"Job-centered economic development" integrates approaches from the fields of economic development, employment training, social services, and community development, making access to good jobs a primary outcome. Its strategies focus on connecting disadvantaged adults and youth to family-supporting jobs in their neighborhoods, cities, and regional economies, and ensuring that those jobs are sustainable, providing the basis for long-term careers. Workable policies and practices for job-centered economic development are vitally important to agencies responsible for implementing welfare reform and workforce policy reform. It is a key element of the emerging "new federalism" in U.S. government, and therefore a development strategy critical to the future success of state and local governments.
The collection of perspectives in Jobs and Economic Development combines an understanding of today's labor market with evaluations of current approaches to poverty alleviation. Case studies of successful jobs projects illustrate the ingredients needed for effective programs while also identifying the key factors related to program replication and bringing workforce innovations to scale. Finally, the book explores and documents the role of community organizing to bring about effective workforce development, the challenges for evaluators as they seek to understand the impact of these jobs projects, and how the politics of jobs plays out at the local and state levels.