Friday, June 29, 2012

Beyond WIA?

"Unfortunately, our workforce system is not meeting its potential to help adult workers build their human capital...The purpose of our plan is to shift the top priority of the workforce system to long-term training and human capital development."

Stephen Steigleder and Louis Soares, "Let's Get Serious About Our Nation's Human Capital: A Plan to reform the U.S. Workforce Training System," Center for American Progress, June 19, 2012.

About time -- and the right focus. They call for a Workforce Investment Bank and a Career Navigation System. Conceptually and politically smart, but needs some work on how to organize informal job networks as well as other job access tools. A few quibbles: 1) there is no system -- need a way to talk about coordinating a variety of workforce resources in more effective ways; 2) not enough discussion about role of employers and economic development -- takes for granted that this is done well; 3) a bit of confusion about obtaining certificates, getting jobs and careers -- the tensions, complementarities, and what works for different populations; and 4) leaving youth out is big omission given unemployment rates, job search challenges, etc. All in all, though, a refreshing recognition that we need to stretch way beyond WIA reauthorization.

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