Rebuilding America’s Manufacturing Workforce
In July 2014, the Hope Street Group Jobs team released Missing Makers: How to Rebuild America’s Manufacturing Workforce. Created in partnership with Alcoa Foundation, the report holistically frames the challenges faced by educators, employers, and youth in transitioning young people to skilled careers in manufacturing.
The paper offers tactical recommendations for employers on addressing these challenges in their regions and outlines findings that have resonated strongly with a number of readers familiar with this issue, including representatives from manufacturing firms of all sizes, educational institutions, and nonprofits.
Demand-Driven Jobs Training
In December 2013, we hosted a working session in Washington, DC that focused on creating a more demand-driven workforce system in the U.S. Participants of the meeting, “Envisioning a Demand-Driven Jobs Training System,” included 17 business executives and eight senior government officials, including Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and then-Director of the National Economic Council, Gene Sperling. Together, business leaders such as Alan May, Chief HR Officer at Boeing, and John Donleavy, COO of the National Grid, were able to develop a set of tactical ideas for the Administration on how to accelerate movement toward an improved workforce training system, utilizing policy, program, and practice.
A New American Skills System
In late 2012, we assembled a Bipartisan Working Group (BWG) of 40 cross-sector leaders and innovators from across partisan lines. The result of this BWG was a five-pillared vision for the mutually reinforcing elements of a New American Skills System:
- Standards: Industry-defined skills standards, assessments and certifications are widely used by employers and educators alike
- Pathways: Fosters work-centered learning and alignment between educational pathways and the workforce
- Information: Empowers individuals and institutions with much better information about jobs, skills, and training opportunities
- Incentives: Funds diverse education and training programs based on work-relevant skill development
- Shared Goals: Promotes shared goals between economic development, education and workforce development
This framework has helped to create new partnerships, renewing dialogue around this issue, and has heavily influenced the Jobs Program’s current direction and initiatives.