By Jennifer Vernon, Consultant

Is your community engaging in conversations about talent development or alignment? If so, you are not alone. Communities large and small, with populations growing and slowing, are all facing issues when it comes to talent. The term “Talent Alignment” points to the goal of ensuring local workers develop the skills needed by your employers. A gap analysis will show how well you are doing by comparing the pipeline of skills with future annual job openings. But, achieving talent alignment requires more than just an analysis. It requires collaboration among leaders in business, education, government, and economic development to identify the current and future training needs. It also requires communication to parents, students, teachers, career counselors, and workforce agents about the opportunities (internships, mentorships, careers) and pathways to get there. Avalanche will tackle these issues for our newest client, the Three Rivers Workforce Development Board, by creating a Manufacturing Partnership between employers and educators for a 10-county region in west Georgia. What’s even more interesting is who is leading the employer engagement process – the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, our partner. While many just talk about the importance of involving the business community in talent discussions, this Workforce Board has decided to let its local chamber lead outreach on their behalf – a truly watershed moment for uniting economic and workforce development in a region.