Spring 2012 Volume 17:2

The Global Workforce: Challenges in America and Abroad

As the world struggles to recover from a major recession, a primary focus of domestic and international policy discussions is how to educate and train a strong workforce capable of responding to a changing global economy.  Amidst this backdrop, the theme of this volume of The Georgetown Public Policy Review is “The Global Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities in America and Abroad.”

We open the journal with an interview with former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, who discusses how Michigan’s successful No Worker Left Behind program may offer a blueprint for other states to help displaced workers.  Governor Granholm also shares her thoughts on infrastructure investment, AmeriCorps expansion, and government obstructionism, leaving us with a sense that now, more than ever, the US needs young leaders dedicated to public service.

Review staff also had a chance to sit down with Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI) Professor Harry Holzer, Senior Research Fellow at the Urban Institute and former Chief Economist at the US Department of Labor.  Dr. Holzer suggests some policy options for improving the unemployment rate, as well as how the US can better provide career and technical training in order to address long-term employment challenges.  He also expresses concern about youth recovery from the recent recession, stressing that America can do better to equip a scarred generation for the future.

We cannot thank Governor Granholm and Dr. Holzer enough for sharing their expertise with The Review and our readers, as well as for their inspiring dedication to challenging policy issues.

Turning now to this volume’s quanitative pieces, Ed Sivak, a GPPI alumnus, shares initial research findings from his evaluation of a subsidized employment program in Mississippi created by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds.  Sivak’s exciting research concludes that the program may be associated with an increase in participant wages and labor force attachment that could prove valuable for informing federal workforce development policy.

Next, Julie Biau, another GPPI alumna, examines the informal sector and domestic investment in developing countries.  Biau’s exceptional research suggests that informal sector investment outcomes may vary according to country income level, providing evidence for revision of developing-country policy toward the sector.

Rounding out this volume, the first of our issue spotlights is an author- revised book chapter from Human Security in a Borderless World. Authors Derek S. Reveron and Kathleen A. Mahoney-Norris make a strong case that, in light of a world in which threats are increasingly borderless, the US should include the concept of human security within its broader national security strategy.

A collaboration between Professor Weimin Mou and GPPI graduating student Richard Harris completes this volume.  In the fall of 2011, Professor Mou spent several months at Georgetown in an exchange program with the Central Committee Party School in China.  The Review is honored that Professor Mou took the opportunity to work with Mr. Harris and offer his valuable insight on the role of public perception of crises.

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