Workforce Proposals

Workforce Proposals

Creating greater economic mobility through work requires close partnerships and shared investments between the public and private sectors. These partnerships and investments can and should build business and economic competitiveness and also create career pathways and economic stability and growth for people from all segments of our communities.
Over the last few decades, changes in the structure of the labor market, wage polarization and growing inequality, the decline of unions and disinvestment in public education and skills training have created skills gaps and deficits that keep people out of solid jobs and prevent employers from growing strong businesses. However, evidence-based practices in workforce development and training have proven effective in closing skills gaps, strengthening local economies and moving individuals from poverty to middle-class lives. These core principles and practices include:

  • Demand driven: Close planning by education and training providers with employers for demand driven skills training that meet hiring needs, adapts to rapid changes in technology, and reflects the unique attributes of local and regional economies. 
  • Lifelong learning for the 21st century economy: skill building for quality entry-level jobs and continued opportunities for skills development to enable advancement along career pathways and lattices. This includes innovative employer investments in skills as well as supports for workers to obtain credentials and degrees. 
  • Work-based learning: apprenticeships, internships and work experience for youth and adults to develop and practice skills in real-life settings and gain exposure to a wide array of jobs and careers. 
  • Cushioning for periods of unemployment and time out of the labor market: income supports that reflect the realities of the labor market, including gig and contract employment and access to quality skills training that responds to scheduling and family demands. 
  • Targeted strategies for people with barriers to employment: specialized work skills development and placement for those with histories of incarceration, disability, displacement and poverty, as well as limited skills, including English language skills. 
  • Adequate public and private investment in education and training: increased federal, state, local and private investment in skills training to respond to increasing labor market demand for new skills.
To build on these core principles and practices,
we developed a set of recommendations that help people:

Get into the workforce and onto career pathways

Remove barriers to getting back into jobs after periods out of the workforce

Move up the career and income ladder
We must ensure that America’s education and workforce training systems meet the demands of our students, employees of all ages and employers. A great deal is at stake: individual opportunity and economic mobility; a productive workforce and robust economy; and a country that can compete in the global economy. Accomplishing these goals will require leadership from all levels of government, and from business, philanthropy, and educators working much more closely together.
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