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Fed initiative to reimagine, reframe workforce development efforts

October 12, 2017

The Federal Reserve System has announced a new initiative intended to invest in America’s workforce and improve outcomes for both employers and workers. To introduce the Investing in America’s Workforce initiative, the System released a new report analyzing information from nearly 1,000 leaders in the field to identify the current state of the field, important challenges, and strategies for improving items such as human capital, access to jobs, and innovative funding for workforce development programs. Examples of promising strategies identified include: a more effective use of sector strategies; expanding apprenticeships and other work-based training models; increased coordination among service providers; and, changes in employer behavior to improve job access and quality, such as more training options for incumbent workers. The report was released at a capstone conference held last week; the event’s plenary sessions are available to watch online.  The new initiative, whose work is ongoing, is a partnership between the Federal Reserve System, the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, the Ray Marshall Center of the Lyndon B. Johnson School at the University of Texas, and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Plans include a book of findings, to be published in 2018, and a training curriculum.