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workforce development

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?

2012
Kathy Krepcio and Michele M. Martin
John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development

The U.S. economy will emerge from the Great Recession radically transformed from what it was a generation ago. Changes are afoot affecting which occupations and industry sectors will produce employment growth, as well as what education credentials, competencies, and skills will be required to do those jobs.

Community colleges already take steps to address the workforce needs of local employers, but their efforts often are hampered by a lack of detailed, up-to-date information about occupations and skills in demand. A promising, yet still-evolving solution to that problem can be found within the large pool of job openings posted on the Internet.

This paper discusses new sophisticated “spidering” and artificial intelligence technologies that can aggregate and analyze these online job ads and provide a more comprehensive, “real-time” source of information about the hiring and skill needs of local employers. If proven accurate and reliable, analyses of online job ads could complement traditional ways that community colleges determine labor market demand for program and course offerings.

2011
David Altstadt
Jobs for the Future

This paper discusses the importance of effective training and workforce development programs as part of a broader strategy to increase the competitiveness of American workers. Although rapid technological change and increasing global competition have delivered great economic benefits to the U.S. economy overall, the development of new and more productive industries has caused some Americans to experience significant declines in their earnings and job prospects; the Great Recession exacerbated these longer-term trends. Workers with less education and those who have been displaced from long-tenured jobs face particular challenges, and effective job training programs are an important component of policies to help these workers.

The Hamilton Project proposes two general principles that can guide policy-makers in improving training programs to aid American workers:

1) Training funds should be directed to programs with a track record of success in improving earnings for the specific target population and to those workers who can benefit the most from those programs; and

2) Training programs should directly engage employer and industry partners, or actively guide students to career-specific training.

 

 

2011
Michael Greenstone, Adam Looney
The Brookings Institute

To improve the employment rates and earnings of Americans workers, we need to create more-coherent and more-effective education and workforce development systems, focusing primarily (though not exclusively) on disadvantaged youth and adults, and with education and training more clearly targeted towards firms and sectors that provide good-paying jobs. This paper proposes a new set of competitive grants from the federal government to states that would fund training partnerships between employers in key industries, education providers, workforce agencies, and intermediaries at the state level, plus a range of other supports and services. The grants would especially reward the expansion of programs that appear successful when evaluated with randomized controlled trial (RCT) techniques. The evidence suggests that these grants could generate benefits that are several times larger than their costs, including higher earnings and lower unemployment rates among the disadvantaged.

2011
Harry J. Holzer
The Hamilton Project

Workforce3 One is an e-learning, knowledge sharing webspace that offers workforce professionals, employers, economic development, and education professionals a dynamic network featuring innovative workforce solutions. Online learning events, resource information, and tools help organizations learn how to develop strategies that enable individuals and businesses to be successful in the 21st century economy.

U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

This document provides guidance on the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program (FSET), including who may be served and how the funds can be used for workforce development.

2008
The Workforce Alliance

Overview of a number of federal workforce development policies, including WIA titles I and II, Pell, TAA, TANF, Wagnery-Peyser, Perkins, and FSET.

2007
The Workforce Alliance

This report highlights programs in 14 communities that are successfully addressing the challenge of providing disadvantaged young adults with the technical and postsecondary education that may qualify them for skilled positions.

Maureen R. Bozell and Melissa Goldberg
Workforce Strategy Center

This comprehensive report from the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce highlights individual state data on the growth of jobs that will require a postsecondary credential and other labor market trends.

2010
Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce

This guide outlines specific steps that policymakers, program administrators, and providers can take to begin transforming their current adult education programs into Adult Education for Work programs. It provides: a vision for how comprehensive career pathways can be constructed to better meet our nation’s skill needs; a framework for organizing and effective Adult Education for Work programs, with 23 quality elements designed to prepare adults for both postsecondary learning and work; and benchmarks and promising practices that illustrate quality elements already in action in programs across the country.

2009
National Center on Education and the Economy
National Center on Education and the Economy