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Systems Change

How do sector initiatives help address structural issues in industry practices, education and training infrastructure and public policy that affect individuals’ ability to get skills training and quality employment? What are examples of systems change and the types of strategies programs use to pursue change?

While high quality training is an important component of almost any sector initiative, it is usually not sufficient to resolve the myriad of personal and systemic obstacles that low-income workers must overcome. Sector initiative leaders frequently must develop strategies to resolve structural issues that stand in the way of them achieving their mission.  We refer to these strategies as systems change, and they include actions, both large and small, that help to make industry practices, education and training systems or public policy work better for low-income workers trying to improve their skills and obtain higher quality employment.  AspenWSI has conducted a large amount of field-based research into the operations of sector initiatives and the environments in which they operate.  As part of this research we have learned of many ways in which initiative leaders have worked to change (or work around) obstacles represented by status quo operations of a variety of actors and agencies.  In this area visitors will find information about a wide variety of systems change strategies employed by sector initiatives in the form of reports and case studies.

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