The Federal Reserve System’s newly-released report, “Investing in America’s Workforce: Report on Workforce Development Needs and Opportunities”, provides dynamic insight into America’s current employment and workforce development landscapes. Its content ranges from short-term suggestions to maximize workforce productivity and adaptability, to long-term speculation about technology and labor paradigm shifts. Focus groups composed of national leaders in government, philanthropy, and the private sector also offered perspectives into optimizing workforce prospects and investments.
Outlined in the report are six key investment areas where additional financial capital could produce significantly improved short- and long-term workforce outcomes. These areas include:
Core Workforce Preparation Programs: investment from both the public and private sector in expanded training programs at secondary and tertiary school levels will equip more workers with in-demand knowledge and skills.
Workforce Intermediaries: middleman entities are often responsible for connecting employers with a supply of skilled employees, and for facilitating targeted skills-training programs.
Early Childhood Education: high-quality and broadly-accessible early childhood education primes the future workforce generation for productivity and success, and offers the current workforce generation scheduling flexibility and peace-of-mind.
Accessible Community Infrastructure: offering workers more optionality with affordable housing, reliable public and private transportation, and high-quality childcare opens the door for career advancement and upward mobility.
Comprehensive Supportive Services: many workers, such as those struggling with addiction or transitioning from jail or prison, face additional labor market access challenges unrelated to skills. Investment in comprehensive supportive services, which may include legal or psychotherapeutic counsel, can help broaden workforce access.
Increased Job Access and Quality: Fostering entrepreneurship and small- to mid-sized business development can expand the availability of jobs in low or moderate income areas. Innovative, financially-remunerative products can encourage behaviors that increase both access to and quality of available jobs.
These suggestions and others offer valuable insight into ways of maximizing Philadelphia’s economic prospects. Increased investment in our some of our area’s growing industries (think tech, infrastructure and industrial construction, healthcare) at all education levels will yield dividends for generations to come. Additional targeted campaigns focused on Philadelphia’s livability and vibrancy as an urban center will help the city attract, retain, and train high-skilled employees.
Take a look at the report to learn more about the emerging strategies and investment opportunities being used to harness America’s workforce potential.