Future of Work and Workforce Development

This year, we organized the Inclusive Economic Development Lab around the theme: The Future of Work and Workforce Development.  When we think about the Future of Work, new applications like ChatGPT and other technological advances conjure a future enhanced by automation and artificial intelligence.  The interviews we conducted for this season highlight that these future advances interact with an economy that for the last 40 years has been producing a lot of low wage work. The future of work is also the future of workers, many of whom operate in vulnerable, contingent positions at the edge of formal labor markets. Our work took place at a time of renewed focus on creating national industrial policy, with the US government gearing up to take a stronger role in steering industrial development in critical technologies and in technologies of the future.  How can we marry industrial investment with attention to job quality? Finally, our exploration of the future of work also incorporated attention to the future of Main street economies.  How do changing demographics in the country, a shift to working from home, and the move online that accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, affect the future of our Main street commercial corridors? 

Here you can find our Public Curriculum for IEDL 2023-providing an overview of some of the insights we generated over our work during Spring semester. 


Slides available here

IEDL Spring 2023 Projects

This year we worked on three projects, related to our theme. These included a case study of Park Street, Hartford commercial corridor to inform efforts by the newly elected Grand Avenue Special Services District board in embarking on a new chapter of investments in their commercial corridor, a literature review on a theory of change for a wage boost to the childcare sector for the King County interdisciplinary team overseeing this initiative, and a preliminary set of workforce analyses to inform the work of the new Office on Climate & Sustainability for the City of New Haven.  Select projects detailed below.

Park Ave, Hartford Case Study

As the Grand Avenue Special Services District elected a new Board and launches a new strategic visioning process for investing in the main commercial corridor in Fair Haven, a majority Latinx neighborhood in New Haven, the IEDL team conducted a case study of Park Street, Hartford, CT, a Latinx commercial corridor with a history of successful economic development intiatives.  

Slides available here

White paper available by request (send email to: kate.cooney@yale.edu)

(Spanish translation underway)

Childcare Sector Wage boost in King County: theory of change literature review


White paper

Thank You

Special thanks to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Fund for a two-year grant supporting the IEDL, which enabled the hiring of a team of research assistants, practitioner fellows and community fellows to support our work this year.  Research assistants to the 22-23 IEDL include: Niall Damando, Arpita Raveendran, Lydia Guo, and Erin Manning.  These research assistants spent crutial months in advance of the lab scoping projects, interveiwing class partners, and conducting research to support the onboarding of new projects and the continued penetration of existing work.  Our first pracitioner fellows to the IEDL were from the Urbane research and consulting group: Jose Medrano, Kathy Del Beccaro, Andrew Jones, and Michelle Chan.  The Urbane team performed a guest lecture, site visit, midreview and post project feedback as well as 1:1 team support.  There perspectives were invaluable.  Jobanna Maldonado was our inaugural Community Fellow and participated in many of our class sessions, gave a guest lecture, and embedded with our Park Street team, lending vital support at key moments.  Thanks also to our community project partners and project-related information interviews: 

Grand Ave Special Services DistrictFrank Alvarado, Grand Ave SSD (former), Paul Weiss, Grand Ave SSD (former), Jobana Maldonado, Business consultant, Carlos Eyzaguirre, City of New Haven

Park Avenue, Hartford: Logan Singerman, SINA, Mel Camacho, Yale SOM EMBA, Reinaldo Rojas, Central Connecticut SU

New Haven Office of Climate & SustainabilitySteven Winter & Max Theirstein, Lilia Snyder, The Small Contractor Development Program, Gioia Connell, Leticia Colon de Mejias, Efficiency for All, Mike Uhl, I Heart My Home, Annie Harper, Yale University School of Medicine, Bill Villano & Jill Watson, Workforce Alliance, Bernard Pelleteir, People’s Action for Clean Energy, Marina Marmolejo, CT Department of Housing
King County, WAKalayaan Domingo, Carrie Cihak, Jessica Tollenaar Cafferty, Jessica Valand, Results for America, Justin Doromal, Urban Institute, Marisol Tapia Hopper, Workforce, Development Council, Natalie Renew, Home Grown, Casey Osborn-Hinman, Central Consulting
Final thanks to our CitySCOPE podcast guests whose insights and perspectives inspired and grounded us in our topic for the semester. Tune in to listen to these interviews in our upcoming Season 5 on the CitySCOPE podcast!