The synergy between job creation and workforce development is not axiomatic. Businesses need the support of education and training institutions, labor market intermediaries, and support service providers, but are often poorly equipped to make and manage these connections. Similarly, workforce intermediaries, training providers, and support service organizations need the direct input from business and industry to ensure that training is current and relevant. Sector-based workforce development strategies that are linked to regional labor markets and industry clusters can help solidify these connections and provide increased job access, retention, and career advancement opportunities for incumbent workers and entry-level jobseekers from low-income communities.
Our work in this area is focused on strengthening the capacity of training and service providers to help individuals succeed and integrating workforce development with regional economic development, cluster development, and community change initiatives. We provide strategic planning and technical assistance to workforce partnerships and labor market intermediaries and conduct evaluations of sector-based training programs and alliances. We offer additional expertise in workforce development strategies that support sustainable food systems and the green economy.
Sector Employment for Young Adults
Client: Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative
BWFC supports a network of industry workforce partnerships as part of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. This study assessed the capacity of sector partnerships to expand job training, credentialing, retention and advancement services and wraparound supports to young adults, with a particular focus on disconnected youth. Examined existing programs, youth employment best practices, and factors affecting Baltimore's capacity to mount effective sector-focused youth employment strategies, with recommendations.
Evaluation of SkillWorks Boston
Client: Mt. Auburn Associates
SkillWorks is a dual-customer, sector-focused, partnership model designed to help low-skilled, entry-level jobseekers attain family supporting jobs and businesses find and retain skilled employees. The evaluation assesses strategies designed to build the capacity of workforce partnerships, create a continuum of workforce development services, and promote responsive public policies and systems reform. SkillWorks is managed by the Boston Foundation and is a flagship member of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.
Culinary Arts Training Program Evaluation
Client: Reconcile New Orleans, Inc.
Evaluation of a culinary arts training program for at-risk youth and associated social enterprises. Assessing effectiveness of existing workforce development programs and operations, documenting best practices from the field, and developing indicators and tools for ongoing self-assessment and sustainability. Providing technical assistance to inform growth strategies that strengthen linkages to the hospitality and food services sectors and improve job retention and career advancement outcomes for participants.
Site Selection and Strategy Reviews
Client: Annie E. Casey Foundation
Directed four-person team of field observers that monitored the activities of sites applying for planning grants under the Casey Foundation's Jobs Initiative, an eight-year, $30 million effort to stimulate job opportunities for disenfranchised people and major labor market reforms. Designed protocol for conducting on-site observations and interviews and made recommendations for site selection. Also part of Strategic Investment Plan review panel, a technical assistance and evaluation team assembled to provide ongoing input and advice on performance measures, outcomes indicators, and policy implications.
Technical Assistance to National Workforce Development Demonstration
Client: National League of Cities
Three-year demonstration undertaken by the National League of Cities to help local governments develop strategies to link economic development and workforce development to benefit residents of low income communities. Provided advice during the design and site selection processes. Provided ongoing technical assistance to site team in the areas of labor market analysis, regional economic analysis, sectoral analysis, strategic planning, organizational development, and evaluation. Promoted sectoral strategy in manufacturing.