New Report From Penn’s Fels Institute of Government Offers Solutions for Economic Development

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Media Contact:Jacquie Posey | | 215-898-6460February 20, 2013

PHILADELPHIA –- As President Obama calls for new job creation that won’t raise the national budget deficit, an opportunity exists for the private and public sectors to work together.  The University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government lays out six proven strategies to help governments, businesses and workers successfully address the jobs problem in a new report, “Solving the Skills Crisis: Promising Practices for Talent Pipeline Development.” 

Funded with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the report highlights strategies to build a talent-development pipeline:

  • Onboarding -- teaching new employees about the organization and how their position fits into the overall scheme of the company.
  • Learn and earn – combining paid work with education that leads to a credential.
  • Mentorship -- providing readily accessible veteran employees to guide newer workers.
  • Public/private intermediaries -- leveraging the resources of other businesses, non-profits and government organizations to provide services and resources.
  • Work/life support -- addressing employees’ personal issues to decrease turnover.
  • Career coaches -- designating an individual to guide employees through the various stages and opportunities of the talent-development pipeline.

Based on site visits with more than a dozen American employers and interviews with more than 60 economic, governmental and business leaders, the new report features real-life narratives and concrete advice about replicable and scalable strategies to create and retain a quality workforce while reducing turnover, increasing productivity and creating new job openings. 

In addition to the site visits and interviews, the report features a scalability index that business can use as a checklist to decide which strategies can be successfully implemented.  Numerous case studies for each strategy illustrate the real-world value for decision makers of adopting the tactics in the public and private sector.

Sam Williford, one of the Fels-report authors, said, “At a time when so many people are struggling, it’s exciting to see companies engaging in practices that are good for business, workers and the public sector.”
“Solving the Skills Crisis: Promising Practices for Talent Pipeline Development” is the latest in Fels’ ongoing Promising Practices series, a compilation of briefs that provide public-sector leaders and managers with effective, practical and innovative information on public management topics.  The full report is available at