International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

Stateside Puerto Ricans and the public workforce development system: New York City, Hartford, Springfield/Holyoke

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This study examines, first, how public workforce development systems under the Workforce Investment Act (1998) are responding to the needs of Puerto Rican low-wage workers. Three local public systems are compared using mainly qualitative methods: New York City (NY), Hartford (CT), and Springfield-Holyoke (MA). Further, the study documents what is the position of Puerto Rican community-based organizations (CBOs) within these local workforce development systems, and what role are they playing reaching out to low-wage workers. Finally, the study draws the public policy implications for local workforce development policy and community development. The findings demonstrate little or no participation of Puerto Rican CBO's in the workforce development system of NYC relative to Hartford and Springfield/Holyoke. "Workfirst" programmatic approaches toward low-wage workers predominate in NYC, whereas sectorial and career-ladder approaches are part of the program mix in Hartford and Springfield/Holyoke. The latter approaches offer better long-term employment and wage prospects for Puerto Rican and other low-wage workers.

Publication Title

Centro Journal

Publication Date

12-1-2011

Volume

23

Issue

2

First Page

65

Last Page

93

ISSN

1538-6279

Keywords

low-wage workers, Puerto Ricans, workforce development

Disciplines

Business | Labor Relations | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Behavioral Sciences

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