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Alphabet Soup: The Workforce Pipeline

Have you ever considered what attracts a business to a certain community? Or why you chose to live where you do? Is it the proximity to and a variety of restaurants, entertainment opportunities, or places to work? Did you ever wonder what it took to make your neighborhood one that you WANT to live in? Behind every community is a group of businesses and individuals working to create positive change, those dedicated professionals are economic developers. Economic Development is more than meets the eye, which is why we’re pulling back the curtain to expose all of the moving parts behind making our community a great one to be a part of.

A big part of economic development is creating and retaining jobs. Economic developers love to talk about the number of jobs established in their community. Creating jobs is fantastic news, but the work doesn’t stop there. A community needs to have a reliable workforce at the ready to absorb new job opportunities as they arise.  

Building a strong, reliable workforce is an ever-going task. The workforce pipeline is imperative to communities. It starts by exposing youth to all of the exciting career opportunities right in their own neighborhood. Think career fairs, take-your-child-to-work-day, and/or field trips to local businesses. These activities not only enrich a child’s experience outside of the classroom, but they also create awareness for different career paths that await after graduation. Exposing our youth to a variety of careers and training relative to local opportunities is crucial to a strong workforce pipeline. Clinton County offers a lot of career opportunities that require the competencies taught in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics). That’s why educators and economic developers work towards creating opportunities to expose individuals to these fields of study. TDC has sponsored numerous STEAM career focused activities in our community including local business tours, robotic competitions, and science fairs. Three years ago, TDC awarded Beekmantown Middle School an education grant to support new programs and technology in the classroom; this support hopes expose the next generation of workforce to local STEAM careers. 

However, like everything we are learning about in economic development, there are other factors that weigh in on workforce development. Aside from creating awareness about local career opportunities, it is also important to create an environment where people want to live in order to accept a job offer. Investing in the community and taking the extra step to make people aware of all of the fantastic things going on in the region is crucial. Visit our Quality of Life site for more information!

Sounds like a daunting task, right? YOU can help. Take some time to talk to the young people in your life. Share with them what you do for work, maybe even take them on a tour. Share what surprised you about working in your field and what makes your job so rewarding. And, remind them about all of the fun and exciting things to do in the North Country. It’s easy to forget all of the treasures in your own back yard. These conversations are an important part of maintaining and growing our local workforce. Economic developers like our Danielle King, work hard to attract a variety of companies that add jobs AND quality of life to a community.

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