January 10, 2008

Creating Community Advancement Initiatives: A “How To” Manual

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This guide shows how to design and implement a “community advancement initiative” to help employers meet their need for skilled workers and, at the same time, help low-income workers and job seekers advance to family-supporting jobs within a firm, among a group of firms within an industry, across industries in a sector, or across sectors. The model for the initiative begins by collaborating with employers to identify their workforce and skill needs, along with advancement pathways (also referred to as career pathways) for their employees. It then provides low-income workers and job seekers with the services, career pathways, and supports needed to move along these pathways.

This guide is geared to employer-based and industry-based workforce intermediaries and others interested in planning, developing, and implementing community advancement initiatives with needed tools and resources. It identifies key features of the community advancement model developed by Workforce Innovation Networks—WINs—a collaboration of Jobs for the Future, the Institute for a Competitive Workforce of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Center for Workforce Success of the National Association of Manufacturers.