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A Tale of Two Systems: Linking Economic Development and Workforce Development

The Seedco Policy Center's latest report, "A Tale of Two Systems: Linking Economic Development and Workforce Development," based on 16 case studies of initiatives in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Illinois, provides an analysis of common opportunities and challenges facing states and localities in their efforts to simultaneously serve the goals of economic development and work force development.

Economic recovery efforts guided by the Obama administration prioritize strategies that link economic growth with human capital development. In turn, states and localities are moving quickly to implement new programs. It is essential for long-term recovery that these programs incorporate workers as valuable inputs to communities' economic development. Seedco's research offers practitioners and policymakers useful and timely guidance as they build a foundation for sustainable and inclusive growth.

Seedco found that although employers and workers today need each other more than ever, their goals are not always perfectly aligned. The reviewed initiatives that proved most successful prioritized locally and regionally driven programming, carefully engaged businesses and incorporated their needs, and constructed program and financial models where partners share risks and rewards.

These are challenging times for economic and work force development. However, the national focus on recovery and reinvestment offers exciting opportunities to forge new and scaleable approaches. Seedco hopes this report provides useful guidance in these efforts.

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