Leaders Wanted!

Feb 26, 2011

Marvel Heroes Help Wanted Sign

Retirements Ahead.

Today's workforce leaders share a concern about who will replace them. They pointed to gaps at federal, state, and local levels, noting that the workforce development field is experiencing the same generational turnover occuring in the broader labor market – a situation compounded by too little attention to diversity and succession planning within the field.

For New Leaders, The Jobs Will Be Different.

Interestingly, the leaders we spoke with were enthusiastic about the changes coming to their profession as a result of younger and more diverse leaders entering the field. They explained that the need is not simply to replace retiring senior leadership, but to transfer knowledge and expertise to a generation who will redefine what leadership looks like going forward. For new leaders, the work will be different, the demands more intense, the skills ever changing, but sharing the deep knowledge and histrical context held by today's leaders could acceleration that transition. 

Our respondents expressed concern that so few opportunities exist for this sort of knowledge exchange.


"We really need to grow the people coming behind us. Large transitions are just beginning to occur and cultivating new leaders could be very powerful." – Cynthia, Deputy Director, WFD

"One of our biggest concerns has to do with the number of people reaching retirement age...how do we institutionalize the knowledge and skills they have?" – Roy, Program Director