Transforming Oregon's Workforce System

Prosperity based on innovative people and companies

A healthy Oregon economy and local prosperity requires two fundamental ingredients, quality job opportunities and skilled workers. Comprising more than a dozen programs in multiple state agencies, the Oregon Workforce Development System supports those fundamental pieces by maximizing the potential of both businesses and workers. 

Yet, for too long the state has focused on specific programs instead of the common outcomes Oregonians strive for. Transformation of the system is needed to respond to a changing economy, support continued innovation, eliminate fragmentation and provide greater flexibility to local communities

In December 2011, Governor Kitzhaber initiated this transformation with three goals in mind:
•  Oregonians have the skills needed to fill current and emerging high-wage, high-demand jobs.
•  Businesses have the skilled workforce to support future growth.
•  An aligned workforce system provides integrated services and makes the most efficient possible
   use of resources.

Designing a New System 

In June 2012, the Oregon Workforce Investment Board, (OWIB) adopted a 10-year plan, Oregon at Work. Today, the three state agencies that administer large workforce programs are working together with the OWIB, the Governor’s Office and the Department of Administrative Services to better align and integrate the workforce system to deliver on the Governor’s charge. View the 10-year plan here: WS025_0812.pdf

In June 2013, Governor Kitzhaber issued an executive order directing the re-chartering of state and local workforce investment boards. In addition, the executive order directs state agencies with workforce development programs to work together and develop a plan to better align state services in support of the re-chartered boards. View the executive order here:
The Governor’s Office, DAS and workforce agencies are working with an outside team of experts (Contractor PFM) with organizational redesign, and business process experience to analyze and make recommendations on the structural and process changes needed. The PFM recommendations were presented to the OWIB on Sept. 20. Through October, we’re engaging staff – and a variety of other stakeholders – to gather feedback on the recommendations. That feedback will inform a staff recommendation that we anticipate bringing to the OWIB at their November meeting.


Staff recommendations 

Through additional research and substantial stakeholder feedback on PFM’s recommendations, the work group developed 15 recommendations to improve services to the workforce system’s customers––job seekers and businesses.

These recommendations are largely focused on structural changes needed to support a more flexible and responsive workforce system.  They are intended to address findings that the current system suffers from a lack of clear governance, effective communication, shared vision, strategies for best serving those who are chronically unemployed and underemployed, and clearly understood roles and responsibilities.  The resulting inefficiencies reduce resources (including staff time) for services to system customers and investments into new products and services that better address the changing labor market.

The recommendations will be presented to the Oregon Workforce Investment Board (OWIB) on Friday, November 8, 2013 from 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm at Chemeketa Winema (Winema Place Northeast, Salem, OR 97305).

Workforce Redesign Work Group Recommendations.pdf

Reviewing local workforce program boundaries

Under the Workforce Investment Act, the Governor has the power to designate Local Workforce Investment Areas; however, the OWIB may make recommendations about the designation of Local Workforce Investment Areas. (ORS 660.324(4)(b)).  PFM recommended that Oregon consider redrawing its current LWIA boundaries and provided this White Paper on possible realignment options.

LWIA Boundary Realignment.pdf

Citizens interested in submitting comments to the OWIB regarding the Workforce System Redesign Work Group recommendations may send their correspondence by November 26 to:

Mail:   Oregon Workforce Investment Board
          255 Capitol Street NE, 3rd Floor
          Salem, OR 97310


How You Can Participate
Public comment on the recommendations will be taken during the OWIB meeting on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 from 12:30 - 5:00 p.m. at Chemeketa Winema (Winema Place Northeast, Salem, OR 97305).  The board will consider the staff recommendations in light of the stakeholder feedback and public comment, and any formal action will be taken at the OWIB’s Dec. 6 meeting.


Weekly updates

Weekly_update_10 14.pdf

Weekly_update 10_22.pdf

Weekly update 10_29.pdf



Workforce transformation one-pager

PFM Findings and Recommendations

Summary of PFM findings and recommendations

OWIB 10-year plan

Workforce Redesign Work Group Recommendations.pdf