The Role of Public Policy in skills Development of Black Workers in the 21st Century
In: Building Skills for Black Workers: Preparing for the Future Labor Market
This paper discusses the role of public policy in the skills development system of the U.S. It further examines the implications of that policy for the skill development and career progression of black workers. The paper describes the current "system" for skills development in the United States as a two-tiered system: The "first-chance" or conventional system allows individuals to proceed through an extensive public elementary, secondary, and postsecondary educational sector that is supplemented by private educational institutions and is followed by employer-provided job training and work experience. The "second-chance" system is designed for individuals who do not successfully traverse the first-chance system. The second-chance system includes public job training programs, public assistance, rehabilitation programs for offenders, and educational remediation. The public agency for labor market exchange, the Employment Service, has tended to play a significant role in facilitating employment in the second-chance system. Paradoxically, despite the tremendous success of the U.S. economy, including the fact that it has the world's leading level of worker productivity, there is a pervasive perception that the current system for skills development in the U.S. is failing. Lagging school achievement (particularly in urban areas), high unemployment rates for certain groups of the population, and employer concerns about the quality of entry level workers suggest that the current system may be neither efficient nor equitable. The paper starts out by considering the rationale for public policy intervention in the skills development process. It then reviews public policy at the federal, state, and local levels that fosters skills development. At the federal level, the major policy emphasis currently is the consolidation of job training and labor market exchange programs through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). State and local entities administer
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|This chapter was published in: Cecilia A. Conrad (ed.) Building Skills for Black Workers: Preparing for the Future Labor Market, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, pages 127-148, 2004.|
|This item is provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers with number tjbkh2004.|
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