The workplace of today has changed greatly in terms of the how, when, and where work is completed; and the organizational requirements on businesses have also become more demanding. Such changes are creating a situation in which businesses are seeking assistance when it comes to solving workforce problems. This dissertation examined the extent and scope of workforce training and development in a rural northern Midwestern county. The survey, a needs assessment, collected information from the employer perspective. Drawn from the literature and related studies, questions aimed to understand the perspective of employers regarding workforce training and development. Results from the study concluded that the workforce development needs of rural area businesses located in Ward County, North Dakota were not met. This research revealed a statistically significant relationship between business size and training needs composite; percentage of employees needing additional training and increase in technological change; percentage of employees needing additional training and distance learning programs composite; and business size and workforce training goals. Conducting a needs analysis from the rural employer point of view supported what was known and now adds to the body of literature on workforce development in rural areas and needs assessment effectiveness. This study provides new, specific data for local partners to base future training initiatives and programs and/or enhance existing workforce development programs. Results from this study acknowledge the ongoing need for workforce training and development and provide the foundation for future research. This study contributed knowledge related to workforce training and development during a time when such issues are vital to our nation.
|Adviser||Judith L. Forbes|
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