New Research, New Posts

Post date: Mar 7, 2018 10:53:59 PM

Wow, has it been four years since my last post? Some of you may have been wondering where I've been. It's been an exciting four years of doctoral studies and research. After conducting scans of informal work in Mexico, Germany, and the United States, I have focused the past few years on Germany's illegal or "black" work (Schwarzarbeit). Finally, a way to test all those decades of studying German!

Tour of Kreishandwerkerschaft Mönchengladbach

Thanks to the German Academic Exchange Service and my host institutions, I spent 14 months traveling the country, interviewing politicians, workers, entrepreneurs, public officials, migrants, leaders, and scholars about the relationship between employment policy reforms and illegal work in the country's skilled trades and artisan crafts sector called Handwerk. Since Germany's reunification in 1989, lawmakers have revised employment-related laws and policies at breakneck speeds. These massive changes to work, education, apprenticeship, retirement, and commerce have disrupted the assumptions of Germans and global onlookers — like U.S. workforce policy influencers — about work and society. Given ongoing political and economic uncertainties around the world, reforms and disruptions will continue. In the upcoming months, I will share some of those findings. Also, this research and my travels on both sides of the Atlantic underscored the need for more direct urban policy measures that serve all residents in our world's metropolitan regions. Whether a native-born working class citizen, a young adult deciding on a career path, or a family that migrated from another country, all of us need opportunities for fair, decent work and the right to lead dignified lives. The news, resources, and op-eds about urban strategy and development that I post here will discuss such policies and efforts, with a strong emphasis on work, workforce, and entrepreneurship.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn, where I post more frequently on breaking news and current trends. Meanwhile, I look forward to conversations that discuss ways that we can improve opportunities and quality of life for the world's citizens.

Photo: Me with automotive sector leaders at the Mönchengladbach crafts union. Taken by Julia Kreuteler, Kreiha Mönchengladbach.

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