Workforce Intermediaries for the Twenty-first Century

Edited by Robert P. Giloth
Book Cover

HC: $66.50
EAN: 978-1-59213-204-1
Publication: Nov 03

Ebook: $66.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-0386-5
Publication: Nov 03

432 pages
6 x 9
14 tables, 2 figures, 22 halftones

The institutions who work to match employers and employees

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 (pdf).


Confronted with businesses facing a long-term shortage of skilled workers and evaluations showing that job training for the poor over the past 25 years had produced only meager results, a number of groups throughout the country have sought to find a more effective approach. The efforts of these partnerships, which editor Robert Giloth calls "workforce intermediaries," are characterized by a focus on improving business productivity and helping low-income individuals not just find a job, but advance over time to jobs that enable them to support themselves and their families. This book takes stock of the world of workforce intermediaries: entrepreneurial partnerships that include businesses, unions, community colleges, and community organizations. Noted scholars and policy makers examine the development and effectiveness of these intermediaries, and a concluding chapter discusses where we need to go from here, if society is to provide a more coherent approach to increasing the viability and capacity of these important institutions.

Published in association with The American Assembly, Columbia University.


"Long-standing successes in the community development field underscore the critical role that intermediaries play in advancing a field in a full-scale, systemic manner. Bob Giloth, together with other leading thinkers, provides an important perspective on the need to create, expand, and support intermediary strategies in the workforce development field as well." Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of The Boston Foundation

"Workforce Intermediaries for the Twenty-First Century captures not only the realities of today's complex workforce environment but a vision for the future that starts right now. This will be a valuable guide for both business, educators, workforce professional and policy makers as we all grapple with keeping America and worker's competitive in today's global marketplace." Phyllis Eisen, Vice President of the Manufacturing Institute, the education, research and training arm of the National Association of Manufacturers

"This book represents a powerful and practical call to action for all those concerned with work and opportunity in the United States. The authors' vision of a national network of dynamic workforce intermediaries is a challenge worthy of the next decade—and one that is surely within our grasp." Bruce Katz, Director, Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy

"Workforce Intermediaries for the Twenty-First Century accurately unveils the state of workforce development today. This compendium introduces the reader to workforce intermediaries and the many tasks they perform to meet regional labor market demand and connect low-income work candidates to livable wage employment. Workforce Intermediaries for the Twenty-First Century vividly portrays these emerging institutions, the services they offer and assesses their performance. Furthermore it points out that post-industrial America illustrates a growing need for such intermediaries as well as a public policy that recognizes that need. It's a must read for anyone interested in workforce development in the United States. Bob Giloth and his associate authors have done a masterful job." Jack A. Litzenberg, Senior Program Officer, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

"(An) excellent study of the political economy of labor markets....This volume is required reading for anyone interested in workforce development." Choice

"The attributes and characteristics of WIs underscore the challenge of coordinating resources and strategies, especially because this coordination comprises multiple systems with weak governance structures.... a welcome addition to any community economic development bookshelf and should be read by practitioners, technical support providers and funders interested in responding to the challenges surrounding low-wage jobs." Shelterforce Online

"The book is a useful addition to the literature and should be widely consulted. It is wide-ranging and will be extremely useful to anyone concerned with employment development strategies for those with limited educational qualification and skills." Social Development Issues

Table of Contents

Foreword – David H. Mortimer

Part I: Introduction
1. Introduction: A Case for Workforce Intermediaries – Robert P. Giloth
2. Whose Job Is It? Creating Opportunities for Advancement – Nan Poppe, Julie Strawn, And Karin Martinson

Part II: Who Are Workforce Intermediaries and What Do They Do?
3. What Do Workforce Intermediaries Do? – Richard Kazis
4. The Workforce Intermediary: Profiling the Field of Practice and Its Challenges – Cindy Marano and Kim Tarr
5. Workforce Intermediaries: Recent Experience and Implications for Workforce Development – Richard McGahey

Part III: Economic and Policy Rationales for Workforce Intermediaries
6. Labor Market Intermediaries in the Modern Labor Market – Paul Osterman
7. The Policical Economy of Labor Market Mediation in the United States – Anthony P. Carnevale and Donna M. Desrochers

Part IV: Customer Voices
8. Creating and Sustaining a Coherent Voice for Employers in Workforce Development: The Cleveland Experience – Daniel E . Berry
9. Perception vs. Reality: Employer Attitudes and the Rebranding of Workforce Intermediaries – Jessica K. Laufer and Sian Winship
10. How Do Workers See Advancement? – Roberta Rehner Iversen
11. Labor Market Intermediaries in the Old and New Economies: A Survey of Worker Experiences in Milwaukee and Silicon Valley – Laura Leete, Chris Benner, Manuel Pastor Jr., and Sarah Zimmerman

Part V: Building Workforce Intermediaries
12. Financing Workforce Intermediaries – Jerry Rubin, Marlene B . Seltzer, And Jack Mills
13. The Final Act: The Challenges of Implementing Workforce Development Policy via Nonprofit Organizations – William P. Ryan
14. Community Development Intermediation and Its Lessons for the Workforce Field – Christopher Walker and John Foster-Bey

Part VI: Conclusion
15. Conclusion: A Future for Workforce Intermediaries – Robert P. Giloth

Final Report of the 102nd American Assembly
Steering Committee Workforce Intermediaries Project
About The American Assembly
About the Contributors

About the Author(s)

Robert P. Giloth, Ph.D. is Director of the Family Economic Success area of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation in December 1994, he managed community development corporations in Baltimore and Chicago and was Deputy Commissioner of Economic Development under Mayor Harold Washington.