On March 8th, Karin Norrington-Reaves, the Director of Cook County Works, participated in a panel discussion on using data to augment workforce development.  The event was sponsored by ChapinHall at the University of Chicago.  The mission of ChapinHall is to use research and policy solutions to improve the lives of children, youth, families and communities. During the recent recession, counties, cities and towns across the United States experienced high levels of unemployment. Now, they are striving to ensure their workforce development system is meeting the needs of struggling individuals seeking employment.  Policymakers and practitioners have difficulty obtaining reliable data and information about how to improve workforce programs and services. Timely and accurate data can help policymakers and practitioners understand which workforce development programs are successful and help them better direct resources within the system. This panel discussed an overview of the current workforce development landscape, described some of the national and local workforce policies aimed at providing services to job seekers, and presented recent research on the factors that influence success among community-based workforce programs. The panel discussed the ways better data can help improve services and how exemplary workforce programs in Chicago can use data to pursue innovative efforts to provide training and place people into employment. To learn more about ChapinHall, click here. To learn more about Cook County Works for more on workforce development, services and programs, go to: www.cookcountyil.gov/countyworks  
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