Print page

Workforce Development Networks in Rural Areas

Building the High Road Gary Paul Green, Professor, Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, US
Rural areas face numerous challenges in building a high-wage, high-skilled workforce. In response to these obstacles, many regions have established workforce development networks that provide stronger linkages between employers, schools, training institutions and community-based organizations. Gary Paul Green examines in this book how these networks are organized, why employers and training institutions participate in them and whether they are effective.
Extent: 160 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 978 1 84542 872 3
Availability: In Stock
$0.00

Buy the E-book

Join our mailing list

  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Labour Policy
  • Sociology and Sociological Theory
  • Urban and Regional Studies
  • Regional Studies
Rural areas face numerous challenges in building a high-wage, high-skilled workforce. In response to these obstacles, many regions have established workforce development networks that provide stronger linkages between employers, schools, training institutions and community-based organizations. Gary Paul Green examines in this book how these networks are organized, why employers and training institutions participate in them and whether they are effective.

Drawing upon data from training institutions, employers and other organizations in rural areas, the author takes a multi-method approach to examining workforce development networks by combining qualitative and quantitative data, as well as considering various actors. Collaborative models of training are found to provide a strong incentive for employers to increase their investment in job training, reduce the risk and cost of training, and improve the flow of information in local labor markets. The author also describes the critical role community-based organizations play by broadening the available training and providing stronger ties with employers and workers. He concludes that workforce development policy needs to recognize the importance of grassroots organizations in job training and build institutional support for their activities.

The new data and analyses will be of great interest to academics working in the area of rural and workforce development. Community and workforce development practitioners as well as human resource managers will appreciate the concrete suggestions for policy and practice.
‘For British readers, this book is timely. Like the American government of the 1990s, the current British government is trying to improve the provision of public goods through new, more “networked” structures, including a “mixed economy” of private, public and voluntary-sector providers. This book provides a helpful starting point for evaluating whether this policy might work and will be of use to anyone studying training, the voluntary sector, or public sector restructuring.’
– Ian Greer, Work, Employment and Society

‘A good read for policy makers, academicians and students of economics.’
– Journal of Social and Economic Development
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Rural Labor Markets, Networks and Workforce Development 3. Employer Training: Individual Investments in Collective Goods 4. Community Colleges in Rural America: New Roles and Challenges 5. Workforce Development Networks: The Visible Hand at Work 6. Shoot the Alligators or Drain the Swamp: Can Grassroots Efforts Make a Difference? Appendices References Index