One of the many reasons I thoroughly enjoy my job is that I’m always learning. Most of the time the subject matter is technically oriented, but some days it’s topics you’d never expect.

Like yesterday, when I found myself engrossed in a Wisconsin State Farmer journal article.MH900227534

Now I’m neither from Wisconsin nor a farmer — but I was hooked on the piece, because some of our clients’ clients most certainly are.

The article’s author interviews the director of field operations for a Workforce Development Board in Wisconsin. She highlights the board’s efforts to address the short-term and long-term challenges faced by the agricultural industry cluster  — difficulty finding and hiring high-skill employees, soft-skill-deficient workers,  and even how to locally translate definitions of the industry cluster against federal classifications.

The Workforce Development Board is continually working to improve their service to industry clusters like Wisconsin’s agribusiness. To do that most effectively, they know they need to be efficient internally.

That’s where we come in. Our core mission is to help workforce development organizations help their customers, with a special focus on industry clusters and the small to medium sized businesses that make up 99.7 percent of all businesses and employ half of all private sector employees. As everyone knows, these businesses are the heartbeat of the economy.

We’re working to improve the board’s ability to gather and identify needs of agribusiness in real-time, collaborate both internally and with the industry cluster using a central social communication platform to quickly develop high-skills training and other demand-driven offerings. With these abilities, they’ll provide faster, more efficient service to both industry and workers, which improves the region’s economic outlook as a whole!

While we at Launchpad may not be putting our work boots on and going out to meet with farmers in the field, we’re proud to be making it easier and more efficient for the folks who do.

Sometimes, though, I really wouldn’t mind putting on the work boots — way more comfortable than heels!




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