Growth & Opportunity News: Redefining Workforce Development
Connecting people & communities to economic opportunity | Winter 2017
Delivering a Balanced Menu of Workforce Services:
The Promising Results of WorkAdvance
Imagine organizing a potluck dinner and not providing guidance on what to bring. While the individual offerings might be delicious, it's likely the meal as a whole would feature too much of one thing and not enough of another, and everyone would leave unsatisfied. This is how Bethia Burke, the Fund for Our Economic Future's director of strategy and resource allocation, likens today's workforce development system. Individuals "looking for work who could benefit from services, like pre-employment screening, training for in-demand jobs, placement into work and coaching for advancement, find the services hard to access, uncoordinated or just unavailable."
For a copy of the local impact report, click here.
But there is a better way! Tested over five years in New York, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Northeast Ohio, and rigorously evaluated by an independent research firm, the WorkAdvance pilot -- which was supported in Northeast Ohio by the Fund-- demonstrated that when individuals were connected to comprehensive services that were informed by in-demand jobs in growing sectors, with a focus on advancement, not just job placement, their earnings were 14 percent higher after two years than counterparts in a control group. What's more, the cost per participant through WorkAdvance ($5,200 to $6,700) was comparable to the cost of current service delivery. Social policy research firm MDRC released the national results of the pilot last summer; a report analyzing the Northeast Ohio results was published in late 2016.
In addition to garnering attention from national and local media, WorkAdvance has sparked the interest of funders and key stakeholders who are working on next steps.
The Fund is dedicated to working with partners to ensure the principles are widely adopted.
For a copy of the Northeast Ohio impact report, click here; if interested in a briefing on the results and next steps, please emailBethia Burke.
Op-Ed: Creative Transit Solutions Needed
Growth in transit-accessible urban job hubs can help stem the outward migration of jobs and make the region's growth more environmentally and fiscally sustainable. "But bringing 'jobs to people' is only half of the story; we must also bring 'people to jobs,'" writes Peter Truog, director of civic innovation and insight at the Fund, in a recent Plain Dealer op-ed.
Regions will benefit from considering how to improve multi-modal connections to all job hubs, even suburban ones. Stay tuned for more on how to effectively define job hubs of all sizes in the next issue.
On Racial Equality: Author of
Democracy in Black Speaks at City Club about Value Gap
On February 23,
The City Club of Cleveland hosted
Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Ph.D., of
Princeton University, who discussed his latest book,
Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul. Watching his powerful commentary is 30 minutes well spent.
Podcast Series on Startup Activity in Akron, Ohio, Debuts
A new podcast about how creative Akronites are turning their ideas into businesses recently launched to much fanfare. Produced by
The Devil Strip, with support from the Fund and Burton D. Morgan Foundation, and hosted by Roger Riddle, podcasts will be released on the second Thursday of each month. Oh, and there's video content, too. A new one will be available the third Thursday of every month.
New Resource to Support Cross-sector Collaboration
Check out the Fund's new online tool to help support cross-sector collaboration! The site builds off of the Fund's
Collaboration handbook released last fall. Access information on the preconditions needed for and the essential elements of successful cross-sector collaborations, as well as evaluation tools and additional resources. Additional features, including a blog and interactive elements, to come soon!
Marc Lefkowitz of the
GreenCityBlueLake blog is a strong advocate of improving job access and of more transit-oriented development. Steeped in research
, Marc's posts frequently espouse improving connections of people to jobs and bringing more jobs to people. One recent post interestingly looked at employment access inequities in Northeast Ohio, and cited new research from the University of Minnesota on how well U.S. cities provide access to jobs via transit.
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This newsletter is presented by the Fund for Our Economic Future, in collaboration with the Community Development Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, as part of a joint initiative to identify and spread effective local and regional strategies for growing jobs in ways that also expand opportunity.