Diversifying Our Workforce For Economic Mobility

In the heart of Wayne and Union County, Indiana, United way of Whitewater Valley is witnessing a remarkable evolution within our workforce. This transformation is not just about the shifting landscapes of industry and commerce; it’s about the diversity of the people powering our local economy. A closer look at recent data reveals significant insights into this evolution, highlighting opportunities for economic mobility and community enrichment. Now, let’s explore how diversifying our workforce can lead to a more prosperous and inclusive future for all residents of Wayne and Union counties. 

A Closer Look at Gender Diversity in Graduation Rates 

A standout statistic reveals the significant gender disparity in graduation rates within our counties. In a recent year, 798 female students received degrees, vastly outnumbering the 387 male students who graduated from IU East. This disparity is not just a number—it’s a reflection of broader societal trends and local dynamics. Moreover, It highlights the importance of creating educational and employment opportunities that are accessible and appealing to all genders, ensuring a balanced and diverse workforce. 

Thriving Jobs and Economic Mobility 

The economic backbone of Wayne and Union counties is supported by a variety of thriving sectors. Manufacturing, healthcare, education, and retail trade are among the top employers. These industries not only offer a wide range of job opportunities, but also play a crucial role in the economic stability of the region. The average salary in these areas, while reflective of the national trends, underscores the need for continuous investment in workforce development and education, to elevate local earning potentials and improve economic mobility. 

The Value of Local Experience 

Gaining experience from local companies is more than a step in a career path; it’s a journey towards becoming a more competitive prospect for future opportunities. Local experience equips individuals with a unique understanding of the regional market, business culture, and community needs. This knowledge is invaluable towards economic mobility, making candidates more attractive to both local and outside employers, thereby fostering a cycle of growth and opportunity. 

Community Thriving Through Workforce Participation 

The fabric of Wayne and Union counties is strengthened by the active participation of its residents in the local workforce. When individuals work within their community, they contribute to a vibrant local economy, supporting businesses and services that, in turn, invest back into the community. This cycle of participation and investment is crucial for community development, creating a sense of belonging and ownership among residents. 

Impact of Workplace Campaigning 

Engagement in UWWV’s workplace campaigns, supports local organizations and programs that can have profound impacts on our children’s development. These initiatives not only provide necessary resources to those in need but also cultivate a culture of giving and community involvement within the workplace. This sense of collective purpose can boost morale, encourage teamwork, and inspire other companies to take action, creating a ripple effect of positive change throughout the community. 

Embracing Non-Traditional Workforce Pipelines 

Diversifying our workforce means recognizing and embracing non-traditional sources of talent. Individuals with disabilities, veterans, retired persons, and high school students represent untapped potential within our communities. By creating pathways to employment for these groups, we not only enrich our workforce with a diversity of perspectives and skills but also promote economic mobility and inclusivity. 

Fostering Economic Mobility 

Creating economic mobility within non-traditional workforces requires targeted strategies and policies. Access to education and training programs tailored to the needs of these groups, along with flexible employment opportunities and supportive workplace environments, are key. By addressing the barriers these individuals face, we can unlock their potential and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to, and benefit from, our local economy. 

In conclusion, the path towards diversifying our workforce in Wayne and Union counties is marked by both challenges and opportunities. By embracing the diversity within our communities, addressing disparities in education and employment, and fostering a culture of inclusivity and support, we can build a stronger, more resilient local economy. The United Way of Whitewater Valley is committed to leading this charge, and we invite all members of our community to join us in this crucial fight. Together, we can ensure that our workforce not only reflects the diverse economy of our communities but also drives them towards a more prosperous and inclusive future. 


By supporting your local United Way, you are supporting the economic mobility in your community! Join us in our fight for the health, education and financial stability of everyone in Wayne and Union counties by donating today.  

Get to know more about our program partners working in our four focus areas: childhood success, youth success, economic mobility, and access to health. Read more about their stories here, or sign up for our newsletter to learn more about what we do at United Way of Whitewater Valley.