One method of supporting community growth is pursing partner initiatives and coalition projects that focus on key, vital industry sectors in the local economy.
Sector Strategies are Data-Driven
A variety of labor market data is available to assist stakeholders and conveners in making data-driven decisions about which sectors are important to target or prioritize.
The following are some types of sector strategies:
- Focusing on key manufacturing or export industries to help train workers or upgrade their skills in technical occupations might help a local economy to grow.
- Prioritizing sectors with high numbers of small business to provide them support might help a local labor market retain establishments and increase job opportunities for their residents.
Depending upon the nature of the strategy chosen, different types of data are selected to indicate the sectors appropriate for the type of labor market intervention or economic outcome desired.
See the following for more information:
- Using Data for Sector Strategies and Industry Focus Groups to Support Local Businesses
- Find the Newest Economic Data for Business and Strategic Planning
- Innovations in Labor Market Intelligence: Support for Regional Planning and Development.
Sector Strategies are Strategically Aligned
Sector initiatives - by their very nature - are strategic. The should fit the vision a community's leadership holds for its regional economic development and growth.
When the goals and outcomes of the sector strategies align with the community's strategic direction for economic prosperity, then resources, assets and investments can be aligned for maximum effect, and partners are not working at cross-purposes.
For more information on how sector strategies are economic development approaches, see:
- Economic Development Blueprint: Information to Support Community Planning
- Partnering with Economic Development Agencies and Chambers of Commerce to Add Value.
Sector Strategies are Future-Oriented
Because sector initiatives generally are aimed at changes over time in the labor market or a regional economy, they usually demand more focus on strategies that have a longer-term visage.
Legacy and traditional data sets (such as those from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau and state labor market information departments) are very valuable for looking at historical trends and projections for most sector initiatives. For example, job openings that do not exist now may see growth in the future, and economic prosperity may increase.
Since most sector strategies are forward-looking, and since changes may take some time to be realized, then data on job openings would be used only in those rare instances when present day results or short-term goals are intended.