"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. Clymer, C. (2003, December). By design: Engaging employers in workforce development organizations. A publication of Public / Private Ventures.

    Publisher Description: "Workforce development practitioners and policymakers have come to recognize the importance of employers as customers. Too often, however, not enough time is devoted to considering (much less implementing) the organizational and programmatic changes necessary to truly engage employers. By Design describes strategies used by three organizations to effectively engage employers in workforce development efforts…By Design outlines employer-engagement strategies in detail to help other organizations substantively involve employers in daily activities and services." 32 pages.

  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. Duke, A., Martinson, K., & Strawn, J. (2006, April). Wising up: How government can partner with business to increase skills and advance low-wage workers. Center for Law and Social Policy.

    Publisher Description: "Helping low-wage workers upgrade their skills is a critical part of public policies to advance workers and to attract and retain 'good' jobs — those that pay enough to support a family and offer health care, sick leave, and other important benefits. One promising approach has states and local governments partnering with business and industry to train workers and encourage the creation and retention of good jobs. This report examines five such training partnerships underway in four states, and offers innovative practices, challenges, and lessons learned for states and localities." 47 pages.

  4. Ganzglass, E, Simon, M., Mazzeo, C., & Conklin, K. (2002). A governor's guide to creating a 21st-century workforce. Washington, D.C.: National Governors' Association

    From Publisher Description: "This report describes state policies and programs that that help build the workforce needed for today's jobs and business leadership. The report asserts that America's businesses need smart and skilled workers to continue producing goods and services marked by innovation, knowledge, and quality - characteristics that give U.S. firms a competitive edge in the global marketplace."

  5. Grote, M. W. (2004, November). Unrealized gains: How workforce organizations can put money in the pockets of low-wage workers. Working Ventures. A publication of Public / Private Ventures.

    Publisher Description: "Social policy continues to emphasize the importance of work, but many working families struggle to make ends meet. Work supports can be a critical factor in enabling people to make a successful transition to employment. Packed with tools and resources, Unrealized Gains will help practitioners make use of work supports: laying the groundwork with a financial literacy curriculum, creating income packages, promoting access to work supports through advocacy and keeping graduates on track with a variety of retention strategies. Readers will come away with a concrete plan for addressing their participants' economic security." 51 pages.

  6. Grote, M. W. (2003, June). Fixing a flat at 65 mph: Restructuring services to improve program performance in workforce development. A publication of Public / Private Ventures.

    Publisher Description: "Business leaders have easy access to primers on organizational change; indeed many are bestsellers. In contrast, little is available to nonprofit executives intent on restructuring their organizations. And, while many lessons from the business world are relevant, there are unique aspects of nonprofits' missions and organizational cultures that demand special attention. This report examines the restructuring of three leading workforce development organizations that were seeking to improve performance. Based on their many achievements and the occasional misstep, Fixing a Flat at 65 MPH offers nonprofit managers seven guiding principles addressing the most significant challenges likely to arise during a major reorganization." 44 pages.

  7. Greater Des Moines Partnership. (n.d.). Pathways to prosperity.

    "A new community-based approach toward developing a world-class Competitive Workforce System that aligns individual and regional economic development goals in a Knowledge Economy."

  8. Hebert, S., & Waldron, T. (2007). Strengthening workforce policy: Applying the lessons of the jobs initiative to five key challenges. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation.

    Publisher Description: "This report identifies five central problems that confront policymakers who are interested in improving workforce development programs. Based on lessons learned from the Jobs Initiative, an eight-year Casey Foundation workforce initiative launched in 1995, the report outlines specific policy actions to address these challenges. The report focuses on policy at the local, state, and federal levels." 20 pages.

  9. Jenkins, D. (2006, August). Career pathways: Aligning public resources to support individual and regional economic advancement in the knowledge economy. Brooklyn, NY: Workforce Strategy Center.

    Publisher Description: "This report is the first in a series called Pathways to Competitiveness. It lays out the economic justification for career pathways, describes the process involved, and sets the stage for the remaining reports." 28 pages.

  10. Jenkins, D., & Spence, C. (2006, October). The career pathways how-to guide. Brooklyn, NY: Workforce Strategy Center.

    Publisher Description: "[This guide] sets out a step-by-step protocol for building career pathways on the local level and discusses how state-level officials can support local efforts." 56 pages.

  11. Johnson, B., & Sherman, L. (2005, Fall). Workforce development: A region’s key business retention and expansion tool. Economic Development America, 11-13.

    Excerpt: "Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.), the public-private economic development organization for the 10-parish New Orleans region, has forged a powerful regional partnership of business, civic, university and government leadership. Workforce development is one of the three critical arms of GNO, Inc.’s focused job creation strategy, centered around target industry sectors with labor shortages."

  12. Maguire, S. (2006, October). Locally grown: Key strategies for expanding workforce services. A publication of Public / Private Ventures. 48 pages.

