Welcome to the author site for Stephen Goldsmith and Kate Coleman.

Experts in urban policy, civic engagement, and data-driven decisionmaking, their newest book Growing Fairly: How to Build Opportunity and Equity in Workforce Development will be published in spring 2022. A joint publication from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School and Brookings Institution Press, this book offers practical, actionable ideas on 21st century workforce development that meets the current and future skills and needs of workers and employers.


"The labor market in the United States faces seemingly contradictory challenges: Many employers have trouble finding qualified applicants for current and future jobs, while millions of Americans are out of work or are underemployed—their paths to living-wage jobs blocked by systemic barriers or lack of adequate skills.

Growing Fairly offers workforce development reforms that meet the needs of both workers and employers. Based on the experiences of hundreds of leaders and workers, the authors set out ten principles for designing a more effective and equitable system that helps workers obtain the skills necessary for economic mobility.

Between them, the authors have spent decades searching out and supporting effective practices. Even more critically, they have learned how to knit competing agencies and organizations into cohesive systems with coordinated missions. Their practical ideas will benefit a wide range of readers, from practitioners in the field to students and scholars of the American labor system."



Praise for Growing Fairly

“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