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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

March 23, 2006
Susan Beasy Latto, Director, UMD Public Relations 218 726-8830
Larry Knopp, Professor, UMD Department of Geography 218 726-6246

UMD Presents Expert on Economic Geography
Speaking on
"Workforce Development: Strengthening Regional Assets"
March 30

The UMD Urban & Regional Studies Program presents J.W. Harrington, Jr. Professor of Geography, University of Washington speaking on the topic "Workforce Development: Strengthening Regional Assets", March 30, at 6:30 p.m. in the UMD Library Rotunda. The lecture is free and the public is cordially invited. Refreshments will be served.

Dr. Harrington is immediate past-Chair of the University of Washington Department of Geography (2000-05), former Director of the National Science Foundation's Geography and Regional Science Program (1994-97), Associate Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University (1991-97); and Assistant and Associate Professor of Geography at SUNY-Buffalo. He holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from the University of Washington, and an A.B. degree from Harvard University. He is one of the most prominent and accomplished economic geographers in the United States, with over thirty articles and book chapters to his credit, in addition to co-authorship of two books (Industrial Location: Principles, Practices, and Policy (Routledge) and Rediscovering Geography: New Relevance for the New Century (National Academy Press), and co-editorship of Geography and Technology (Kluwer) and New Economic Spaces: New Economic Geographies (Ashgate)

The event is sponsored by the UMD Department of Geography, the UMD Urban & Regional Studies Program, and the UMD Center for Community and Regional Research, with substantial support from the Office of the Chancellor.

If we think strategically about regional economic development, we should distinguish regional assets (specialized attributes that have longevity within the region) from the environment (generalized and transient attributes). This presentation focuses on two related regional assets: skilled workers and the institutional arrangements that allow individuals to become appropriately skilled. Labor market intermediaries (LMIs) are important components of these institutional arrangements. They vary widely in their organizational basis, purposes, and attachment to workers and to employers. LMIs that are networked into local communities, occupational groups, and industry clusters are most likely to succeed in improving regional fortunes by developing local workforces.

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