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U.S. Department of Commerce, Aspen Institute Announce COG's Participation in 'Communities that Work Partnership’

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 16, 2015 – Seven regional site teams across the United States have been selected to participate in the Communities that Work Partnership, a new joint project of the Workforce Strategies Initiative (AspenWSI) of the Aspen Institute and the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Communities that Work Partnership (CTW Partnership) is an effort to strengthen regional economies by equipping American workers with the skills needed for 21st century jobs and accelerating industry-led workforce development and training efforts.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) was selected through a nationally competitive review process as one of the seven participating organizations. The regional site team, led by COG’s Executive Director Chuck Bean will also include the Greater Washington Board of Trade, represented by Executive Director Jim Dinegar, Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, represented by Director Adam Ortiz, and the Anacostia River Initiative/Federal City Council Anacostia Waterfront Trust represented by Anacostia Waterfront Trust Executive Director Doug Siglin.

The partnership is focused on the stormwater infrastructure sector, which is growing rapidly because of new federal mandates. The goal is to create a robust system for training and credentialing to meet the need for stormwater management, an industry that is expected to create jobs that cannot be exported, stimulate regional economies, and provide environmental benefits.

The seven regional site teams, or regional partnerships, will begin a 15-month intensive accelerated learning exchange designed around each region’s pursuit of job-driven talent development strategies to promote economic growth. AspenWSI and FutureWorks Consulting, will facilitate the in-person and virtual learning exchanges and provide customized technical assistance by engaging national experts in economic, workforce, and talent development.

The CTW Partnership will culminate in a number of publications outlining systems-change progress and lessons learned among the seven regional site teams, which will be disseminated nationally in the fall of 2016. They will describe how networks of local leaders can work in new ways across traditional silos to build more effective regional workforce initiatives, and begin to influence and guide similar strategies in other communities across America.

The CTW Partnership was launched in April 2015 at an event at the Aspen Institute that featured Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson in a dialogue over the need to learn from successful regional job-driven workforce development efforts to inform practices in other communities around the United States.

The other six regional site teams selected to participate in the Communities that Work Partnership, by Lead Agency, are:

  • Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Technology Council, Cox Communications, Western Alliance Bank (Greater Phoenix area)
  • Bay Area Video Coalition, City and County of San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, CBS Corporation, Work2Future/Silicon Valley/San Jose Workforce Investment Board (San Francisco area)
  • Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Erie County Executive Office, National Grid (Buffalo-Niagara Falls area)
  • Greater Houston Partnership, San Jacinto College, United Way of Greater Houston, Gulf Coast Workforce Solutions (Greater Houston area)
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Employment Law Project, Hand in Hand (New York City)
  • Northwest Georgia Regional Workforce Partnership, J+J Flooring Group, Technical College System of Georgia, Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce (Northwest Georgia)

Further Online Information
More information about the Communities that Work Partnership may be found at AspenWSI’s website, here.

The Communities that Work Partnership is made possible by the generous support of the Economic Development Administration of the US Department of Commerce and by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.


The Council of Governments is an independent, nonprofit association where area leaders address regional issues affecting the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia. One Region Moving Forward.

The mission of the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the US Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for US workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. www.eda.gov

The Workforce Strategies Initiative (AspenWSI) is one of three ongoing initiatives in the Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) at the Aspen Institute, along with Skills for America's Future and FIELD. AspenWSI works to identify, evaluate, and promote promising and successful practices and policies that improve access to quality training and employment for low-income adults.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.


Release Date: Jul 16, 2015
Contact: Megan Goodman
Phone: 202-962-3209

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