Workforce Strategies


  • Regularly survey employers to determine workforce needs
  • Research skills gaps in Mattoon and rural Illinois
  • Work with local educational institutions (K-12 and college/universities) to develop courses that meet the needs of area employers
  • Develop programs with the high school that get students into local businesses to gain real-world experience
    Possible Projects:
    -Collaborate with the high school on-the-job training programs
    -Offer more job shadowing for K-12 students including jobs in agriculture and STEM
    -Create high school job fairs with local businesses
  • Develop summer internship programs with local businesses
  • Create a series of workshops/classes for underemployed and unemployed
    Possible Projects:
    Offer workshop on underemployment
    -Collaborate with the current workforce on programming
    -Create an environment to promote strong work ethics
    -Enhance program to address drug problems
    -offer literacy programs
  • Improve public transportation to and from major employers
    Possible Projects:   Expand Dial-A-Ride to manufacturing facilities
  • Work with grade schools to begin introducing students to careers
  • Develop an educational marketing campaign stressing the importance of vocational education.
    Possible Projects:  Find data on the current percentage of students entering the workforce from high school
  • Assist employers in starting mentoring programs to improve employee retention
  • Encourage employers to offer competitive salaries and benefits to attract workers
  • Build relationships between the vocational training programs and the businesses that need workers.
  • Develop a workforce development center
  • Start vocational trade school for youth or career academy