Workforce Development and the Disadvantaged

Brief

Workforce Development and the Disadvantaged

New Directions for 2009 and Beyond
October 2, 2008

Abstract

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) officially expired in 2003 but has not yet been reauthorized. With a new administration and Congress due in 2009, what should they consider regarding workforce development and the disadvantaged population? This brief reviews the arguments for a workforce development system, examining both the strengths and weaknesses of the current WIA program. Among the proposals are expanded funding, and planning grants which states could use to target industries and sectors with unmet demands for skilled workers. They would then identify potential "pathways" for different groups of disadvantaged workers to meet those demands.

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