Workforce Intermediaries and Collaboratives
What do they do? Workforce intermediaries and collaboratives are organizations that bring together partners in the workforce system to identify workforce needs; plan, develop, and implement strategies; and raise funds to support these strategies.
Who are they? Similar organizations may form a collaborative organization—such as nonprofit organizations and foundations—to represent the interests of the group of organizations. In addition, different types of organizations—employers, training providers, educational institutions, nonprofit service providers, unions, philanthropic groups, and public workforce entities—work together to better match workers with employers by forming or designating a single organization to be responsible for the coordinated activities. These organizations may form a partnership, often around a single industry, or they may form or designate a lead organization as an intermediary to coordinate across organizations.
- Workforce intermediaries can be any organization functioning as a broker between employers and job seekers to more successfully place job seekers in available jobs. A more comprehensive intermediary may bring together multiple partners across a local labor market to create a coordinated and strategic approach to effectively meet employers’ and job seekers’ needs. Local workforce development boards may serve in this role, but partners across a local workforce system may create a new organization to serve as its intermediary.
- Local workforce development boards administer workforce programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, in conjunction with local government agencies and with guidance and oversight from state workforce development boards and workforce agencies. Local boards are mostly composed of employers, including agency partners that oversee the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act, and they partner with other organizations, such as community and technical colleges, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families agencies, and labor unions. Local boards also address issues like skill shortages by engaging employers and industry in preparing workers for available jobs.
- In a funding collaborative, foundations and philanthropic organizations work together to share knowledge, pool resources, and develop joint strategies for solving local workforce needs.
- A service provider member organization may represent and coordinate across community- and faith-based organizations providing workforce services within a community or region to advocate for new or improved policy or funding, or they might collaborate to address local workforce needs.
- In an industry or sector partnership, groups of employers join other workforce system organizations to address human resources needs in specific industries. An workforce intermediary organization might lead and coordinate the partnership.