12/12 - Dr. Christopher King speaks on the Federal Reserve’s Economic Development Podcast Series.

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Dr. Christopher King, Director at the Ray Marshall Center, spoke to Alfreda Norman with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas on the Federal Reserve’s Economic Development Podcast Series in December. The topic of discussion for the podcast was, “Why Connecting Economic and Workforce Development Matters.”

In light of recent shifts in our economy towards a service and knowledge economy, and further expounding upon the presentation he gave to the Future of Workforce Development Conference in Kansas City, Dr. King explains that economic development and workforce development paradigms have begun to merge in the last decade.  In a less hierarchical marketplace, employers have less time to develop the long term skills that are needed of their employees. Local workforce boards and community and technical colleges are increasingly relied upon to provide much needed training for workers who can no longer depend on the traditional “career ladder,” as companies have moved away from long-term worker training models.

Along with local colleges, non-profit organizations are playing an important role in workforce training.  For example, Capital IDEA in Austin, Texas, has developed a strategy to provide long-term occupational training for the local health industry. By following up with participants years after they have completed the program, The Ray Marshall Center has observed what long term impacts this program has on workers.  Employment and wage data show that participants in the program have had markedly more success than their counterparts in the health labor market.  

Finally, Dr. King explains that communication between civic organizations will play an important role in local economic development.  Limited local funds will demand that these organizations work more efficiently in the future.
Ray Marshall Center

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