“Few issues are as important to the success of cities as equitable growth. Even in a city such as San Diego, fortunate to have a strong economy and a national model for workforce development, upward mobility remains elusive for many. Growing Fairly presents a uniquely valuable set of principles that can help cities make progress toward a brighter future for all residents, leaving no one behind.”
— Todd Gloria, Mayor, city of San Diego
“Stephen Goldsmith and Kate Markin Coleman not only establish the indisputable case that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential elements of a stable and robust economy, they also have designed a model for effective collaboration among the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Their clear-eyed, rational approach is rooted in years of practical experience, authoritative research, and a profound respect for the dignity of work.”
— Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League
“In today’s labor market, we paradoxically have millions of people searching for their next paycheck and millions more job postings. In Growing Fairly, Goldsmith and Markin Coleman distill the nation’s leading workforce development prototypes and pilots and how to expand proven approaches. Communities need to convene partners—public and private, for profit and nonprofit—to design skills-focused solutions. Together, we can do this. It’s time. Past time.”
— Wendi Copeland, Chief Strategic Partnership Activation Officer, Goodwill Industries International
“Growing Fairly presents an actionable framework for reimagining regional skills-based workforce systems through cross-sector collaboration. A must-read for all education and workforce stakeholders.”
— Maria Flynn, President and CEO, Jobs for the Future
Listen to Growing Fairly Interviews
- The Data-Smart City Pod
- CAMI People First Podcast
- The Official Do Good Better Podcast
- EmsiBG Podcast
- Skedulo The Modern Workforce
- Burnham + Workforce Yutube
- TPMA - Growing Fairly Interview
We acknowledge with appreciation the many people who made this book possible.
For many years the Smith Richardson Foundation has played an important role in supporting practical research that guides the work of state and local officials and we thank the foundation for its support of our project. We particularly appreciate the guidance of Mark Steinmeyer, Smith Richardson’s senior program officer for domestic public policy, who has for so long provided wise counsel not only to us but to so many others as well.
In this book we synthesize the ideas and activities of those involved in workforce efforts. Over the two years we conducted our research, before and after the first COVID-19 outbreak, we met hundreds of wonderful public servants, in government and nonprofits. We spoke with farsighted business leaders and dedicated academics. And we spoke with scores of individuals who have participated in skill-building programs of all types and who have used what they have learned to build better futures. In many cases we use their voices in the stories we relate. We thank all of the people who generously took the time to share the narratives and ideas that eventually found their way into this book.
We also wish to thank the institutions associated with the publication of this book. First, we thank Bill Finan, director of the Brookings Institution Press, and his staff for their wonderful support. Tony Saich, director of the Ash Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School, supports the work we do there with city officials as well as joining with Brookings for this publication. We thank him for both.
Numerous people played critical roles as our book developed. Two individuals in particular were indispensable in our interviews for this book. Bonita Stowell helped us think through and conduct the qualitative research that is the backbone of this book. We feel lucky to have her on our team.
In addition, AEI supported the project and provided the research and interview talents of Caleb Seibert, who, along with Ryan Streeter, director of domestic policy studies, provided invaluable help.
Our thanks to Kate Murphy, faculty assistant at the Ash Center, who provided a broad range of services, including helping us maintain communications with dozens of individuals over a two-year period while we made sure we were accurately chronicling their stories.
Elizabeth Goldsmith spent many hours researching the journals that make up much of the scholarly content for the book.
Doug Richardson contributed original interviewing, reporting and editing and we thank Ed Finkel for his editing support.
This book is indeed a synthesis. It uses the words of others to illustrate important points. In gathering these words, we had the support of institutions like Smith Richardson, Ash/HKS, Brookings, and AEI. We benefitted from the talents of individuals who helped us with research and interviews. We are indebted to all of them.