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Patchwork Intermediation: Challenges and Opportunities for Regionally Coordinated Workforce Development


  • Nichola Lowe

    () (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA)

  • Harvey Goldstein

    (MODUL University, Vienna, Austria)

  • Mary Donegan

    (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA)


Workforce intermediation has emerged as a potential tool for guiding labor market adjustment. This article presents an empirical test of workforce intermediation through a study of community colleges in North Carolina. It demonstrates the positive contribution of intermediary colleges in increasing access to jobs in the pharmaceutical and bioprocessing industries. It also considers the limits of this strategy when adopted by only a subset of colleges within a larger labor market region and, specifically, the challenges this creates for forging strong relationships with employers outside the jurisdictional boundaries of individual colleges. The authors conclude by considering policy options for extending the reach of intermediation across the regional labor market through greater intercollege coordination. The authors argue that coordination efforts in North Carolina, although still in their infancy, hold considerable promise for other college systems that are looking to position themselves as institutional leaders in intermediation.

Suggested Citation

  • Nichola Lowe & Harvey Goldstein & Mary Donegan, 2011. "Patchwork Intermediation: Challenges and Opportunities for Regionally Coordinated Workforce Development," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 25(2), pages 158-171, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:25:y:2011:i:2:p:158-171

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