Workforce Development


Workforce development, an American approach to economic development, attempts to enhance a region’s economic stability and prosperity by focusing on people rather than businesses. It has evolved from a problem-focused approach, addressing issues such as low-skilled workers or the need for more employees in a particular industry, to a holistic approach considering participants’ many barriers and the overall needs of the region.

Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD) mission consists of main directives: The first is the creation and administration of programs that will enable Indiana’s workforce to be the finest in the nation. The second is the payment of unemployment claims to people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, along with the collection of unemployment insurance premiums from employers.


  • Traditional work-force development has been problem-focused. Economic development practitioners evaluated neighborhoods, cities, or states on the basis of perceived weaknesses in human-resource capacity.
  • Recent efforts view work-force development in a more positive light. Economic developers use work-force development as a way to increase equity among inhabitants of a region.
  • Programs to train workers often form part of a network of other human-service or community opportunities.


  • The acquisition and development of skills is one of the crucial aspects of workforce development training. Two types of skills are commonly defined: general skills and job-specific skills.



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