Building a Next Generation Workforce Development System




Ganzglass, Evelyn
Ridley, Neil
Simon, Martin
King, Christopher T.
Narver, Betty Jane
Van Horn, Carl

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Center for Best Practices National Governors’ Association, Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources at the University of Texas at Austin, Institute for Public Policy and Management at the University of Washington, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University


The current workforce development system has not kept pace with the changing economy and changing expectations for the role of education and training. In addition, there is a wide and growing gap between public workforce programs and private sector human resource practices. We believe the time is ripe for a fresh examination of the existing workforce development system. It is also time to define a vision for a next generation workforce system.

This discussion paper is a work in progress that:

Summarizes key features of the New Economy and the forces of change that have given rise to it;
Briefly characterizes existing workforce development programs in the United States;
Lays out a series of characteristics of a next generation workforce system;
Suggests possible strategies for building the workforce system of the future; and
Initiates a dialogue among key players in the workforce system, particularly the states and regions responsible for its implementation.


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