Document Type


Publication Date


Research Center

Center for Community Planning and Development


Changes in the economy--at the local, regional, state, and national levels--as well as technological advances have altered how and where people work, which has brought attention to the issue of workforce development. Many public and private entities, Chambers of Commerce among them, now engage in some form of workforce development. This report examines a number of such efforts to determine the “best practices” of workforce development for Chambers of Commerce. This report first considers the complex world of workforce development. The workforce consists of several distinct sub-populations: existing workers, new entrants, the unemployed, and the underemployed. Each has its own development needs and there is variation within groups as well. Also, there are many players in the workforce development game: K-12 education, post-secondary education, job training providers, individual businesses and their organizations, and government at all levels. Each player’s efforts are shaped by its own mission and goals, its own perception of local or regional needs, and the available resources. Those engaged in workforce development must not ignore or forget the context in which they operate.