Industry Sector Partnerships: What They Are and Why They Work

OMA LogoIndustry Sector Partnerships are a proven workforce development strategy that put employers in the driver’s seat and have demonstrated effectiveness across the country. Manufacturers within a regional labor market work together to influence alignment around common solutions with education and training, economic and workforce development, and
community organizations.

  • Identify common issues, challenges and opportunities across individual employers;
  • Collectively address the priority needs of industry;
  • Communicate industry priorities to policy makers and workforce development partners, enabling them to design responsive solutions;
  • Address current and emerging skill gaps, both short- and long-term;
  • Provide a means to engage directly with industry across traditional boundaries;
  • Better align programs, education/training curriculum and other resources serving employers and workers.
  • Systems change in response to business needs
  • Reduced duplication and system inefficiencies
  • Maximized resources and services
  • Results in more streamlined services
  • Helps manufacturers fill jobs more quickly
  • Creates a pipeline of future workers
  • Builds career pathways with seamless transitions from one educational stepping stone to another
  • More powerful voice
  • Influence training programs
  • Impact policy
  • Attract funding
  • Mechanism for ongoing feedback loop with various education, training and workforce programs
  • Better results (placement, earnings/benefits, retention, productivity)
  • Firm-to-firm networking


  • Led by employers – to ensure the system is truly demand-driven and will lead to better outcomes for individuals
  • Focused on a single industry – to allow employers to connect with peers from their own industry, identify needs beyond basic workplace skills, and dive deeply into the technical needs of the industry
  • Regional – to address unique needs of subsectors while reflecting the true dynamics within a regional economy
  • Convened by a neutral intermediary – to align all relevant partner programs and resources as solutions to identified industry needs