This research brief, written in 2004, focuses on what was at the time a new type of organization that was emerging in the face of the need to change how employers were engaged in workforce investment. Some such organizations operate as community-wide intermediaries, linking an array of service providers to businesses and to each other. Not only do these organizations attend equally to the supply and demand sides of workforce investment, but they also deal with broader community circumstances and interests that influence the success of the publicly funded workforce development system.
The most distinguishing characteristic of community-wide intermediaries is the emphasis on serving “dual customers,” that is, current and future workers AND employers. These community-wide intermediaries tend to focus on results-driven dual customer outcomes as opposed to a specific target group of job seekers. They take many forms and may include such entities as community based organizations, business groups such as Chambers of Commerce, community colleges, or any entity or combination of entities with the willingness and resources to conduct the broad range of activities necessary to connect community partners to one another and to the larger business community.