The Role of the Workforce Development System in the Economic Development of Urban Areas

Kevin Hollenbeck

in The Oxford Handbook of Urban Economics and Planning

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195380620
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Role of the Workforce Development System in the Economic Development of Urban Areas

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  • Economics
  • Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics



Economic development relies on the importance of a skilled workforce and a well-functioning workforce development system in attracting and retaining economic activity. This article focuses on the publicly funded workforce development system. In addition, it describes the workforce development system and provides evidence about its effectiveness. Following this, the article explains the formal education system in detail. Studies that have delved into particular types of training, especially as offered by workforce intermediaries, provide evidence about characteristics that seem to correlate with effectiveness. These characteristics can be categorized into content, training method, and program administration. It then turns to a description of how the workforce development system provides services to its traditional target, i.e. unemployed labor force participants. Furthermore, the article examines programs and services for employed individuals. Finally, it suggests best practices and presents implications for policy makers or researchers interested in urban development or regional economic development.

Keywords: economic development; workforce development system; formal education system; unemployed labor force; urban development

Article.  7308 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics

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