Issue-Specific Resources: Changing Workforce

"The ability to maximize the productive potential of every American of working age, through investment in education and training will be essential to sustain future growth."–Michael E. Porter and Debra van Opstal (2001)





  1. Cortright, J. The young and the restless: Talented young workers and the prospects for metropolitan prosperity. Presentation to the International Economic Development Council in 2006.

    Topics covered: Why the young and restless matter, Coming shift in US labor markets, Location trends, The college-educated, Neighborhood effects, The importance of being different.

  2. Dueñes, L., & Hill, L. (2006, June). Cultural competence in workforce development: The Jobs Initiative experience. Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

    "As the world economy becomes more global and as the U.S. becomes increasingly ethnically diverse, the world of work is changing. The demographics of America’s workforce historically have influenced the structure and evolution of this nation’s economy. Today, as the nation’s ethnic minority population grows, it is virtually impossible to overlook or ignore issues of race, ethnicity and culture, especially if workforce development efforts aimed at supporting low-skilled, entry-level workers are to succeed. By sharing lessons learned, the Jobs Initiative seeks again to contribute to a wider discourse about how to strengthen the success of America’s workforce by acknowledging and using to everyone’s advantage diverse racial, ethnic and cultural perspectives." 37 pages.

  3. Florida, R. (2003, March). The new American dream. The Atlantic Monthly.

    "The economy will prosper again when more Americans can do the work they love.  The party that realizes this first wins…The American Dream is no longer just about money. Better pay, a nice house, and a rising standard of living will always be attractive…The new American Dream is to maintain a reasonable living standard while doing work that we enjoy doing." 9 pages.

  4. Florida, R. (2002, May). The rise of the creative class: Why cities without gays and rock bands are losing the economic development race. Washington Monthly.

    This article provides a new look at emerging cities and explains why “cities without gays and rock bands are losing the economic development race.” 12 pages.
  5. Lester, D. (2007, September 12). "The graying workforce—Are you prepared. "Industry Week. Retrieved online at http://www.industryweek.com on November 13, 2007.

    Excerpt: "In 2011, the first of the Baby Boomers will turn 65, beginning a wave of retirements that will continue for the next 19 years. As a result, American business faces the prospect of workers exiting at a rate that has never been dealt with before. And when the Boomers leave, they will take a great deal of accumulated knowledge with them. This knowledge exodus will be especially critical on the plant floor where veteran workers have amassed a great deal of expertise about equipment maintenance, repair and operations–knowledge not contained in books or training manuals."

  6. Manpower, Inc. (2008). Confronting the talent crunch: 2008. (White Paper GC-19). Milwaukee, WI: Author.

    Publisher Description: "This paper (updated since its original publication in 2006) explores which trends are likely to become more pronounced, and how governments, employers and individuals can prepare themselves to confront the growing talent shortage." 20 pages.

  7. Manpower, Inc. (2007). Gray matters: Engaging the older workforce. (White Paper). Milwaukee, WI: Author.

    Excerpt: "Birthrates are declining. Baby boomers are preparing to exit the workforce in record numbers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that we’ll face a shortage of 10 million workers by 2010. Resourceful companies are
    gearing up for the challenge of a pending labor shortage.
    What about your company? Will you be ready?."

  8. Manpower, Inc. (2007, April). The new agenda for an older workforce. (White Paper GC-13). Milwaukee, WI: Author.

    Publisher Description: "This white paper explores the increasing reality of the global aging workforce, the resulting gaps in workforce supply, and the demand that this is creating. It proposes strategies that companies can adopt to circumvent these talent challenges; recommendations on how employers can help older employees extend their careers should they choose to do so; and suggestions for the role that governments can play to help solve the older worker conundrum."

Last Updated: July 16, 2012

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