Workforce Credentials are the new currency

Decision-makers that guide the investments of companies for job creation and growth are turning to the HR department more often before implementing their strategies.  This is no surprise given the increased priority of workforce quality and supply factors in the process.

Use of workforce credentialing is on the rise, as noted in a recent profile from Site Selection magazine.  Mark Arend’s article in the January edition shed light on the subject for those firms and communities unfamiliar to the movement.

“In short, competency-based credentials increasingly are being used to complement academic degrees and diplomas as tools with which to assess skills availability,” according to Mark. “Excellent work is well under way in the manufacturing, energy, IT and others sectors — meaning credentialing frameworks are in place to help employers get a better sense of just who the workers really are when an area touts its workforce.”

Three familiar names in the national workforce scene joined forces to help standardize the framework of competency-based credentials.  Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, Lumina Foundation, and the Center for Law and Social Policy. Connectingcredentials.org is gateway for the national dialog. The I.T. and healthcare sectors are among the strongest for credentialing on a large scale.  However, many industries are fragemented in these efforts.

“Companies and workers today live in an economy where the most well understood credentials are degrees, especially bachelor’s degrees. And yet what’s mushrooming in the marketplace are almost a gazillion certificates and industry certifications and occupational licenses and even people doing work on microcredientials,” says Larry Good, chair, co-founder and senior policy fellow at the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Corporation for a Skilled Workforce. “We’re making those easier to understand and translate with each other.”

Educators, economic developers, and HR pros alike will find solid insights in the Site Selection article.  The SectorReady framework (through the WIB and Joplin Regional Partnership) shares many of these same priorities for implementing industry-recognized credentials.  Check out the article online at siteselection.com/issues/2016/jan/workforce-development.cfm.