Date of Award

Summer 8-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Chair

Dr. Cyndi H. Gaudet

Committee Chair Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 2

Dr. Heather M. Annulis

Committee Member 2 Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 3

Dr. H. Quincy Brown

Committee Member 3 Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 4

Dr. Dale L. Lunsford

Committee Member 4 Department

Human Capital Development

Committee Member 5

Dr. Patti P. Phillips

Committee Member 5 Department

Human Capital Development

Abstract

The ability of a region to remain competitively viable is dependent upon attracting new business and retaining existing businesses (Good & Strong, 2015). In many instances, regional growth depends on the workforce and the region’s ability to develop a talent pipeline of existing or accessible workers (Blakely & Leigh, 2010). The passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) increases the expectations of local workforce board leadership. The WIOA vision for Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDB) is to serve as strategic leaders and act as conveners of regional workforce system partners, stakeholders, and businesses to develop new structures for working with regional economies, and engaging stakeholders to jointly lead the regional workforce system (Copus et al., 2014; Innovation and Opportunity Network, 2016).

This study examined how LWDBs align with exemplary LWDB operational indicators and effective nonprofit board behavioral characteristics, as perceived by LWDB members. In addition to LWDB member perceptions, private and public sector board member perceptions were compared to determine differences in perceptions between the two governing groups. A non-experimental, descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate the research objectives. Purposive, expert, non-probability sampling was used to identify a finite population of LWDB members. A census design approach was used to survey 226 local board members serving on 13 LWDBs in Virginia. Data was collected using a researcher developed, group-administered survey.

Study findings reveal LWDB members perceive local boards perform the majority of operational and behavioral activities as highly functioning LWDBs and nonprofit boards. Local Board members perceive they do not receive enough training, do not participate in annual retreats to support group training and planning, and do not plan for executive director professional development and continuing education. Few opportunities are presented to collaborate with LWDB leaders from other workforce areas and uncertainty exists regarding the use of technology resources to support and expand service delivery. LWDB members and executive directors are challenged to develop strategic local boards who contribute to regional economic viability through workforce development.