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Public Policy Professor Wins Prize for Jobs Proposal

Harry Holzer

Public policy professor Harry Holzer says a competitive grant system to fund workforce development initiatives and training programs has been proven to raise employment and wages.

December 5, 2011 – The Brooking’s Institution’s Hamilton Project has awarded public policy professor Harry Holzer with its 2011 Policy Innovation Prize for his proposal to create America jobs and enhance productivity .

Holzer, who teaches in the Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI), proposes a competitive grant system to fund workforce development initiatives and training programs that he says have been proven to raise employment and wages. 

The grants would fund a more effective workforce and education system, giving students and training participants the skills that high-growth employers demand by directly linking their education and training with the labor market, the professor says in his proposal.

“At a cost of roughly $2 billion per year, the [grant] program would underwrite a range of efforts aimed at educating workers for jobs in firms that pay well and in growing industries,” says Holzer, director of Georgetown’s Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy. “Rather than reinventing the wheel, this program would build on the efforts already made in many states to integrate those states’ education and workforce systems and to target key sectors on the demand side of the labor market more effectively.”

Holzer submitted the proposal for the award given by the Hamilton Project, which awarded him with a $15,000 prize. As the winner, he may be invited to turn his proposal into a formal discussion paper.

In addition to his work at Georgetown, Holzer is a senior research fellow at the American Institutes for Research and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He served as chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor during the Clinton administration.

The Hamilton Project aims to advance the opportunity, prosperity and growth in America by fostering economic growth, enhancing individual economic security and embracing a role for effective government in making needed public investments.

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