Who We Are
The Aspen Institute Workforce Strategies Initiative is a national organization that works to identify and promote strategies that help low-income individuals gain access to quality education and employment opportunities to succeed in today’s economy. Through research, evaluations, facilitated meetings, and technical assistance, AspenWSI helps job training and adult education initiatives as well as investors in these initiatives improve their practices, services, and strategies to meet the needs of workers and industry partners.
From our earliest days, AspenWSI has been at the forefront of identifying, investigating and documenting cutting edge and innovative practices in workforce development and job training. In the last two decades, AspenWSI has been instrumental in elevating sector strategies from a novel and undefined approach in the 1990s into a strategy today that is widely known and accepted as best practice among workforce development leaders, investors and, policymakers. More recently, AspenWSI has been shedding light on how nonprofit-community college partnerships can help low-income individuals overcome barriers to succeed in college and the labor market. The importance of C2E strategies, that leverage the strengths of nonprofits and community colleges, are quickly gaining recognition in the workforce development arena, and AspenWSI will be continuing to research and help define this emerging field of practice in the years ahead.
Crucial to AspenWSI’s ability to stay informed about cutting edge practices and strategies are the connections we have to program implementers– those leaders who both help job seekers and workers find employment in a variety of local labor markets and engage employers to understand their specific workforce needs and concerns. Our network includes job training and adult education leaders and stakeholders from community colleges, nonprofit organizations, Workforce Investment Boards, government, and industry, which provides us a line of insight few others in the field are privileged to access. By working with these professionals, we see and hear first-hand how programs are designed and operated, how government and investor policies, regulations, and funding affect programs, and how workers and job seekers experience and ultimately benefit from these initiatives. We share findings from these observations with workforce leaders to improve their practice as well as with investors and policymakers to build support for the field and to help these stakeholders improve their knowledge in order that they can more effectively support job training efforts to be successful in serving workers and businesses.
The Aspen Institute Workforce Strategies Initiative’s mission is to help low-income Americans gain ground in today’s labor market by informing public policy, investors, and leaders in the workforce development field.
Our vision is a country in which every American has access to the quality education, work, and career advancement opportunities they need to support themselves and their family.