Workforce Development BoardOverview
Think of the Bergen County Workforce Development Board (Bergen WDB, Board) as your link to the public workforce system, a local expert on workforce development matters, and fellow innovators of workforce solutions.
The Bergen WDB does not operate programs or provide direct services — it is a business-led policy, planning, and oversight body that supports employment-related programs for youth, adult workers, and businesses.
The Bergen WDB works to identify workforce issues, develop workforce partnerships, implement workforce solutions, and measure workforce investment results.
Workforce Development Boards
Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) are federally established by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to oversee the public workforce system in local communities.
The primary role of WDBs is planning and oversight for workforce programs and services funded under the WIOA and delivered through the American Job Center Network (also known as One-Stop Career Center).
In addition to overseeing the publicly-funded workforce system, WDBs are responsible for coordinating the work of various agencies and connecting businesses to the talent they need.
The WIOA empowers local WDBs to bring key stakeholders together to understand the national, regional, and local workforce, and to design targeted strategies that are responsive to the needs of both employers and workers (such as employment, training, and employment support services).
The goal of the WDB is to ensure that there is a workforce ready and equipped with the skills necessary to obtain and retain jobs in high-demand occupations.
The Bergen WDB is committed to bridging the gap between job seekers and employers and ensuring that the employers’ needs for skilled workers and workers’ needs for employment and training are continually being met. To learn more about the public workforce system, visit the Workforce 101 page.
The Bergen WDB is an active community leader in forging strategic partnerships to secure resources, collaborating on projects, coordinating agencies to connect business with talent, providing oversight of the workforce system, and successfully identifying and addressing workforce challenges and opportunities in the region.
To carry out this role, the Bergen WDB functions as a:
- Workforce Intermediary – Bringing together people, organizations, resources, and systems to support workforce development activities.
- Workforce Analyst and Planner – Analyzing, interpreting, and disseminating labor market information and intelligence to help different decision-makers.
- Community Voice – Advocating for workforce policies, breaking down workplace stigmas, promoting promising practices, and articulating employer and job seeker needs (particularly those with barriers to employment).
To achieve success, these three roles are critical:
- Setting and communicating the vision for the workforce system;
- Building and managing strategic relationships that achieve the vision; and
- Developing and using measures to monitor the workforce system and keep it accountable to the vision.
The Bergen WDB represents more than 40 of the County’s leading professionals in the region, including businesses, economic development, organized labor, community-based organizations, government, and education. The board is deliberately designed to represent a cross-section of the community and to reflect the will of key workforce stakeholders.
The WIOA legislation further strengthens employer involvement by requiring that 51 percent of the Board’s members must belong to the local business community.
Bergen WDB committees are its most productive tool for reaching its goals. While strategic plans set Board direction, most of the work is done in committees and their subcommittees.
Committees often include additional individuals who are not formal members of the board, but who have the expertise to provide advice on issues that support the attainment of goals and objectives. The establishment of committees assists the Bergen WDB in carrying out its responsibilities, expands opportunities for stakeholders to participate in board decision-making, and is a vehicle for engaging others in addition to WDB members.
- Connecting you to skilled, reliable, work-ready employees
- Helping you to secure funding and support for workforce-related programs
- Identifying opportunities for collaborative projects
- Partnering and leveraging resources across the local area and neighboring regions
- Executing local and regional industry sector initiatives
- Serving as a conduit for businesses, industry, public sector communicating workforce needs
- Providing information and advice on a variety of topics relevant to job seekers and employers
- Sponsoring and moderating conferences, forums, and other events
- Strategizing solutions to issues affecting job seekers, employers, and service delivery
- Facilitating connections between and among all the various workforce stakeholders and systems
The Bergen WDB is interested in investing in innovative partnerships with business, industry, education, workforce development, economic development, and community organizations to solve immediate and emerging workforce needs at the institutional, community, and regional levels.
The primary responsibility of the Bergen WDB is to promote coalitions between the public and private sectors to coordinate planning, policy guidance, and oversight of workforce development in Bergen County.
- We take on big workforce challenges.
- We welcome all workforce opportunities.
- We believe in connecting on shared goals.
- We welcome forward-thinking leaders.
- We are at the intersection of the community.
Volunteerism is integral to our success. The Bergen WDB appreciates sponsors and those with a willingness to serve on the board, its committees, and projects.
Interested in volunteering?
Share your HR, workforce development, and business skills to help us make smart and innovative workforce investments within our community.