Expanding Economic Opportunity: Lessons from The Field

Release Date: 

  • May 2000 (38 pages)

Posted Date:   

  • May 1, 2000
 
 
 
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In recent years, the U.S. economy has produced new job opportunities at an unprecedented rate; however, many of these jobs are not equally accessible to all Americans both in term of geographic location and skill level. In the mean time, welfare reform has created new challenges for localities as state and local governments must help welfare recipients find jobs and move on to self-sufficiency. Some communities have met these challenges with innovative and successful strategies. The following four studies summarized in this report explore four strategies and 17 programs that have been shown to be successful in producing and maintaining job opportunities for low-income people:

Making Connection: A Study of Employment Linkage Programs shows the efforts by some communities and local governments in using their fiscal and zoning powers to leverage job opportunities, to provide timely information about positions to candidates, and to refer job seekers to agencies and service providers who help screen, train, and place them.

Saving and Creating Good Jobs: A Study of Industrial Retention and Expansion Programs focuses on programs designed to help manufacturing firms already in a location stay and grow. Industrial retention and expansion strategies can be of special benefit to low income people because these jobs can provide relatively high wages for people with limited education.

New Avenues into Jobs: Early Lessons from Nonprofit Temp Agencies and Employment Brokers explores temporary employment as a first step toward integrating low-income people into the world of work.

Strengthening Rural Economies: Programs that Target Promising Sectors of a Local Economy examines strategies that focus on nurturing businesses located near each other and share other common features.

These reports offer valuable lessons about local job development strategies that can be replicated and customized to meet local needs.


 
 
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