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Suggestions For Improving Worker Training and Development Programs

Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney, Senior Fellows at The Brookings Institution, write that despite November’s reported labor market expansion, it may be reflecting a lower labor force participation rate as opposed to increases in employment due to a shortage of skilled workers.

They point out that the so-called “Great Recession” has made entering or re-entering the job market even more difficult for America’s less skilled citizens. Especially given the increased use of workforce training and development programs, Greenstone and Looney propose two general principles that should guide policy-markers charged with improving the performance of training programs:

  1. Training funds should be directed to programs with a track record of success in improving earnings for the specific target population and to those workers who can benefit the most from those programs
  2. Training programs should directly engage employer and industry partners, or actively guide students to career-specific training.