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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.

All Research & Resources

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Buffalo, New York: Building Off a Breakthrough (September 2016)

A “New Buffalo” is emerging, and civic optimism is riding high in western New York....
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Houston, Texas: Developing Prototypes for Workforce Development Strategies (September 2016)

Greater Houston is the nation’s fourth largest metro economy and has enjoyed four years...
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Northwest Georgia: Partnering to Connect Workers to Jobs in the Floor Covering Industry (September 2016)

The Northwest Georgia Regional Workforce Partnership is developing a new talent pipeline...
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The Freelance Economy and Workforce System Meet in the Bay Area (September 2016)

The “on-demand” or “1099” economy is reengineering how millions of Americans...
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New York City: Partnering to Improve Domestic Workers’ Job Quality (September 2016)

The New York City Communities that Work Partnership is built on a long-standing...
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