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Carolina faculty publication: Nichola Lowe with Julianne Stern (MCRP ’15), John R. Bryson & Rachel Mulhall.

Investing in America’s Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers
Volume 2, Chapter 19: Youth Job Creation and Employer Engagement in U.S. Manufacturing

Urban areas in the United States and Western Europe face a labor market paradox. Local governments are struggling to develop solutions to high youth unemployment, while at the same time urban manufacturing companies are struggling to fill vacancies and face increasing skills shortages because of their aging workforce (Bryson et al. 2008;Kalafsky 2007; Leitch 2006). How cities respond not only has implications for the location and extent of manufacturing job creation, but will also determine whether economically disadvantaged youth have a critical role to play in shaping the future of manufacturing.  Continue reading (page 285)



Nichola Lowe

Nichola Lowe

Associate Professor
Specialization: Economic Development

Dr. Lowe’s work focuses on the institutional arrangements that lead to more inclusive forms of economic development and, specifically, the role that practitioners can play in aligning growth and equity goals.

Lowe conducts research in three related areas of economic development. The first is her focus on workforce intermediaries and the strategies of skill reinterpretation they use to engage businesses in a negotiated process around skill, including increasing employer responsibility for work-based skill development. The second area is her research on immigrant construction workers and the innovative strategies they and their allies devise to make their contributions to industry upgrading and upskilling more visible and valued. The third research area is Dr. Lowe’s work on smart approaches to state and local economic development, including efforts to align strategic forms of industrial recruitment and entrepreneurial support in ways that extend quality job opportunities to displaced workers and less educated individuals. Combined, this work unpacks the processes and practices that contribute to more equitable and inclusive forms of regional economic development and labor market adjustment. She has conducted most of this research in the North American context and recently in collaboration with researchers in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Lowe joined UNC-Chapel Hill’s Department of City and Regional Planning in 2005.

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