Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

The Road to Economic Success: Integrating Education and Training with Work

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

The Road to Economic Success: Integrating Education and Training with Work

Article excerpt

Major economic changes, moving Americans into a "knowledge- or learning-based economy," require important rethinking of local economic development. Recent studies show some directions for bringing "human capital" more to the center of concerns about the future of local economies.

Noted sociologist Nathan Glazer, writing in The Public Interest (1993) defines a human capital policy for cities. "A key task for American society is the investment in young people in school, in those who leave school prematurely, in those who, even with high school diplomas flounder from one inadequate job to another, and in mature workers who lose their jobs in an increasingly turbulent and volatile economy," writes Glazer.

Over the next several months, NLC Advisory Council members will look closely at the information supporting this and other critical thinking on this issue as they conduct the 1995 "futures" activities around education, lifelong learning and the emerging knowledge-based economy.

"Work and learning are becoming increasingly inseparable: what this implies is that the traditional distinction between academic and vocational education is becoming obsolete, not only in this country, but throughout the industrialized world," according to David

Stern who recently addressed a session sponsored by the American Youth Policy Forum in Washington, D.C.

Stern, who directs the National Center for Research in Vocational Education, University of California at Berkeley, believes this change is rooted in the changing nature of the economy, in particular, the change toward a more "learning-based" economy.

The Challenge for Local Economies

"It is clear that the city's first responsibility, is to improve education and training for employment through those branches of educational and social policy that are within its reach. …

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