Workforce Development, Higher Education Institutions, and Black Communities: Opportunities, Obstacles, and Observations

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Higher education institutions (HEIs) are engaging in workforce development initiatives to include collaborating with urban communities. To date, there are limited analyses through a funds of knowledge conceptual framework approach, examining perspectives of urban community workforce providers and participants. Subsequently, such an analysis would provide valuable information to better develop meaningful workforce collaborations. In this study, the authors utilized a qualitative critical-narrative approach to report on provider and participant experiences prior to the formation of the Parramore Education Innovation District (PEID), a university-led project that works with K–12, state college, community, and city government. The PEID project was created as an educational ecosystem to optimize job readiness. To guide this study the central research question was: How should HEIs work to engage urban communities regarding workforce programming? The initial analysis found HEIs must establish sustainable, co-constructed programming from perspective participants.

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Journal of Negro Education

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