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Fragmentation in workforce development and efforts to coordinate regional workforce development systems

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Abstract

The importance of human capital in regional economic competitiveness is increasingly apparent. However, structural changes, fragmentation, the instability of funding, and other factors have led to challenges for workforce development providers as well as workforce development systems. This fragmentation has created a less coherent and coordinated workforce development system. Often, metropolitan areas have many programs and policies in place to train workers for jobs that require sub-baccalaureate credentials or skills. The lack of coordination in local training systems may limit the information available to job and training seekers, create duplication of services among providers, and discourage outcome measurement and program evaluation. This paper examines many of these trends and discusses the current state of the workforce development system in the United States by using the Atlanta metropolitan area as a case study. A number of commissioned studies focused on the Atlanta metropolitan area's workforce development system are summarized as local examples of these trends, including recommendations for improving regional collaboration. Finally, lessons learned from successful regional workforce development models in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Detroit provide guidance for forging a successful strategy for regional workforce development. These regional collaboratives suggest a way to improve information, programming, and alignment in local job training ecosystems.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreason, Stuart & Carpenter, Ann, 2015. "Fragmentation in workforce development and efforts to coordinate regional workforce development systems," FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper 2015-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedacd:2015-02
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    File URL: https://www.frbatlanta.org/-/media/Documents/commdev/publications/discussionpapers/2015/1502.pdf?la=en
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Berry, Christopher R. & Glaeser, Edward L., 2005. "Divergence of Human Capital Levels across Cities," Working Paper Series rwp05-057, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    2. Vijay K. Mathur, 1999. "Human Capital-Based Strategy for Regional Economic Development," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 13(3), pages 203-216, August.
    3. Holzer, Harry J., 2008. "Workforce Development as an Antipoverty Strategy: What Do We Know? What Should We Do?," IZA Discussion Papers 3776, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Christopher R. Berry & Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The divergence of human capital levels across cities," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 84(3), pages 407-444, August.
    5. Christopher R. Berry & Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Divergence of Human Capital Levels across Cities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2091, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    6. Christopher R. Berry & Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Divergence of Human Capital Levels Across Cities," NBER Working Papers 11617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Holland, Brian, 2018. "Defining and Measuring Workforce Development in the United States in a Post-Bipartisan Era," GLO Discussion Paper Series 234, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor policy; regional labor policy; economic development; workforce development; regional workforce intermediaries;

    JEL classification:

    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis

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