Using Public Policy to Promote Community Economic Development

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Virginia Tech

This study is being conducted in the interest of discovering changes that can be made in transportation and workforce policy to promote economic development. These changes will revolve around the amalgamation of place-based and people-based strategies with an emphasis on investment in people. The people-based strategies will relate to transportation policy, while place-based strategies will pertain to workforce policy.

The following research questions will be answered: What people-based policy changes need to occur through collaborative efforts to foster environments in urban areas that synthesize upward mobility through workforce development? What are the advantages of place-based and people-based strategies? How can transportation policy like Job Access and Reverse Commute grant programs, a people-based strategy, be changed to produce greater outcomes? What lessons can be learned from products of workforce development policy such as one-stop centers, a place-based strategy, in terms of performance? To answer these questions, the investigation uses case studies of Job Access and Reverse Commute grant and one-stop center programs, with the intent of deriving a framework for interagency coordination strategies.

The case studies include the Northern Jersey Transportation, the Baltimore Metropolitan Regional Transportation and the Portland, Oregon Tri-Met Plans. In addition, one-stop centers within the same three regions were examined for potential connections. A comparative analysis of all the case studies will be performed focusing on six major components in order to propose a policy framework that includes federal influence, governance structure, mechanism to connecting with the marker, feedback mechanisms, incremental career step provisions, and accountability systems.

Economics, Job Access, One-Stop Center, People-Based Strategies, Poverty, Workforce Development