The Other America: Then and Now - The future of workforce development: Employment challenges and the skill needs of companies and communities

Date & time

Sep 11, 2012, 2:15-3:45 pm EDT


The recent recession and weak economic recovery have been characterized by historically high rates of long-term unemployment. Workers confronted with persistent unemployment face a number of challenges, including the threat of skills atrophy and becoming less attractive to prospective employers. Moreover, the dichotomy between workers continues to expand, as those with high levels of education and skills can command high wages, and those with little education and low skill levels can command only low wages in the service industry. Workforce development efforts are responding to these challenges with different approaches, many with an emphasis on business and industry sector-based approaches. This session will explore the employment and skill-building challenges and opportunities in different communities around the state and describe successful efforts to increase employment and satisfy the demand of local businesses.

Presented by the National Poverty Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Join the conversation on Twitter: #OtherAmericaUM

RSVP to attend by contacting [email protected] or calling (734) 615-5312

Jeannine La Prad
President, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce

Randall W. Eberts
President, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

Alicia Booker
Chief Executive Officer, Career Alliance, Inc.

Robert Matthews
Executive Dean, Workforce Development at Mott Community College

Denise Peek
Executive Director, Entrepreneur Institute of Mid-Michigan

Linda West
Director, Center for Working Families at Southwest Housing Solutions

J.D. Wallace
Manager, GoodTemps Staffing – A Division of Goodwill Industries of West Michigan

The Other America: Then and Now
Fifty years ago, Michael Harrington's The Other America captured the attention of policymakers, students and the public. He wrote, "In a nation with a technology that could provide every citizen with a decent life, it is an outrage and a scandal that there should be such social misery." Fifty years later, this statement resonates as poverty remains higher in the U.S. than in most other advanced economies. These sessions highlight issues that remain at the forefront of antipoverty efforts - raising the skills, employment and earnings of the disadvantaged.