1.3 Lessons Learned

The workforce development discussion at Making Cents’ 2011 Conference highlighted the diversity of workforce development-related programs, policies, and tools. In contrast to the previous year’s conference, where a number of important questions, trends, challenges, and opportunities were raised, the 2011 workforce development learning track focused on specific tools for developing and implementing effective programs. Presentations were selected to reflect the field’s broadened client base and emphasized training, labor market facilitation, and other active labor market policies, strategies for partnership, and modes of understanding youth opportunities in labor markets in relation to the economy as a whole, the evolution of specific industry sectors, and global institutions and standards.

As a result, key lessons learned fell into two general categories: (1) program content and design, focusing on hard and soft skills content, and (2) program delivery strategies, focusing on partnerships and delivery strategy for success, scale, and sustainability. In addition, a number of presentations emphasized the cross-cutting theme of technology, which implementers are using to enable and facilitate more complex, targeted, and scaled interventions. (These areas capture progress on a number of key issues defined in the 2010 GYEOC).