This study reports on employers' practices and decision-making procedures with regards to workplace education and training for low-wage workers. Focusing on these employees is important, say the authors, because they are the ones most likely to experience declining wages or job loss as a result of rapid and fundamental changes in the economy. In addition, there is reason to believe that workplace education programs may be more successful in raising earnings among low-wage workers than are government-provided programs. For whatever reason, these are the workers who are the least likely to receive training, and at the same time, they are the ones who could benefit from it the most.
Ahlstrand, Bassi, and McMurrer's study addresses five key research questions, including: 1) how much training is provided to lower-wage workers; 2) who tends to provide this training; 3) what are the barriers and enablers to effective training; 4) what roles do supply and demand play in determining how much training is provided; and 5) what role might external incentives play in whether or not training is offered?
"Ahlstrand and her coauthors provide a well-organized introduction to the practice of work force development in the late 1990s in the United States. Its chief merits are the authors' persuasive anecdotal evidence for making models of worker training more complete and the attention they draw to the issue of training subsidies."–Industrial and Labor Relations Review