The State of the US Workforce System

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Kathy Krepcio and Michele Martin have written a Research Report for the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University,"The State of the U.S. Workforce System: A Time for Incremental Realignment or Serious Reform?". The paper aims to spark conversations among workforce development leaders at the federal, state and local levels to re-imagine a workforce system that is more effective in a fundamentally different economy than the one that existed when WIA was enacted in 1998. 

The authors examine 5 trends and the challenges that the workforce system is facing as a result of these trends. The trends include:

  • The slow growth economy and jobless recoveries, which creates longer periods of unemployment for more workers.
  • Changing labor markets and employment relations, including the growth of contract/contingent workers and the impact of globalization and technology on occupational requirements. 
  • Advances in information and communications technology and their impact on both jobs and service expectations. 
  • Demographic changes in the workforce.
  • Reduced workforce system funding. 

The paper then looks at how the workforce system may need to adapt and change its definitions of value to succeed in this new economic landscape.