U.S. Department of Commerce, Aspen Institute Announce Seven Regional Site Teams Selected for ‘Communities that Work Partnership’

July 15, 2015

Contact: Cathy Katona
Senior Program Associate, Workforce Strategies Initiative
Economic Opportunities Program at the Aspen Institute
202-736-3579 | cathy.katona@aspeninstitute.org 

Contact: Katarina Mayers
Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Commerce
202-482-4883 | kmayers@doc.gov


U.S. Department of Commerce, Aspen Institute Announce Seven Regional Site Teams 
Selected for ‘Communities that Work Partnership’
Seven regional site teams will pursue employer-driven talent development strategies

Washington, DC, July 15, 2015  The U.S. Department of Commerce and the Workforce Strategies Initiative at the Aspen Institute today announced the selection of seven regional site teams, comprised of leaders in industry, government, education, and workforce and economic development, to participate in the Communities that Work Partnership

The Communities that Work Partnership (CTW Partnership) is an effort to strengthen regional economies by equipping American workers with the skills needed for 21st century jobs and accelerating industry-led workforce development and training efforts. 

The seven regional site teams, or regional partnerships, will begin a 15-month intensive accelerated learning exchange designed around each region’s pursuit of job-driven talent development strategies to promote economic growth. AspenWSI and FutureWorks Consulting will facilitate the in-person and virtual learning exchanges and provide customized technical assistance by engaging national experts in economic, workforce, and talent development.  The effort is being funded through a $500,000 grant, which was awarded by the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the first time.

“The Obama Administration has taken unprecedented steps to bring together businesses, educational institutions, workforce and economic development organizations, local governments, as well as non-profits to prepare workers for in-demand jobs,” said Secretary Pritzker. “As part of the Department of Commerce’s ‘Skills for Business’ initiative, our partnership with Aspen will support worker training that meets businesses’ and workers’ needs and keeps America competitive.” 

The seven regional site teams selected to participate in the Communities that Work Partnership, by Lead Agency, are: 

  • Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Technology Council, Cox Communications, Western Alliance Bank (Greater Phoenix area)
  • Bay Area Video Coalition, City and County of San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, CBS Corporation, Work2Future/Silicon Valley/San Jose Workforce Investment Board (San Francisco area)
  • Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Erie County Executive Office, National Grid (Buffalo-Niagara Falls area)
  • Greater Houston Partnership, San Jacinto College, United Way of Greater Houston, Gulf Coast Workforce Solutions (Greater Houston area)
  • Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, Anacostia River Initiative/Federal City Council Anacostia Waterfront Trust (Greater Washington, DC, area)
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Employment Law Project, Hand in Hand (New York City)
  • Northwest Georgia Regional Workforce Partnership, J+J Flooring Group, Technical College System of Georgia, Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce (Northwest Georgia)

The CTW Partnership will culminate in a number of publications outlining systems-change progress and lessons learned among the seven regional site teams, which will be disseminated nationally in the fall of 2016. They will describe how networks of local leaders can work in new ways across traditional silos to build more effective regional workforce initiatives, and begin to influence and guide similar strategies in other communities across America. 

The CTW Partnership was launched in April 2015 at an event at the Aspen Institute that featured Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson in a dialogue over the need to learn from successful regional job-driven workforce development efforts to inform practices in other communities around the United States. 

Further Online Information
More information about the Communities that Work Partnership may be found at AspenWSI’s website. Visit: http://www.aspenwsi.org/communities-that-work/overview/.

The Communities that Work Partnership is made possible by the generous support of the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce and by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. 

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the US Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for US workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. 

The Workforce Strategies Initiative (AspenWSI) is one of three ongoing initiatives in the Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) at the Aspen Institute, along with Skills for America’s Future and FIELD. AspenWSI works to identify, evaluate, and promote promising and successful practices and policies that improve access to quality training and employment for low-income adults. 

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.


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