Workforce Development

Publications and Presentations

After the Recovery: Help Needed
The Coming Labor Shortage and How People in Encore Careers Can Help Solve It

Barry Bluestone and Mark Melnick. Civic Ventures. March 2010.

The Dukakis Center conducted this research report for Civic Ventures and the MetLife Foundation examining key job opportunities for individuals seeking an “encore career.”

The key finding of the research is that not only will there be jobs for experienced workers to fill, but the nation will absolutely need older workers to step up and take them.

“With nearly 10 percent of the American labor force unemployed and another 7 percent so discouraged by their job prospects that they have either dropped out of the labor force altogether or are working at parttime jobs when they would prefer full-time employment, it may come as something of a surprise that within less than a decade, the United States may face exactly the opposite problem — not enough workers to fill expected job openings.”

To download the full report, click here.
To download the research brief, click here.

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The Urban Experience

Barry Bluestone, Mary Huff Stevenson and Russell Williams. Oxford University. July 2008.

The Urban Experience provides a fresh approach to the study of metropolitan areas by combining economic principles, social insight, and political realities with an appreciation of public policy to understand how U.S. cities and suburbs function in the 21st century. The book is grounded in the real life experiences of students and their families on the premise that there is a fascination about one’s own surroundings. It uses a great deal of historical and comparative data to explore the wide variation in how we experience urban and suburban communities. It addresses the changing role and function of U.S. metropolitan areas in an age of growing global competition and focuses on key contemporary problems facing cities and suburbs. The book introduces analyses from economics, sociology, and political science as useful tools to understand the evolution and current status of the nation’s urban areas.

The book will be a valuable text for urban scholars, public officials, and all those interested in understanding urban dynamics.

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Staying Power: The Future of Manufacturing in Massachusetts
July 2008

NOTE: the following is an excerpt of a press release by the Boston Foundation

Conventional wisdom may relegate manufacturing to the ash heap of earlier centuries, but new research undertaken by the Center for Urban and Regional Policy (CURP) and the School of Social Science, Urban Affairs, and Public Policy at Northeastern University and released today by the Boston Foundation establishes not only the importance of manufacturing as a potent part of the regional economy but its role as a catalyst for future growth. Today, almost 10 percent of the state’s workforce is employed in manufacturing, creating almost $40 billion worth of goods annually. The sector retains more than 8,600 firms that are technologically sophisticated and well positioned to compete successfully in the emerging global economy.

The report, entitled Staying Power: The Future of Manufacturing in Massachusetts, reviews the history of manufacturing in the state, from before World War II through recent decades of decline and renewal. In addition, surveys of more than 700 businesses were completed and separate interviews with more than 100 business leaders in the sector were undertaken by the research team, headed by Barry Bluestone, Dean of the School of Social Science, Urban Affairs and Public Policy and Director of CURP, and Don Walsh, a Senior Research Associate at CURP. Lauren Nicoll and Chase Billingham also contributed to the writing of the report.

The report was commissioned by the state’s 2006 Economic Stimulus bill. Partners in the publication included he Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in addition to the Boston Foundation.

To download the full report, click here.

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Moving Up in the New Economy: Career Ladders for U.S. Workers
Joan Fitzgerald. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2006

“The United States used to be a country where ordinary people could expect to improve their economic condition as they moved through life. For millions of us, this is no longer the case. Many Americans today have a lower standard of living as adults than they had in their parents’ homes as children. . . . This book is about restoring the upward mobility of U.S. workers. Specifically, it addresses the workforce-development strategy of creating not just jobs, but career ladders.”

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Economic Revitalization: Cases and Strategies for City and Suburb
Joan Fitzgerald and Nancey Green Leigh. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2002

A discussion of leading revitalization strategies in the context of both city and suburban settings, offering case studies of program development and implementation. The text incorporates social justice and sustainability into how we think about and practice economic development. It discusses how revitalization strategies are implemented in both cities and suburbs, particularly inner-ring suburbs that are experiencing decline previously associated only with inner-city neighborhoods.

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