Labor Market Transformations and Employment Policy in the 21st Century – This course examines changing labor market conditions and their impact on workers, especially middle and low income earners. The course will start with an overview of recent writings that look at transformative forces related to international trade, corporate restructuring, new skill demands, and weakening labor bargaining power. We will consider how these forces are experienced differently across industries and across socio-economic groups, as well as some of the institutional factors that help to explain widening wage and income disparities in the United States. The second half of the course will focus on some of the policy and planning implications of these transformative forces and specifically the role that local practitioners and policy makers can play in addressing sources of socio-economic disparity. Four areas of policy will be considered, including: efforts to link competitiveness-enhancing retraining and industrial/sectoral upgrading initiatives; the creation of innovative new partnerships between employers and labor market intermediaries, such as staffing agencies, labor unions and non-profits; strategies that connect smart-growth and social equity goals; and finally, new forms of labor and community organizing designed to improve workplace justice (e.g., community benefits and living wage movements). This course is open to graduate students from all disciplines. Although required readings for this class draw primarily on the U.S. experience, international case comparisons will be incorporated into class discussions and select assignments.