Map your community’s assets

You know your community needs jobs—but do you know the strengths it can offer?

The applicant pool: What skills are present in the community?

  • Conduct focus groups or interviews to determine what types of jobs residents have skills for already or would like to train into.
  • Local workforce intermediaries and job placement organizations might already have this data, and will have a good sense of community assets.


When beginning their local hiring planning process, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado conducted community focus groups to determine what the priorities were for local hiring programs. Through this process, and by working with local intermediaries, they discovered that within the local refugee population were people with skills from previous jobs in the healthcare industry in their home countries. However, they lacked the necessary US credentials for working in the same positions here. The Hire Local manager worked to find positions requiring similar skillsets that would provide opportunities for pathways to training and other positions in line with the individual’s expertise and past experience. In one specific case, the manager found a position for a refugee candidate within an animal research laboratory; the candidate came in with the necessary skills to do the job and the institution did not have to pay to train anyone.1Robert McGranaghan, interview by David Zuckerman and Katie Parker, April 7, 2016, transcript.; For more information, see the full Case Study

Mapping the workforce development ecosystem:

  • What organizations might residents looking for jobs already interact with? What do these organizations bring to the table? Meet with key stakeholders from your list of identified partners to see what trainings and skills they already offer, and what they might be interested in building out.
  • What are other anchor institutions doing around workforce development? Are there any other hospitals with similar workforce needs? Other employers with similar position categories in which hiring could be streamlined? Meet with workforce representatives to discuss areas of alignment and opportunities to partner.

In some cases, a new organization may need to be incubated based on the specific geographic or demographic focus of the local and inclusive hiring effort. New Haven Works, a workforce intermediary in New Haven, Connecticut connecting local residents to Yale University and other local employers; University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus’ Local Hire Program; and the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, are all examples of new investments in workforce development because existing infrastructure and/or capacity did not exist.

Measure your workforce baseline

Key ways to assess your current workforce and existing commitments

Survey your workforce policies and practices

Which policies and processes are working? Which are barriers to success?

Identify your partners

A workforce pipeline doesn't have to be built alone—who will be on your team?

Design around data and metrics

What are you going to measure to assess success, and how are you going to measure it?

Plan for sustainability

How do you institutionalize programs and get the whole team on board?


1 Robert McGranaghan, interview by David Zuckerman and Katie Parker, April 7, 2016, transcript.; For more information, see the full Case Study