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Staffing and Positioning the Intermediary

Staffing Decisions

Recall that in Chapter 3: Convening and Planning, the role of the intermediary is defined, including their responsibilities to engage employers and other key stakeholders, to coordinate information and resources, and to facilitate the development of effective and appropriate responses to the workforce-related challenges of the industry of focus. In Chapter 8: Maintaining the Partnership, the need to expand staff expertise and capacity is considered, particularly as the partnership expands in size and in scope of influence and activity. This might mean contracting to an industry expert, sharing coordination responsibilities across partners, or developing a cross-partner management team. As the initiative matures further, and as products and services begin to take shape, your initiative may need to add other expertise. Do you have a marketing expert? Do you have needed technological expertise? The expertise may need to come from outside the partnership, but check with partners first. These areas of expertise may already exist within a public or private partner organization or firm.

Becoming the "Go-to Guy"

It is not unusual that the intermediary organization becomes the resident expert for knowledge, information, resources and opportunities related to the needs of the focus industry and for jobseekers and workers in the region. The intermediary does more than just convene partners; they also convene information and resources. Consider that as the initiative evolves, the intermediary will need to build industry and process knowledge; take advantage of labor market information; and be the broker or facilitator for the needs of the industry which may or may not include the workforce system.

In some cases, the intermediary may become the expert that other regions and entities look to for industry-focused solutions to workforce problems. Developing ways to share information, products and tools specific to your industry of focus will market your initiative to a wider audience and will increase the overall impact the partnership has on the industry.