2012 is not 1933.
The world is changing rapidly, but the workforce system, founded on the labor market conditions of 1933, is not. The current one-stop delivery system was designed for the workforce needs of the early 1990s, but cannot meet the very different needs of the labor market two decades later.
In today's world of work, the skills required of workers are rising dramatically and will continue to change. Shuffling existing skills from job to job around the labor market is not enough. The skills today's workers most need to connect to meaningful work are obtained through postsecondary education and training, resulting in labor market relevant credentials that are valued by employers.
But as the currently underfunded workforce system is pushed to provide short term interventions leading to rapid re-employment, fewer and fewer people receive training and employers continue to have difficulty filling key positions. If today's system cannot change, it will continue to lose relevance and funding.
One-stops should be transformed into places where work and learning intersect to help transitioning workers obtain needed skills, knowledge and market-relevant credentials.
We have released a working concept paper, "One-Stop Centers Must be Reinvented to Meet Today's Labor Market Realities," which contains preliminary research, analysis, findings, and recommendations. It is being circulated to generate discussion and feedback, and may eventually be published in another form with revised content.
To share your thoughts and ideas, please join the twitter discussion using the hash tag #reinvent1stops.
Senior Fellow Ed Strong presented on this topic at the National Association of Workforce Boards' NAWB Forum 2012 in March. He also presented at the California Workforce Association Annual Spring Conference 2012.
Joe Azar at Eyebeam Creative created this visual of the concept.