Workforce Development

The Insight Center's Workforce Development program facilitates the creation of good jobs for all workers, strong industries that support vital communities, and an inclusive economy that helps low-income individuals become economically secure. We accomplish this by:

  • Operating the National Network of Sector Partners, a membership-based network that provides resources to the sector field, utilizes workforce-development approaches that are tailored to an industry and region, and supports the improvement and expansion of industry sector-focused workforce development
  • Providing research-based assistance to design effective workforce programs
  • Helping reshape industry practices, financing, public policies, and public institutions through which workers and industries interact

The program approaches workforce challenges in the broader framework of community economic development needs. We work with businesses, workers, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders to approach problems systematically and achieve systems change.   Our expertise with sector methodology, promising practices in workforce development, public and private financing, policy advocacy, and program design provides clients with a comprehensive tool kit for workforce development. The program staff has extensive work experience in industry, labor, government, and community organizations and has expertise working with diverse stakeholders, including communities of color.

Key Projects and Initiatives

  • THRIVE! Pilot Project.
    In partnership with the National Council on Aging, we are developing a national initiative to help mature workers train and work in expanding sectors of the economy through industry-focused workforce development partnerships. The pilot project will launch in San Diego, where we have conducted research on the regional labor market and on mature worker and employer needs. For more information about the San Diego pilot, including program recommendations, see our report or its Executive Summary.
  • Accelerating State Adoption of Sector Strategies Project. This project helps states reshape policy and financing to support sector initiatives.
  • Food Stamp Employment and Training (FSET) Expansion Initiative.  This project helps community colleges, adult education programs, and nonprofit organizations fund an expansion of employment and training services to low-income food stamp eligible persons, by developing, testing, and disseminating a new funding model of the national FSET Program.
  • Career Pathways and the Economic Impact of ECE in LA. To identify ways to strengthen the ECE industry, we forged a unique collaboration between the City of L.A. Workforce Investment Board; the County of L.A. Child Care Planning Committee; and L.A. Universal Preschool (LAUP).  These three agencies pooled resources to create the first ever career pathways and economic impact study of the ECE industry in the City and County of L.A.
  • Regional Workforce Funder Collaboratives. This initiative helps California regions increase the sources and amounts of funding for sector initiatives and systems-change efforts, and strategically target grant-making.
  • Flint Healthcare Employment Opportunities. This project helped develop a health sector initiative that improved the economic status of unemployed residents in an enterprise community.

Click here for more projects.


Customized Services

  • Maximize existing workforce funding streams and develop new funding through public-private funding collaboratives and statewide policy initiatives
  • Develop job quality strategies that improve wages and benefits for low-wage workers
  • Develop innovative business models such as employee-owned businesses and alternative staffing agencies
  • Support organizational capacity-building and sustainability planning
  • Provide training, technical assistance, and curriculum development for workforce investment boards, community colleges, community-based organizations, and others on developing sector initiatives
  • Conduct qualitative and quantitative research on labor-market dynamics, cost-benefit analyses, and more
  • Develop policy, advocacy, and communications strategies
  • Facilitate multi-stakeholder planning
  • Provide strategic planning for foundations

To contact us about working in your community, e-mail us at