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Past Event

Fixing the Skills Gap: Getting Americans Back to Work via Workforce Development Programs

Past Event

Fixing the Skills Gap: Getting Americans Back to Work via Workforce Development Programs

Elisabeth Jacobs, Anthony Carnevale, Van Ton-Quinlivan, Laura Chenven, and Lance LaVergne

Employers routinely cite the “skills gap,” or lack of qualified, trained candidates, as a primary hiring hurdle. Talented workers are at the heart of a company’s economic success and key drivers for broader economic prosperity. Moreover, skilled workers command higher wages, plus enjoy greater potential for upward economic mobility than their less-skilled counterparts. Reforms to federal workforce development policies are stalled as evidenced by Congress’ inability to modify the Workforce Investment Act, which hasn’t been changed since its creation in 1998. How should federal policy makers be thinking about the skills gap in the context of workforce development policy? What is the scope of the problem, and what is the federal role in helping solve this issue? How can policies aimed at closing the skills gap impact not only broader economic growth and productivity, but also create good jobs for workers?

On December 4, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted an event to highlight the importance of understanding the skills gap in order to create effective public policies aimed at creating equitable economic growth.

An event summary is now available.


Welcome and Introduction

Elisabeth Jacobs

Former Brookings Expert

Senior Director, Research; Senior Fellow - Washington Center for Equitable Growth



Anthony Carnevale

Research Professor and Director - The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce


Van Ton-Quinlivan

Vice Chancellor, Workforce and Economic Development - California Community Colleges

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