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  • III. Operational Planning Elements

    The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an Operational Planning Elements section that supports the State’s strategy and the system-wide vision described in Section II(c) above.  Unless otherwise noted, all Operational Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs.  This section must include—

    • a. State Strategy Implementation

      The Unified or Combined State Plan must include–

      • 2. Implementation of State Strategy

        Describe how the lead State agency with responsibility for the administration of each core program or a Combined Plan partner program included in this plan will implement the State’s Strategies identified in Section II(c). above. This must include a description of—

III. a. 2. I. Coordinating with Economic Development Strategies

Describe how the activities identified in (A) will be coordinated with economic development entities, strategies, and activities in the State.

Current Narrative:

The Idaho Workforce Development Council includes as members the director of the Department of Commerce and many others who serve on regional economic development boards. In particular, the economic development agency East-Central Idaho Planning and Development Association, also known as The Development Company, is an integral partner with the Workforce Development Council as it officially represents the eastern Idaho local area.

Strategy: Target key industries using a sector strategy

The aforementioned Workforce Development Training Fund has been revamped to connect employers, education, and economic development. Grants are available in four categories:

  • Direct grants to employers – these grants help Idaho employers (along with companies starting or expanding in Idaho) to train new and incumbent employees to meet specific economic opportunities and industrial expansion efforts, and may serve as a beneficial layoff aversion tool.
  • Industry sector grants - these sector-partnership based grants are designed to increase the talent pipeline for in-demand occupations. A minimum of three employers and an educational or training entity may apply for grant funds for specific occupational training. 
  • Innovation grants – targeted to rural communities, these grants provide significant flexibility for educational institutions, community-based organizations, economic development organizations, local government entities, and/or employers to increase employment and wages of the community’s workforce.
  • Outreach projects - provides funding for proposals that provide public information and outreach on career education and workforce training opportunities, including existing education and training programs and services not funded by the Workforce Development Training Fund.

Strategy: Improving Public Awareness and Access to the Workforce System/ Coordinating Business Services across partners to ensure delivery of streamlined and high-quality solutions

As core and One-Stop partner programs work to develop and improve outreach efforts, the Department of Commerce and regional economic development organizations, are engaged in semi-annual workforce summits, hosted by the Workforce Development Council. These summits provide an opportunity to disseminate information and share best practices. The first summit was held in October 2019 and attended by over 50 economic development professionals from throughout the state. The Council provides funding for the travel costs for the most rural individuals to ensure they can attend.

In addition, the Talent Pipeline Management initiative will engage a number of economic development professionals as facilitators. We anticipate training a representative from the Idaho Department of Commerce as a trainer in the TPM methodology so that we can continue to leverage their expertise for the effort. 

Strategy: Serving rural communities

Business retention and expansion specialists from the Department of Commerce, along with their network of local economic development professionals, play an important role in educating rural community partners, and businesses, about the workforce system. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, special attention is paid to engaging the economic development professionals in the workforce summits by paying for their travel costs.