26 Workforce Leaders Selected for Professional Development Program

July 23, 2009

For Immediate Release
Contact: Maureen Conway
Director, Workforce Strategies Initiative
The Aspen Institute

Washington, D.C., July 23, 2009 – Twenty-six professionals from the workforce development field have been selected to participate in a year-long leadership academy designed to help them develop or enhance a sector-oriented approach to job training in their community. Participation in the Sector Skills Academy provides an opportunity to explore best practices, build new skills and learn from experts in the workforce development field.

The Academy emphasizes “sectoral employment development” – a type of workforce training that prepares workers by developing a deep understanding of important regional industries, working closely with employers, and then crafting training and services that both support the industries’ competitiveness and connect workers to good-paying jobs.

Now in its fifth year, the Academy is operated by the Aspen Institute’s Workforce Strategies Initiative (WSI) and Public/Private Ventures (P/PV). Both groups are known for their research on workforce issues. Funding for the Academy is provided by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

The 26 participants, selected through a competitive application process, work in such diverse settings as community-based organizations, government agencies, economic development organizations and labor-management partnerships. They focus on training and jobs in a wide range of industries, including: manufacturing, transportation, green energy, early care and education, distribution and logistics, information technology and health care.

The Academy involves three, multi-day meetings between October and May that include workshops and presentations, mentoring opportunities, and site visits to innovative programs.

“The Academy gives workforce development professionals a unique chance to learn from both their peers and from experienced sector project leaders who serve as faculty and resources,” said Maureen Conway, director of WSI. “The Academy’s emphasis is on sharing best practices and providing practical skills that participants can then apply within their own organization.”

Additional information about the Sector Skills Academy is available at: http://www.sectorskillsacademy.org/.

WSI (http://www.aspenwsi.org/), a program of the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., identifies and advances strategies that help low-income Americans gain ground in today’s labor market. It engages in applied research, facilitates dialogue, and disseminates innovative ideas and research findings.

P/PV (http://www.ppv.org/), based in Philadelphia, Pa., is an action-based public policy and program development organization.


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