Relative Strength

Mark Elliott
September 2000

We heard a lot during the 2000 presidential campaign about the importance of working families. Each party has done its best to demonstrate that it will be the better friend to these households. Ironically, the nation’s workforce development policies have not only not paid much attention to families, but they have made it considerably more difficult to implement family-oriented employment programs. Relative Strength attempts to shed some light on why developing such programs is so challenging, how some organizations have managed to do it, and how their experiences can inform the field. We do not expect, nor would we recommend, that the employment field abandon its focus on individuals in favor of families. But it does seem that there is a need and considerable interest in undertaking such efforts if more flexible workforce development policies can be developed.

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