A new discussion paper by members of the Atlanta Fed's community and economic development team presents challenges and opportunities associated with regional workforce development coordination. For metropolitan regions, a properly trained workforce is vital for the economy. However, job training programs and other service providers operate independently and may be disconnected and fragmented, leading to inefficiencies that affect job seekers, employers, and the economy as a whole.

The paper "Fragmentation in Workforce Development and Efforts to Coordinate Regional Workforce Development Systems," by Stuart Andreason and Ann Carpenter, examines the causes of this fragmentation, using the Atlanta metro area as a case study. It presents best practices and lessons learned from successful regional workforce development collaborations in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Detroit. Programs in these cities have achieved success by sharing information among service providers and other stakeholders and by better aligning services with the needs of employers in their areas. With better coordination of workforce development, limited resources can be more efficiently leveraged to improve economic competitiveness.