The passage of House Bill 3437 during the 2017 legislative session established the foundational structure to improve the statewide approach to effective and integrated workforce development. The bill expands the roles and responsibilities of the Workforce and Talent Development Board (WTDB) for business and industry engagement. In this expanded role, the WTDB becomes the Governor’s core advisor for the interconnection and alignment of education, training, and workforce development and focuses the WTDB on the future jobs and skills required to propel Oregon businesses forward and sustain individual and community prosperity.
HB 3437 also establishes responsibility for the creation and ongoing development of a single, unified Biennial Workforce and Talent Development Plan in collaboration with key industries and State workforce stakeholders. The Workforce and Talent Development Plan is the culmination of a fully integrated series of plans including:
- Oregon Talent Assessment – Business and industry’s determination of in- demand occupations and skills and talent gaps and trends.
- WTDB Strategic Plan – Goals, strategies, and priorities for the workforce system based on the Oregon Talent Assessment and proven programs and services.
- Workforce and Talent Development Plan – Single, unified state operational plan guided by the WTDB Strategic Plan and including the results of the Oregon Talent Assessment. This also serves as the Oregon Workforce System Unified State Plan required by the US Department of Labor.
The biennial nature of the required Workforce and Talent Development Plan matches the biennial nature of the Oregon legislative process. The Oregon legislature meets each year, but has long sessions (160 days) in odd-numbered years and short sessions (35 days) in even-numbered years. The biennial state budget and most legislation are adopted in the long sessions. In order for the Workforce and Talent Development Plan to have maximum impact in shaping state legislative and agency budget and policy decisions, it is being aligned with the long legislative session.