Barnstable Patriot Column 143
By: David Augustinho

Workforce Planning & Partnerships

The Workforce Investment Board engages in a variety of planning activities. Some planning is short term and sector specific, while other planning activity is long term and deals with the entire economy. Sometimes the scope of planning activities is dependent upon the partners at the table.

If you go to our website,, you will be able to look at our Regional Blueprint. This document is a comprehensive, five year, examination of the workforce needs of the Cape and Islands. In the Blueprint we identify critical sectors of the economy and provide specific activities to assist in developing the human resource capacity for the various sectors.

Recently the WIB started a new planning process focused on the intersection between Economic and Workforce Development in the region. We had the first meeting last week, the attendees included state and local partners with an interest in developing a strategic plan that will support economic development activity for the next 3-5 years.

Local partners on our regional team include The WIB, Cape Cod Chamber, Cape Cod Commission, Cape Cod Community College, Mass Maritime Academy, Coastal Community Capital, Mass. Office Of Business Development, Nantucket Planning and Economic Development Commission, Martha’s Vineyard Commission, Centerville Pie, Cape Cod Five, and the Barnstable Public Schools.

State Partners include the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the Executive Office of Education, and the Executive office of Housing and Economic Development. These three agencies comprise the state’s Workforce Skills Cabinet that has been formed by Governor Baker.

One of the chief goals of the planning process is to bring workforce development, economic development, and education partners to the table. These three disciplines can each play a major role in shaping our future workforce.

Vocational training and education, the K-12 systems and our Community College educate and train the workers currently employed. Just as important is the need to ensure that future workers have the skills and talents to thrive in a twenty-first century economy.

Now I know that you are thinking that the hospitality based Cape Cod economy doesn’t have much to do with twenty-first century jobs. Well I don’t agree. Within our local economy, we have a large number of jobs in the marine science, health care, and technology areas that are technology based. Even within the hospitality sector there is a large demand for technology based solutions in marketing, tracking, and serving customers.

In the future, we can concentrate economic development efforts in the marine science area where we already have a competitive advantage due to the concentration of marine science research institutions and technology based businesses in the region. But these efforts can only succeed if we can develop a workforce that can staff the companies that we wish to develop.

This Regional Planning Team with be meeting and developing strategies over the next six months or so. I will be reporting out our activities and results as we go along.