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Workforce Innovation Submitted By:
Job Growers Incorporated

Mid-Valley Business Consortia

Community Challenge/Problem

Local businesses have struggled to meet the challenges of global competition, especially since the slowdown of the economy. A forum was needed for businesses to come together to support each other, foster a sense of community, and collaborate on techniques that would help them stay competitive.

Board Solution/Innovation

Job Growers Incorporated, the local workforce investment board, has been supporting and staffing five industry consortia since 2004. These include: Mid-Valley High Performance; Metals; Secondary Woods; Food Processors; and the Mid-Willamette Staffing Association.

Bringing businesses together to work in consortia has leveraged resources, reduced workforce training costs, and created coordinated solutions to workforce and economic development issues. Consortia membership provides a network for learning exchange opportunities and enhances competitiveness across an industry sector that helps grow and retain a healthy economy. It has been especially helpful during the economic downturn to the approximately 55 businesses that belong to one or more of the consortia.

Events, classes, and training sponsored by each of the consortia are offered at no cost or low cost to consortia members. Many of the businesses in the consortia have accessed LEAN training (a business efficiency methodology), sponsored by Job Growers and paid for with Workforce Investment Act funds, to help them stay competitive in the downturn and in the global economy.

Outcomes & Results

All businesses have benefited by streamlining their processes. A number of businesses have even been able to expand and add jobs recently.

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