From Around the Fed


Financing Workforce Development in a Devolutionary Era
Date: April 2016
Author: Stuart Andreason (Atlanta Fed)
About: Federal funding for the traditional workforce development system has declined dramatically over the past few decades. The author examines the potential for some alternative financing models, such as bonding incremental payroll tax, social impact bonds, and income-share agreements.

Fragmentation in Workforce Development and Efforts to Coordinate Regional Workforce Development Systems
Date: April 2015
Authors: Stuart Andreason and Ann Carpenter (Atlanta Fed)
About: Job training programs and other entities often work independently in the workforce development field, which can lead to fragmentation and inefficiencies. The authors study the Atlanta area's challenges in coordinating workforce development and present best practices in other cities.

Atlanta and Kansas City

Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st CenturyOff-site link
Date: 2015
Editors: Carl Van Horn (John J. Heldrich for Workforce Development, Rutgers University), Tammy Edwards (Kansas City Fed), and Todd Greene (Atlanta Fed)
About: Workers and employers in the United States face new realities and uncertainties that current public policies and programs were not designed to address. More than 65 researchers and practitioners contributed to case studies that reimagine, reform, and strengthen education and workforce development policies.


Addressing Employment Needs through Sector Partnerships: Case Studies from across the Federal Reserve's Fourth DistrictOff-site link
Date: August 2016
Authors: Kyle Fee, Matt Klesta, and Lisa Nelson (Cleveland Fed)
About: Sector-based partnerships typically involve employers from a particular industry collaborating with representatives from local and regional economic development offices, educational institutions, and nonprofits to meet the needs of job seekers, the industry, and the region's economy. Evaluations of five sector-based partnerships in the Fourth District (which comprises Ohio and parts of Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) reveal that while these partnerships come in varying structures, each is focused on making and enhancing connections across a number of entities to ensure a well-prepared workforce and a responsive workforce system.


Regional Talent Pipelines: Collaborating with Industry to Build Opportunities in TexasOff-site link
Date: December 2016
Authors: Dallas Fed and Center for Public Policy Priorities
About: In response to the diminishing number of middle-skill jobs across the country, the Dallas Fed and the Center for Public Policy Priorities surveyed regional workforce boards in Texas to identify innovative efforts that align workforce development activities. Using survey responses, the authors offer recommendations on how some of Texas's state-level entities can strengthen career pathways to middle-skill, middle-wage jobs and beyond.

Las Colonias in the 21st Century: Progress Along the Texas-Mexico Border video fileOff-site link
Date: July 2015
Publisher: Dallas Fed
About: In 2015, the Dallas Fed released the report Las Colonias in the 21st Century: Progress Along the Texas–Mexico BorderOff-site link, which examines successes and challenges in infrastructure, housing, economic opportunity, education, and health in Texas border colonias (Spanish for a community or neighborhood). This video provides an overview of the state of the colonias featured in the report as well as key findings and promising strategies to improve living conditions and access to opportunity in these communities.

Dallas and Kansas City

Engaging Workforce Development: A Framework for Meeting CRA ObligationsOff-site link
Date: December 2016
Authors: Elizabeth Sobel Blum (Dallas Fed) and Steve Shepelwich (Kansas City Fed)
About: Recent guidance for the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) states that workforce development activities to create or improve access for low- or moderate-income persons to job training and jobs may be considered an eligible economic development activity. This guide provides bankers and their partner organizations information and tools to engage in workforce development activities to support their community involvement goals and their obligations under the CRA.


Identifying Opportunity Occupations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware Adobe PDF file formatOff-site link
Date: September 2015
Author: Keith Wardrip (Philadelphia Fed)
About: An extension of opportunity occupation research from Identifying Opportunity Occupations in the Nation's Largest Metropolitan Economies, this report explores the degree to which the economies of 11 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware include opportunity occupations, or occupations characterized by above-average pay for workers without a bachelor's degree.

Investments in Young Children Yield High Public Returns Off-site link
Date: Fall 2016
Author: Rob Grunewald (Minneapolis Fed)
About: Supportive early environments help children succeed in school and in life, and they provide many benefits to communities and society. Cost-benefit analyses of high-quality early learning programs show the monetary benefits to society are much larger than program costs.

Philadelphia and Atlanta

Uneven Opportunity: Exploring Employers' Educational Preferences for Middle-Skills Jobs Adobe PDF file formatOff-site link
Date: January 2017
Authors: Keith Wardrip (Philadelphia Fed), Stuart Andreason (Atlanta Fed), and Mels de Zeeuw (Atlanta Fed)
About: To ensure more low- and moderate income families can enjoy pathways into prosperity, it is crucial to identify the economic opportunities available to non-college-educated or middle-skill workers. Using level of education requested by employers in online job advertisements, the authors explore why employer preferences for bachelor's degrees for the most prevalent opportunity occupations vary significantly between metropolitan areas.

Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Cleveland

Identifying Opportunity Occupations in the Nation's Largest Metropolitan EconomiesOff-site link
Date: September 2015
Authors: Keith Wardrip (Philadelphia Fed), Kyle Fee (Cleveland Fed), Lisa Nelson (Cleveland Fed), and Stuart Andreason (Atlanta Fed)
About: Opportunity occupations are jobs generally accessible to workers without a bachelor's degree that pay at least the national annual median wage, adjusted for local cost of living differences. Focusing on the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, the authors identify the most prevalent opportunity occupations in these economies, highlight differences across metropolitan areas, and explore how employer preferences for education affect access to decent-paying jobs.

San Francisco

The Rise of Underemployment: Supporting the Needs of Low-Income Workers Off-site link
Date: April 2017
Author: Leilani Barnett (San Francisco Fed)
About: In 2016, over six million Americans were working part-time involuntarily because they were unable to find a full-time job. The San Francisco Fed held a series of roundtables throughout the West that highlighted several drivers behind underemployment and subsequent impacts on lower-income households.