American workers are faced with increasing economic insecurity due to corporate downsizings, stagnant wages, shaky employee benefits, and rising income and wealth inequality. While proposed remedies abound—new restrictions on immigration and trade, universal health insurance, penalties against “irresponsible” companies—little agreement has emerged beyond a general sense that any effort to improve prospects for the American workforce must include enhancing their education and training.
In search of a specific course of action, the Twentieth Century Fund convened a task force comprising representatives of business, labor, government, and academia. Over the course of the year-long deliberations, the task force identified several government and corporate strategies that could continuously strengthen the skills and knowledge of many workers and enhance the productivity of the American workforce, raising prospects for higher U.S. corporate profitability and economic growth.
The task force was chaired by former New Jersey governor Jim Florio. The volume includes a background paper, “Economic Change and the American Worker,” written by Carl. E. Van Horn, professor of public policy at the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University and executive director of the task force.