In 2017, the Federal Reserve System’s Investing in America’s Workforce (IAW) initiative held listening sessions across the country. The intent was to better understand how public and private entities are investing in workforce development in their communities and how workforce outcomes are being measured. One challenge participants identified was the lack of alignment between economic development and workforce development systems.

The economic development system is designed to encourage business and job growth, while the workforce development system works to ensure individuals have the education, skills and training needed to obtain jobs. When the two systems are aligned, job seekers receive training and skill development that employers demand—resulting in higher wages and career advancement—and employers have access to a skilled workforce that enables growth and increased productivity. Beyond benefiting employees and employers, a functional and aligned system has economic benefits to the broader community.

This External Linkspecial topic brief, recently released as part of the External LinkIAW initiative, focuses on the alignment of these two systems and highlights common barriers and opportunities for improving alignment across several metro areas.

The brief is the fifth of a series based on research and roundtable discussions with community leaders throughout the country focused on specific workforce-related topics. Visit the External Linkwebsite for updates and look for an email about the next special topic brief in the IAW series.

In addition to this brief, chapters in the book External LinkInvesting in America’s Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers examine workforce development systems/resources and regional partnerships. Some of these chapters include:

Contact if you have questions or would like to share how you use these resources. For more information about the initiative, the briefs and the book, visit External