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Survey of employers reveals state of green jobs in Oregon had an estimated 51,402 green jobs in 2008, according to the new Oregon Employment Department report The Greening of Oregon’s Workforce: Jobs, Wages, and Training.

The report, based on a survey of employers, found that green jobs accounted for three percent of Oregon’s private, state government, and local government employment. Green jobs were reported in all broad industry groups and were spread across 226 occupations.

The survey defines a green job as one that provides a service or produces a product in:

1. Increasing energy efficiency
2. Producing renewable energy
3. Preventing, reducing, or mitigating environmental degradation
4. Cleaning up and restoring the natural environment
5. Providing education, consulting, policy promotion, accreditation, trading and offsets, or similar services supporting categories 1-4

The three industries with the most green jobs were construction, wholesale and retail trade, and administrative and waste services. Combined, these industries accounted for 47 percent of Oregon’s green jobs.

The five occupations with the most green jobs were carpenters, farmworkers, truck drivers, hazardous materials removal workers, and landscaping and groundskeeping workers. Together these workers represented 27 percent of Oregon’s green jobs.

The average wage for green jobs in 2008 was $22.61 per hour. On average, green jobs tended toward slightly higher wages than jobs across the entire economy. Occupations with higher minimum education requirements generally paid higher wages than occupations with little or no required education.

Minimum education requirements for green jobs closely mirrored requirements for all jobs statewide. Nearly two-thirds of all green jobs require no more than a high school education, seven percent require some college, seven percent require an associate degree, 18 percent require a bachelor’s or graduate degree, and four percent required other education. But as is true in the rest of the economy, high-wage green jobs are more likely to require post-secondary education.

Nearly one-third of green jobs required a special license or certificate. The most common special requirements were specific to occupations, such as an electrician’s license. Other common requirements were environmental cleanup or abatement certifications, equipment operator licenses and commercial driver’s licenses, and prior on-the-job experience.

Employers project the number of green jobs will grow 14 percent between 2008 and 2010. Most growth will likely be in the farming, fishing, and forestry occupations, transportation and material moving occupations, and production occupations.

The report was funded, in part, with Employer Workforce Training Funds administered by the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development.

The full report is available on-line at Printed copies will be available soon. To request a printed copy, please e-mail or call phone (503) 947-1204.

CONTACT: Charlie Johnson, Economist
WorkSource Oregon Employment Department

Editor’s note: This post is from Melinda M. Mulawka, Deputy Director of the New York City Workforce Investment Board. Throughout her tenure with the WIB, Melinda has been responsible for the development and implementation of high priority initiatives such as the NYC Labor Market Information Service and In addition, she has spearheaded efforts to recruit dynamic business members to the Board and enhance communication to the WIB’s many stakeholders, as well as served as the Acting Executive Director throughout 2009.



In late May of 2009, the NYC Independent Budget Office projected the loss of 254,000 jobs by the summer of 2010.  Recognizing the importance of getting people the resources they need to get back to work as quickly as possible, the NYC Workforce Investment Board, NYC Economic Development Corporation and NYC Department of Small Business Services have developed  CareerLinkNYC is a dynamic one-stop internet portal for recently unemployed individuals. The site connects New Yorkers to employment opportunities, labor market data, support resources, and career changing information.  While initially developed to respond to layoffs in Finance and IT, the majority of the site is relevant for any mid-level professional.   Understanding that this population is not likely to visit their local One-Stop Career Center, we developed a site that could provide a succinct compilation of resources and links.  Jobseekers are connected to essential information such as,


1) First steps after you lose your job,

2) Key tips for searching for a new job,

3) How to start up your own business, and

4) How to update your skills, or go back to school to change your career.


Content was developed through a collaboration of partners from NYC government, as well as the expertise of private stakeholders —including the Partnership for New York City,, the Ladders and the New York Times.  As a result of our private sector partners can provide up to the minute information on the new jobs, key articles, events, interviewing tips and more.  We have recently hit over 30,000 unique visitors, and we are exploring ways to keep CareerLinkNYC relevant and meeting job seekers needs – like emerging green opportunities.

Editor’s note: This post is from Carol Padovan, Region 6 Federal Project Officer for ETA. It is a report of the workshop session “Pell Plus – Educational Opportunities for the Unemployed“at the Region 6 Reemployment Forum.

On Thursday, June 11, I attended a session on use of Pell grants for providing training to UI recipients. Jamie Bachinski, Division Chief for the Region 6 Division of Workforce Security of the US Dept of Labor, discussed the new guidance permitting UI recipients to attend training without jeopardizing their eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits, which meant they could apply for and receive Pell grants and other financial aid; Priscilla Leadon, Dean at Contra Costa Community College, California, described "low unit training programs" they had developed for which students could receive Pell grants and other financial aid to attend; and Barbara Rance of Contra Costa Community College reviewed financial aid application procedures, factors that determine eligibility and amounts and types of Financial Aid that can be received.

