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Responding to Layoffs? Think Entrepreneurship and Partnerships

February 18, 2010 by Joshua Wright

“Laid off workers — particularly those with obsolete skills — are the human casualties of the recession and constant reinvention of a competitive and globalizing economy.” So writes Mark Kleszczewski in an article for Global Corporate Xpansion on layoffs and the “creative destruction” concept.

The piece lays out a series of issues to consider in this economic climate — entrepreneurship, collaboration, developing a creative economy — and mentions examples of cities and regions that are having success. Here’s an excerpt:

When joblessness rises during a cyclical downturn, self-employment tends to rise as many displaced workers become small-business owners in response to the pressing need to replace lost wages; launching a business may seem like the best path to survival.

“Our workforce system, whose goal is to get people back into jobs, is not designed to deal very well with entrepreneurship,” notes Brian Kelsey, consultant, Civic Analytics. “Many workforce development boards have incorporated entrepreneurship into their ‘rapid response’ programs for dealing with layoffs, but in most cases it’s not a core focus because federal and state funding isn’t there to support it. This is one of many reasons why we need a more coordinated approach to economic development, workforce development and entrepreneurship.”

It’s worth mentioning here the significant role regional partnerships play in all this. If you peruse EMSI’s case study page, you’ll see data-focused collaboration is a common thread in helping respond to business closures, develop workforce retraining programs, and much more.

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