Held biennially, this year saw the third Working Communities International Congress hosted by the National Employment Services Association (NESA). The congress aimed to draw on work undertaken since the global financial crisis and review the ways in which job creation and labour market policies and programmes have been implemented to encourage the development of productive communities and economic development in light of the lingering impact of the crisis. The congress was an opportunity to gather a number of insights into past and current policies aimed at increasing economic participation, to look at innovative practices happening both in Australia and internationally, and to discuss the future of public policy strategies related to employment and participation. While much of this work traditionally falls within the scope of labour market programme policy, an integrated approach is needed that bridges across policy silos, and enables local solutions to be developed that are targeted at local community needs. The OECD LEED Programme project on Local Job Creation - How Labour Market Policies Can Help was a key focus of the event, with the preliminary findings of the Australian component of the cross-country comparative review presented and discussed and with the opportunity to learn from the experiences in the United States. An opportunity for members of both sides of Australian politics to field questions about future policy directions for employment and related services and building more productive communities was also a feature of the two day congress.