The U.S. economy has been transitioning over time from one based on production to one based on services. What does that mean for workers, productivity and job quality? What role should public policy and business leaders play in addressing these changes? Maureen Conway of External LinkThe Aspen Institute tackles this and related questions in her new essay, titled “Strategies to Advance Job Quality.”

Increased Job Quality Improves Competitiveness

In this essay, Conway addresses pivotal transitions in our economy, and offers specific examples of how policy and investment changes can align business incentives with the public interest to boost job quality, particularly across low-wage sectors. The changes she cites can result in improved outcomes for both businesses and their employees and be the basis for sustainable competitive advantages.

Conway’s essay is an introduction to a broader section focused on policies and strategies to improve the quality of jobs for lower-wage workers in the forthcoming book, “Investing in America’s Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers.” This book will present more than 60 invited essays from a broad group of national leaders offering a range of perspectives on how investments can be made and outcomes strengthened in the field of workforce development. 

The book will be available Nov. 9 at External Until then, Conway’s essay and other chapters to be released in coming weeks will be available at External


Driving Investments, Not Costs

Investing in America’s Workforce is a larger, multiyear initiative to improve workforce development outcomes for both workers and businesses. The goal is to shift the perception of workforce development from being a cost to being an investment that yields positive returns for businesses, workers and their communities. 

Reframing and reimagining workforce development efforts as investments—not just social services—can lead to larger-scale solutions and more accountable outcomes. Investing in workforce development can bolster the equitable and efficient use of resources. It can lead to better outcomes for individuals, more competitive businesses and regional economic growth. And it can help unlock the potential of our nation’s workforce.


Workforce development matters for individuals, families, businesses and their communities, and smart investments that can produce tangible outcomes for all. To learn more about this initiative, visit the External LinkInvesting in America's Workforce website or contact Steven Shepelwich


Related Resources:

Investing in Job Quality: Kansas City Fed webinars and resources

External LinkInvesting in America’s Workforce: A Federal Reserve System initiative

Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century: A Federal Reserve System compendium