    Publisher Description: "This report profiles three workforce organizations across the country—in Colorado, Georgia and New York—and explores the strategies they used to grow their programs locally. The report examines the dilemmas workforce organizations frequently face in meeting not only the needs of their dual customers—job seekers and employers—but also the needs of a third customer, the public funding agency that is often paying the bill. Along with a look at how these organizations created environments that supported staff in their work, the report also considers the ways a vision and commitment to the workforce field—beyond the interests of the organization — contributed to their success."

  13. 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.

  14. 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."

  15. Mathur, V. K. (1999, August). Human capital-based strategy for regional economic development. Economic Development Quarterly, 13(3), 203-216.

    Excerpt from Author Abstract: "This article proposes a human capital accumulation strategy for regional economic development that not only integrates the…diverse elements of the literature into a cohesive analytical framework but also provides the rationale for it to be part of a long-term policy for economic development on efficiency grounds." 14 pages.

  16. Mazzeo, C., Roberts, B., Spence, C.,& Strawn, J. (2006, December). Working together: Aligning state systems and policies for individual and regional prosperity. Brooklyn, NY: Workforce Strategy Center.

    Publisher Description: "[In this report, WSC] defines the challenges and highlights the possibilities facing state-level policymakers who seek to align state policies and resources in support of worker advancement and economic growth." 45 pages.

  17. Miles, M. A. (2006, July). Good stories aren't enough: Becoming outcomes-driven in workforce development. A publication of Public / Private Ventures

    Publisher Description: "Workforce development organizations are more and more focused on achieving and documenting performance outcomes; yet managers frequently face a challenge getting buy-in from frontline staff about collecting and using data, not only to satisfy funders' needs, but to improve services. Good Stories Aren't Enough looks at the experience and learnings of six organizations as they focused on becoming more outcomes-driven." 48 pages.

  18. National Governors' Association. (2000). State strategies for the new economy. Washington, D.C.: Author.

    Excerpt from Publisher Description: "As the new economy brings change and new prospects to individuals, it also brings challenges and opportunities to institutions. In particular, state government needs to transform itself to provide a supportive environment for businesses and citizens to prosper. To be successful, state government must become: flexible and adaptable; consumer-friendly; reinvented with technology; innovative; performance-driven; and accountable. If state government does not adopt these characteristics, it will lose its highest skilled and educated workers, its entrepreneurs, the private capital that sparks innovation and business expansion, and the social wealth that supports the well-being of a region." 50 pages.

  19. Taylor, R., Johnson, S., Hoke, L., Doron, S., Pennock, C., & Clinton, J. (2007). EnterpriseSouth.biz: The 2007 report on the future of the south. A project of the Council for a New Economy Workforce. Research Triangle Park, NC: Southern Growth Policies Board.

    Publisher Description:
    br>"EnterpriseSouth.biz calls for a cultural shift in the South to an enterprise economy, characterized by a workforce that is knowledgeable, entrepreneurial and innovative. EnterpriseSouth.biz outlines a three-pronged strategy: CONVENE, CONNECT and COMMIT to create an enterprise economy and workforce. The strategy proposes that Southern leaders CONVENE a series of conversations that include all the stakeholders in workforce development, to CONNECT the public more directly to education, and to maximize effectiveness within various public and private workforce efforts. The process is designed to lead parties to COMMIT to a non-partisan compact to build a southern workforce that is both enterprising and globally competitive. EnterpriseSouth.biz includes regional and state-level data on educational attainment and economic achievements as well as profiles of innovative programs." 91 pages.

    "Southern Growth also launched, www.enterprisesouth.biz to chronicle the Southern states' progress in implementing the CONVENE-CONNECT-COMMIT strategy. The website includes state workforce data, profiles of the report's strategies and a dynamic space for Southern states to track their activities and accomplishments."

  20. Troppe, M. (2005, Fall). Under one roof: New governance structures for aligning local economic and workforce development. Economic Development America, 14-16.

    "Across the country, there is a growing interest in aligning the work of economic development and workforce organizations. Partly this is motivated by an attempt to make good use of increasingly scarce resources. Partly it is a reaction to intensifying competition for attracting and retaining companies with good jobs, as communities face off against others in the United States and around the globe. Partly it is motivated by a sense that, among practitioners, at best, we have missed opportunities to be more successful by joining forces."
  21. Workforce Strategy Center. Career pathways: A definition.

    Excerpt: "'Career pathways' is a term for a particular framework or process by which regions can better align publicly supported systems and programs to build a knowledge workforce. A career pathways system is a series of connected educational and training programs and support services that prepares and enables individuals, often while they are working, to secure a job and advance over time to successively higher levels of education and employment in a specific industry or occupational sector." 2 pages.

  22. Workforce Strategy Center. Career pathways: Partner roles and responsibilities.

    Excerpt: "To organize career pathways, strategic partnerships must establish trusting relationships and clear lines of communication. These strategic partnerships must include, at a minimum, educational organizations, the Workforce Investment System, and economic development entities. At all stages, outreach is conducted to garner support and participation from additional stakeholders. Each career pathways collaboration differs and is tailored according to the situation. However, for the purposes of providing a general understanding, typical partner roles are described [in this article]." 3 pages.

Last Updated: May 21, 2014