related classroom instruction – is being promoted and supported on federal and state levels as a fix for widening…


No. 395: On Watson, women in energy and Ming the nonagenarian (and beating Alzheimer’s at its own game)

  Picking up speed: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, as another busy workweek blurs on by. It’s already April 10 out there, and while it’s not yet an official federal holiday – the Sibling Leadership Network (real thing) is working on that – today is still National Siblings Day. A moment’s paws: It’s also American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Day, commemorating the April 10, 1866, founding of the ASPCA. Attention inventors:…


Diverse opinions fuel C3E Women in Energy event

By ROSALIE DRAGO // In any industry, “diversity” means intentionally incorporating views and perspectives different from our own – an essential practice for both personal and professional innovation and advancement. We all know it’s easier and faster to move something forward with someone who agrees with us. It doesn’t mean you get the best outcome, though. It can be uncomfortable, to have your voice heard and to listen to that “other” voice, and difficult to…


No. 388: On Broadway, Barbie’s BFF and best workforce investments (mentoring, also aces for at-risk kids)

  Welcome to Wednesday: You’re halfway home, dear reader, as we hurdle the hump of another busy workweek. It’s March 13 out there, which of course makes it National Elephant Day in Thailand, marking the 1998 addition of the white elephant to that nation’s flag. (Note: Not to be confused with World Elephant Day, held in August.) Hello, dolly: Today is also Ken Day, celebrating the 1961 debut of Ken Carson – yes, Barbie’s plastic…


From shadowing to Lego Night, careers start in school

By ROSALIE DRAGO // One of the most important business relationships an employer can invest in is the school-business partnership. Urgency in filling immediate and near-term jobs is an obvious priority. Advancing career awareness and skills development among the emerging workforce – those just entering the pipeline for future hiring – is just as critical. In junior year of high school, we ask students what they think they might want to do for a living….


For your best innovation ROI, look to the ‘regulars’

By ROSALIE DRAGO // From the technological advances of the Bronze Age to the evolution of Artificial Intelligence, innovation requires people. It follows then that the capital investment with the most innovation ROI is the investment in human capital. Businesses are eager to innovate, but more often than not this is approached with investments in departments or initiatives or a select cohort of innovation experts. Real innovation – the kind that enables us to sustain…


New York risks losing offshore wind jobs, leadership

By JOHN DURSO and ROSS GOULD // They say you need to lead, follow or get out of the way. In New York, we’ve never been good at the last two. But we are in danger to being relegated to those positions, if we don’t act affirmatively and decisively on a plan to grow our offshore wind capabilities – and, in turn, our available and high-paying jobs – on Long Island. Last week, the New…


Albany stakes $3M statewide apprenticeship effort

By GREGORY ZELLER // A chunky state investment will focus the State University of New York system on the specific needs of employers in cutting-edge fields, part of Albany’s plan to help train New York’s 21st century workforce. The state will sink $3 million into programs that put together SUNY, the NYS Department of Labor and statewide employers – specifically those in the healthcare and advanced-manufacturing industries – to create registered apprenticeships “that directly answer…