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Partners for a Competitive Workforce is a collective impact initiative in Cincinnati, Ohio, focused on ensuring that employers have the talent they need to compete, and people have the skills they need to get good jobs to advance their careers. This case study provides collective impact backbone organizations, funders, and partners with an overview of the initiative and key lessons learned.

Top Takeaways

  1. Involve funders in shared measurement: to gain agreement on outcomes, Partners for a Competitive Workforce found that engaging funders was critical; “Part of the issue with system fragmentation was that funders asked for different data, so to get funders aligned around common metrics was important.”
  2. Get to know the movers and shakers at all levels: Partners for a Competitive Workforce built strong relationships with business leaders, community organizations, and funders. These relationships created trust and credibility, fueling the initiative.
  3. Keep the agenda fresh to avoid fatigue: to assure continued relevancy of the initiative to the region’s evolving needs, Partners for a Competitive Workforce recommended refining the common agenda to be focused on the big issues, but flexible on the strategies.
The common agenda articulates a shared vision—that employers have the talent that they need to compete and people have the skills they need to get good jobs and advance in their careers.