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Economic Development Administration on Workforce April 4, 2006

Posted by Tom in Innovation, Research.

The US Economic Development Administration published "Economic Development America: Building a 21st Century Workforce" last fall to highlight the growing alignment between economic development and workforce development goals and outcomes. 

I've been working at the cutting edge of workforce planning for the last year or so, and I found this PDF to be a sharp primer on many of the latest ideas in workforce and economic development, including:

  • Work skills readiness certificates (in Indiana, that would be WorkKeys)
  • Co-location of ED and workforce staffs along the lines of Fort Wayne's Economic Growth Center
  • Preparing the rising workforce to meet the needs of current and anticipated economic development – especially in math and science
  • The critical role that community colleges play in delivering the last two years of the K-14 education that all students need

As Richard Florida explains in his "creative class" research, companies locate where the workers are.  Thus, its incumbent on economic developers to take an active role in workforce preparation to ensure success in attracting and retaining business. 

If you want to quickly bring yourself up to speed with the latest theory and practice in this converging policy model, I strongly suggest that you read this magazine.



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