Workforce Development

We strengthen workforce development programs by researching best practices, designing policy and program initiatives and advising several agencies on the coordination and integration of workforce and education policies. Our work with state and local economic development agencies includes overhauling strategies, analyzing specific opportunities to improve the tax structure or attract new businesses and supporting economic development projects.

Here is some of what we've done ...

Public Works Assists Rhode Island Governor’s Workforce Board

Public Works is assisting the Rhode Island Governor’s Workforce Board in preparing a                                                         comprehensive system improvement plan. Public Works team members bring                                                                     unparalleled experience with workforce investment programs nationwide, from local                                                         Workforce Investment Boards to state agencies and governors.


As importantly, our work involves creating dialogue, both informally and formally through

focus groups, stakeholder interviews, and steering-group meetings. Our breadth and depth of                                         experience qualify us uniquely for this project, and we welcome this opportunity to                                                              work with the State of Rhode Island and the Governor’s Workforce Board.

RI Governor Workforce.jpg

Oregon Workforce Report

Public Works wrote a Workforce report for the State of Oregon suggesting three areas: 

     1) Restructuring the state’s workforce system,

     2) Emphasizing Middle 40 and priority services,

     3) Addressing innovation capacity and multi-state partnerships.  


The report includes several concrete action items to produce needed outcomes and to

modernize Oregon’s workforce delivery system. 


Read the full report here: Oregon Workforce Report Final


University of New Mexico at Gallup Regional Technical Education Center

As part of Governor Bill Richardson’s technical high schools initiative,

New Mexico House Bill 293 appropriated $10 million to seed the

development of technical high school programs in community colleges.


The University of New Mexico at Gallup was selected by the State of New Mexico’s Public Education Department and Higher Education Department to introduce a regional technical education center, and, in the process, to develop an exemplary program that could be replicated statewide. Public Works was commissioned by the University of New Mexico at Gallup to formulate the strategic plan for this new effort.  The result was a blueprint for an Advanced Technologies Regional Network (ATRN), a community college-based, grades 9-14 educational program for advanced technicians and professionals.  


Read the full report here: UNM Gallup Advanced Technologies Regional Network.


Delaware Workforce System for the 21st Century

Delaware engaged Public Works to help the state build a cutting-edge workforce system,

one that streamlines and improves services, provides true “one-stop shopping,” and

employs regional and industry-driven economic development strategies.  

Our recommendations are built around four cornerstone strategies:

     1) Support industry-driven education and training programs,

     2) Offer continual opportunities for career advancement by connecting the state

         workforce system to the education system,

     3) Develop deep community connections and broaden the system’s focus and client base,

     4) Create a more flexible, integrated and comprehensive system.  


Read the full report of recommendations here: Delaware’s Workforce System for the 21st Century.


Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board: Career Readiness Task Force White Paper and Guidelines Paper

Public Works worked with the  Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board and its

Career Readiness Task Force to develop a white paper examining:

     (1) What efforts to create a career readiness credential are underway within Pennsylvania

           and in other states,

     (2) What options Pennsylvania should consider regarding a career readiness credential,

     (3) What steps should be taken before the state makes a final decision on whether and how to adopt a state

          career readiness credential.


Read the full white paper here: PA Career Readiness Credential White Paper.  The White Paper was later used to inform Career Readiness Credentials Guidelines, which can be viewed in their entirety here: PA Career Readiness Credentials Guidelines Report.


Work in New Mexico Career Clusters Initiative: Blueprint and Guidebook

In 2006, then-Governor Bill Richardson formed the Workforce Coordination and Oversight

Committee (COC) to bring together the state agencies and resources needed to build a

pipeline of skilled workers in New Mexico. The challenge for the COC was to align the

state’s education and workforce development programming with the job demands of the

state’s current and future economy. Public Works assisted the Committee to implement the

Work in New Mexico Career Clusters Initiative, including preparing the following Blueprint

of Major Goals, which outlines the major building blocks that needed to be put in place for

the Career Clusters system to function.  Public Works worked collaboratively with senior

agency staff and private-sector partners to prepare these recommendations. 


Public Works prepared the New Mexico Career Clusters Guidebook for the COC, which can be read in its entirety here: Career Clusters Guidebook.


Pennsylvania Occupational Skill Standards and Credentialing

Public Works was asked to formulate a series of recommendations on how Pennsylvania can

develop and advance a statewide “career ladders” strategy to serve as a framework for workforce

development. The project consisted of identifying and inventorying what occupational skill

standards and/or credentials have been developed across the country, conducting a review of

standards and/or credentialing systems efforts across the country, and developing

recommendations on how Pennsylvania can create a system of Occupational Skills Standards

and Credentials as a component of a state Career Ladders Strategy.  


Read the full report here: PA State Approaches to Occupational Skills Standards and Credentialing.

Oklahoma’s Workforce System

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce engaged Public Works to conduct a

preliminary assessment of the state’s workforce development system, including

Oklahoma’s twelve local workforce areas. Public Works was asked to make

recommendations for the state’s consideration on ways to build a workforce

system that is more flexible and can respond both quickly and efficiently to

economic fluctuations and changes in the workforce needs of the state.


Read the full report here: Oklahoma Workforce Assessment.


New Mexico Workforce Development System

Public Works was jointly commissioned by the State of New Mexico and the Bridges to

Opportunity for New Mexico Initiative to study the state’s workforce development and

education efforts and to develop recommendations for producing a competitive and

highly skilled workforce in New Mexico.  


Read the full report of findings, as reported to then-Governor Bill Richardson:

New Mexico Help Wanted Report.


Arizona High School Alignment Project

Public Works wrote a report for the Arizona Ready Education Council (formerly known as

the Arizona P-20 Council) identifying the skills and education requirements of high

demand occupations, and assessing the linkages and gaps between high school

graduation and requirements for entering the labor force or post-secondary education.  

The report provided an analysis of the way Arizona’s current requirements for high school

graduation and academic programming compare with expectations of post-secondary

institutions and employers.


Read the full report here: Arizona High School Alignment Report.

Arizona Rapid Response Strategic Plan

Public Works reviewed the Arizona Rapid Response system for businesses

and workers who are at risk of experiencing layoffs.  Our analysis and

research revealed both that the State and Local Workforce Investment

Areasrecognize the need to strengthen their existing relationship as

partners to improve service delivery of Rapid Response activity, and that there are some

gaps and weaknesses in the current Rapid Response system that need to be addressed.


Read the full report as presented to the Arizona Department of Commerce here: Arizona Rapid Response Strategic Plan.


Louisiana Workforce Commission

The Louisiana Workforce Commission engaged Public Works, and its partner Structured

Employment and Economic Development Corporation (Seedco) to help the State build on its

work to integrate multiple workforce, training and support programs and to develop plans

for both consolidation and collaboration  among the various agencies and funding streams

related to workforce development.  Specifically, Public Works and Seedco were charged with

reviewing the current Louisiana workforce system, identifying best practices and making recommendations on what actions Louisiana can take to increase cooperation, coordination and consolidation of workforce programs.


Read the full report here:  LA Workforce Commission Statewide Service Integration Report.

New Mexico Workforce Board Analysis and Recommendations

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions engaged Public Works to

provide an in-depth look at state workforce board structures and operations created

under the Workforce Invest Act and make recommendations on the best manner in

which to structure the governance and oversight of the New Mexico workforce



Read the full report with operation and policy recommendations: 

New Mexico Workforce Board.