For nearly 15 years, the public workforce system has been governed by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. Designed to knit together fragmented programs established during the previous 60 years, WIA was regarded as a necessary and legitimate next step in creating a system that would “consolidate, coordinate and improve employment, training, literacy and vocational rehabilitation programs in the United States” (WIA, 1998).
The intention of this report is to start a conversation about a different question, one that is bigger and more appropriate for the times. Rather than tinkering around the edges, wondering how we can become more efficient or more productive, we want to ask something bigger and bolder: What would a 21st Century workforce system look like if we built it for today’s economy, using today’s tools and processes? More to the point, In the new economy, where and how can the public workforce system add true and targeted value?