Through the economic ups and downs of the last few years, it has become clear that cities and states simply must have competitive workforce development policies to compete in a changing economy. Coherent and sophisticated training programs accomplish two key goals for policymakers: they help attract knowledge-driven companies that ultimately can help move states away from low-wage economies, and they can connect low-skilled workers to education and training that enhances the economic prospects of these workers.
In the 21st century, local economies won’t stand or fall on the presence of sports stadiums and office parks; they’ll be built on competitive workforce systems. But that work of construction is far more difficult than it sounds. To do it right, workforce systems
must balance the oft-competing needs of workers and businesses; leverage millions in new dollars to pay for increased training programs; and link diverse players including nonprofits, colleges, and business associations through common goals and interests.