Last Wednesday, the State Senate approved a package of workforce development bills “aimed at boosting the state economy by training job seekers and existing employees for the employment opportunities that are in demand.”

The bills, which came out of the work of the Senate’s Task Force on Workforce Development, include:

  • encouraging participation in apprenticeships
  • expanding job opportunities for veterans
  • making information about state work programs more accessible
  • establishing a program to retrain and employ unemployed persons

These are some very good ideas.  It’s been clear to us for quite some time that the success of the Upstate economy depends in part on the ability of Upstate’s employers to have access to employees that have the knowledge and skills that will enable them to grow and succeed.  In terms of the big picture, we need to make sure that the state’s investments in education are aligned with where we want our economy to be, so that local workers’ skills match up with employers’ needs.