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U.S. Department of Labor Futurework
  Trends and Challenges for Work in the 21st Century
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Building Blocks: Community Level Strategies

Susan Christopherson of Cornell University described key features of successful responses to changes in corporate practices that go beyond the enterprise. She has examined community-wide and regional initiatives such as the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership in Milwaukee, the Garment Industry Development Corporation in New York, and emerging efforts in Rochester, NY, and identified the following essential elements of best practice:

men building blocksbulletWhile many initiatives build on European models of collaborative labor-management relations, they address the systemic barriers to inter-firm and labor-management cooperation that are specific to the United States and endemic to a short-term investment regime.

bullet They represent public-private initiatives directed at building sectoral strengths using a collaborative framework. In other words, they attempt to construct a sectoral voice that includes both labor and employers.

bullet They demonstrate an ability to leverage the power of more skilled workersÑwho have more bargaining power in this labor marketÑin order to extend training and other workforce development opportunities to workers with lower levels of skill.

bullet They connect workforce development initiatives to a broader urban economic agenda by working with community development corporations and providing training to those who are outside of the labor market.

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