Job-Centered Economic Development Strategies

In our current economy even educated, experienced workers in many sectors are struggling to find employment. These challenges are compounded for our country’s most at-risk populations – youth and adults in low-income families - who traditionally have less access to educational opportunities, training opportunities, work experience, and networks.

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Fels Consulting worked with the Annie E. Casey Foundation to identify and examine replicable employer-driven talent development strategies aimed at lower skilled workers and at-risk youth. This work  focused on identifying models that 1) could be implemented by other companies, 2) would have impact in 3-5 years, and 3) offer sustainable models that fit into a company’s business model, as opposed to being categorized as an initiative to advance a company’s civic role.

To achieve these project goals, Fels:

  • Explored business trends;
  • Conducted in-depth interviews;
  • Performed site visits to examine the most promising job-centered development models; and
  • Produced a practical brief highlighting innovations, programs, and processes that lead to effective, productive results (coming early 2013).

This brief could be used as a starting place to 1) identify strategic investments in job creation projects that would benefit at-risk populations, 2) serve as an advocacy tool to promote policies that support job-centered economic development strategies, and 3) provide a practical guide for target businesses that are re-examining their talent development/offshoring/technology strategies.

Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private charitable organization, dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. It was established in 1948 by Jim Casey, one of the founders of UPS, and his siblings, who named the Foundation in honor of their mother.

The primary mission of the Foundation is to foster public policies, human-service reforms, and community supports that more effectively meet the needs of today’s vulnerable children and families. In pursuit of this goal, the Foundation makes grants that help states, cities and neighborhoods fashion more innovative, cost-effective responses to these needs.