Roundtable: Reimagining America's Skills Investments
(Employment & Training)

Friday, November 9, 2012: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Salon E (Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizers:  Larry A. Good, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce
Speakers:  Carl Van Horn, Rugters University and Christopher King, University of Texas, Austin
Moderators:  Larry A. Good, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce

Reimagining America’s Skills Investments America lacks a clear and shared social compact about the investments required in skills development, income and social supports, and labor market intermediation for adult workers. Current laws and policy/program frameworks were crafted in a very different era, and today are fragmented, largely outdated, and dying for lack of political support in an era of significant constraints on public funding. At the same time, the norms in industry investment in their workers, which were set in an economy dominated by large firms with mostly stable internal labor markets and long-term employer/employee relationships, also do not fit the rapidly shifting realities of a new century. As a nation, we should stop attempting to patch together remnants of the old policy apparatus and instead reimagine the entire proposition. We propose to hold a roundtable in which roundtable members will lead attendees through a highly interactive discussion about choices for public policy regarding workforce development if it is reimagined. Roundtable members will a) discuss the global economic and policy trends that are the context for rethinking U.S. approaches to development of skills and supports for adult learners/workers, b) summarize what of relevance can be learned from research to inform policy choices, and then c) will frame several policy options that would be viable within this context and capable of producing effective results. During each of these topic segments, the moderator will engage audience members with focused questions designed to provoke good input. The intent is for the roundtable to feel like a guided full-room reflection upon and discussion about choices for fully reframing workforce policy. This work is timely given Congressional debate about the future of federal workforce funding, urgent needs for increased workforce skills being identified by both researchers and industries, and the lack of consensus on public policy in this field.

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