Workforce Development at the UCLA Labor Center focuses on institutionalizing solutions that align with the high road training partnership (HRTP) framework to address systemic issues that limit economic outcomes for the most marginalized communities in California. It centers worker power, equity and job quality in workforce development approaches to significantly improve work and wealth building opportunities, especially for communities of color.
What is Workforce Development?
Workforce development creates, sustains, and retains a viable and skilled workforce through customized, worker-centered, industry-driven education and training, comprehensive human service supports, career advancement, employer engagement, deep community connections, the connective tissue of networks, and regional strategies to achieve economic prosperity for all, particularly for those most directly impacted by inequities.
Our research focuses on shaping a more equitable public workforce system by lifting up non-traditional workforce development practices and organizations that reach marginalized communities and effectively improve industry conditions for workers. We use a participatory and popular education approach to engage participants in conceptualization and production of knowledge, elevate worker voice, and make the information and resources accessible to the general community.
We provide evaluation support for the California Workforce Development Board’s (CDWB) HRTP initiative through assessments and technical assistance to HRTP grantees, and we partner with the CWDB to identify how to most adequately measure HRTP success. We are developing a high road evaluation framework that offers goal maps and metrics that can help guide and document a partnership’s success in impacting individuals’ lives and in changing policies, practices, and norms to improve industry systems and positively affect communities. An important framework component includes centering race and culture to more appropriately assess workforce development programs that serve communities of color.
We gather networks of experts to guide efforts to incorporate practices to enhance equity and job quality in California’s public workforce development system in collaboration with state labor agency leaders. Through these alliances, we center the experiences of disadvantaged communities and create support systems for the organizations that effectively serve them, including those that are not connected to the workforce development system.
Publications and Resources
High Road Training Partnership
- Framing Documents
- Demonstration Project Overviews
- Evaluation Report: The High Road to Economic Prosperity: An Assessment of the California Workforce Development Board’s High Road Training Partnership Initiative