Collaboration aligns labor supply with employer demand

Much of the work being done to address talent demand issues is happening through industry sector collaboration, or industry councils. Councils bring together employers, workforce agencies and other partners such as training institutions and economic development agencies to create regional, sector-specific workforce strategies. Creating a continuous flow of information between key players ensures that labor supply is aligned with employer demand.

Nationally, sector collaboration has seen positive results. Employers have a bigger pool of skilled labor and better retention rates, resulting in a decrease in recruitment and turnover costs.1

Sector Collaboration in West Michigan

West Michigan is home to four industry councils, serving employers in the region’s high-demand industries:

Through industry council participation, employers provide critical information about their in-demand occupations including skill gaps, training needs and candidate assessment factors. This information allows the workforce system to:

  • develop in-depth expertise about each industry’s unique talent challenges
  • adapt to changes in the labor market environment
  • identify additional resources for funds
  • leverage the combined knowledge and resources of partners
  • develop career pathways

Benefits for Employers

For employers, this translates into additional funds for training, input into curriculum development, innovative approaches to career pathway development and increased advocacy for workforce issues.

Specifically, employer participation through industry councils has resulted in:

If you’re interested in getting involved in your industry’s council, please contact one of the individuals listed below:

Construction: Mac Dodds,;
Health Care: Richelle Smith,
Information Technology: Anne Pentiak,
Manufacturing: Jerry Hill,


  1. U.S. Government Accountability Office, Workforce Investment Act: Innovative Collaborations between Workforce Boards and Employers Helped Meet Local Needs, January, 2012.