Ed Murphy

Presentation Topic: Shifting Ground: Trends in Adapting Workforce Development


This presentation addresses the rapidly changing world of work. While students are preparing for a job, the skills required are constantly changing. Mid-career employees must also adapt to these skills changes in order to maintain their jobs. Moreover, many older workers are remaining in the workforce because they simply cannot afford to retire, while others defer retirement, redirecting their skills to new opportunities and keep working. What's going on? The pool and profile of workers is ever evolving with more women, more disabled, more ethnic minorities, and more non-native English speakers. We must anticipate the impact of this more diverse workforce and the labor market trends! Mr. Murphy will discuss workforce development and trends from the perspectives of those whose work world has been changed, including young individuals - who are entering the new and changing workplace; mid-career employees - who are adapting to stay employed; and the roles of unions and businesses in this multi-generational workplace.

Learning Objectives:Attendees will

  1. Explore the broad issues of workforce development, to gain a better understanding of the challenges of these labor market trends as they impact multi-generational workers faced with seeking and maintaining employment;
  2. Be able to apply strategies to assist job seekers with navigating around barriers in this evolving marketplace;
  3. and gain insight on how to assist these workers and others in establishing new careers


About Our Keynote Speaker:

Ed Murphy, Founder and Executive Director of the Workforce Development Institute (WDI), has a long history as a leader in public policy. WDI provides economic research, community audits, policy analysis and cultural services for working families. WDI provides financial and technical assistance to businesses and unions across New York State.

Ed brought together organized labor, business and environmental organizations, to address climate jobs and energy concerns. WDI inventoried the jobs and skills required to implement off shore wind projects. Ed serves on the New York State Workforce Investment Board. WDI provides technical assistance, childcare support and gives out more than three hundred workforce development grants each year.

Ed’s professional life began in the late 1960s as a military intelligence agent, fluent in Vietnamese. He has used his BA in American Studies, two (2) years graduate work in the history of social change and revolution, certificate in Arts Management and a Master’s in Public Administration to support his work.

Ed developed and implemented some of the earliest PTSD programs and in 1989 led development of New York’s first state workforce plan., recommending introduction of a Workforce Impact Statement as a core component of public funding.

In 1991, Ed left state government to work on reconciliation with Vietnam, do business consulting and provide humanitarian assistance. He participated in the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)’s 1991 Investors Forum in Ho Chi Minh City and subsequent meetings with government leaders in Hanoi. For 10 years, Ed consulted with businesses, NGOs and educational institutions interested in establishing programs in Southeast Asia. Ed has published 35 articles, five books and has had three (3) photography exhibits sponsored by the NYS Vietnam Memorial, been a technical advisor on one movie and for a second was honored as a writer by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences “1987-1988 Primetime Emmy Awards…Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam” broadcast by HBO.

In 2005 Ed and his daughter Zoeann published Vietnam, Our Father Daughter Journey. In 2015 he edited Working Stories, Essays by Reflective Practitioners and in 2016 Becoming a Leader a collection of commentaries he’d published over the past 40 years. In 2017 Ed published Creative Lives, a collection of essays by creative professionals explaining how they came to work in their professions. In 2019 he published 92 Newberry Avenue, a family and community memoir.

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