Human capital-centered regionalism in economic development: The case of Philadelphia’s biosciences sector
The paper, drawing on a case study of a regional "talent development" consortium in the Greater Philadelphia metro region, argues that the analytic tools developed to facilitate workforce- and occupation-led economic development are ahead of the institution-building required to put new approaches into practice, for two reasons. First, tensions persist around the role of the public sector workforce system in regional development initiatives. Second, regional stakeholders disagree about whether “knowledge economy” investments should include the training of manufacturing, transportation and logistics workers, leading to the frequent and controversial neglect of blue-collar occupations. The documentation of regional occupational specializations, “talent gap” analyses, and the clarification of career pathways are crucial components of human capital-centered regionalism in economic development. This case suggests, however, that best analytical practices are of little use without the institutional capacity to translate analysis into coherent, effective policy, and this in turn raises questions about what the goals of human capital-centered regional policy should be in the first instance.
Laura Wolf-Powers. "Human capital-centered regionalism in economic development: The case of Philadelphia’s biosciences sector" Penn Institute for Urban Research White Paper Series on Sustainable Urban Development (2011).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/laura_wolf_powers/15