“The land of opportunity”— that is the promise of the United States. And one of the reasons the country has been able to deliver on that promise is that it has been able to develop the talent it needs to create wealth and to adapt to ever-changing economic realities.
— Martha Laboissiere and Mona Mourshed, McKinsey & Company
In rural regions, where populations are more dispersed and farther from major job centers, a well-trained workforce faces different challenges than those in metro areas, where people are closer to education, training, and employment opportunities.
The need, for both business and society, is clear: we need to better prepare people without college degrees for jobs with promising career paths.
The Inland Northwest boasts 18 universities and colleges within an 80-mile radius of Spokane, accounting for nearly 90,000 students who study at area colleges and universities.
Building the talent pool for the region requires a dependable source of employees who are well-trained, ready to work and valued for loyalty. The region’s public and private higher education institutions work collaboratively with one another and the business community to ensure a workforce is developed to meet the needs of the Inland Northwest’s residents and industry.
Our region offers a wide variety of daytime and evening classes in the classroom, online course, and via correspondence.
According to a 2019 Federal Reserve System article titled, Strengthening Workforce Development in Rural Areas, declines in prime working-age individuals and closing businesses, highlight the need for strategies that address both labor demand and supply issues.
“For these skills-oriented policies to be effective, community leaders must also implement strategies to retain skilled workers and to address nonskill barriers to work faced by vulnerable populations. Community amenities, quality job policies, transportation systems, affordable housing, health care, child care, and broadband should all be aligned with workforce development efforts.”
— Ashley Bozarth and Whitney M. Strifler, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
There is no one solution to tackle all of the workforce issues that communities face. Take a look at the region’s offerings:
IDAHO WORKFORCE TRAINING PROGRAMS:
- Lewiston: Lewis-Clark State College Workforce Training; NW Intermountain Dream It. Do It.; Lewis-Clark State College Career & Technical Education
- Hayden: North Idaho College Aerospace Training
- Idaho Department of Labor: Workforce and Opportunity eligible providers and programs
- Post Falls: North Idaho College Workforce Training Center
- Rathdrum: Kootenai Technical Education Center
- Rathdrum: Parker Technical Education Center
WASHINGTON WORKFORCE TRAINING PROGRAMS:
- Colville: WorkSource through Tri-County Economic Development District
- Spokane Valley: Spokane Community College’s Center for Workforce & Continuing Education
- Spokane: Spokane Workforce Council; Worksource Spokane; Avista Development Programs; Avista Utility Construction; Community Colleges of Spokane; YWCA; Next Generation Zone; Pioneer Human Services; Goodwill; Union Gospel Mission