 Some best practices included ongoing training by CCCC to One Stop staff regarding the career track courses they offer and financial aid available and processes to get it;  "low unit certificate programs" that provide shorter term skills training with college credit that students can apply financial aid towards; and the importance and success that can be achieved for both partners - LWIBs and Colleges - by working closely together, understanding each other's languages and needs. As Priscilla Leadon observed, the resources to achieve success are there, but we must leave our sandboxes to reach them. What experiences has your college or LWIB had in partnering together? What were the factors that lead to success? What were the toughest challenges?

  1. FORUM TWEET: SPRA researching green career paths, focus on turning liabilities (density, transit, etc) into assets, ask
  2. WhiteFORUM TWEET: California Workforce Assn providing input on state legislation, call jennifer mitchell 916.325.1610.
  3. WhiteFORUM TWEET: state and local WIBs working with calif. energy commission, coordinating green workforce training investments- kathy castillo!
  4. WhiteFORUM TWEET: building youth, while building homes and community, the green way! green construction certificate- ask
  5. WhiteFORUM TWEET: Nina Bone, YUMA PIC, sending dislocated construction workers from Yuma to Tucson for solar installation training (WIRED funds).
  6. WhiteFORUM TWEET: paula resa is working on aligning carpenters preapprenticeship and apprenticeship with green economy, educating employers too!
  7. WhiteFORUM TWEET: Airstreams trains wind turbine technicians in tehachapi, works with cerro coso cc- waiting for state to approve them for ETPL!
  8. WhiteFORUM TWEET: green for all&policylink :"bringing home the green recovery: a user's guide to the 2009 american recovery and reinvestment act"
  9. WhiteFORUM TWEET: check out california green job corps grants, and washington's center of excellence for energy at central community college!
  10. Whitereading... WIND, SEIU 32BJ and East Harlem ...
  11. WhiteFORUM TWEET: Understanding the "Green" Economy... check out the Digest of Green Reports and Studies at (thanks s ...
  12. WhiteFORUM TWEET:check out San Diego State's Professional Certificate in Green Energy Management Online- wendy evers knows all! wevers@mail. ...
  13. WhiteForum live tweet hour on green workforce went well! great work going on at WIBs, colleges, with employers, labor and more. will post friday.
  14. Whitekudos to LATechCollege (LA collaborative) and New Jersey labor (new local for residential weatherization)! has the info.
  15. Whitegreen-centric sessions at the june forum: evolution of state strategies from Wash,OR and CA -all big on LMI, apprenticeship and live twitter
  16. Whitegetting ready for the SF forum, gathering tales of green jobs--what are they? who has them? who's training whom for them? across western US

Editor’s note: This post is from Thou Ny, Region 6 Federal Project Officer for ETA. It is a report of the workshop session “Teaching Green“ at the Region 6 Reemployment Forum.


Greetings--On June 12, 2009, I had to the opportunity to attend the US Department of Labor/ETA Region 6 Re-employment forum held in San Francisco.  I also had the opportunity to serve as a moderator of the Teaching Green workshop.  The plenary session was awesome, especially when the guest speakers--Brian J. Quirke, from the Department of Energy and Ian Kim, from the Green Collar Jobs Campaign at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, gave us a broad overview of the nation’s recent development and transformation into green thinking and the emerging green economy.  Did you know that the Department of Energy has approximately $32 billion in the stimulus package for research and development of green technologies, such as renewable energy, smart grid development, energy storage, and home weatherization programs?   For instance, $5 billion is set aside for weatherization of low-income family homes which will require entry level skilled workers to carry out.  What linkages have you made with the director of the energy agency in your State to respond to the training needs of this portion of the ARRA funds?

 That aside, I wanted to share what is not often brought up in conversations about the greening of the economy or the workforce that was presented during my Teaching Green panelists: Dr. Dan Throgmorton from Los Rios Community College, Michael Williamson from Skyline Community College, Dr. Clyde Sakamoto from Maui Community College, Christine Welsch from the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency, and Patti Castro from the Alameda County Workforce Investment Board.  As we are all trying to develop and better understand or define what is considered green jobs or careers for our perspective workforces, we can easily overlook some critical elements in our approaches or strategies of how we are preparing workers for the emerging green economy. The purpose of the Teaching Green workshop I moderated was to provide real life examples of how community colleges and local workforce investment boards are working together in training workers for the emerging green careers or job opportunities.  All examples presented by the panelists were truly creative, innovative, and informative.  For example, it is encouraging to learn that many community colleges already have green curriculum and coursework in place. To this end, a strategic collaboration with the local workforce system can really take the utilization of these existing materials a step farther.  However, a concept of the presentation that stood out for me was a strategy that I though provided a fuller picture of how a local workforce system and partner community college can better prepare workers for the green economy—and that is by training the local career center staff on the various green jobs and their specific training requirements. Patti Castro, the presenter of this concept, pointed out that career center staff members play a very critical role in connecting workers to various jobs and training opportunity because they are the folks who are working intimately and directly work job seekers.  Therefore, the amount of information being passed along to the job seekers about green job and career opportunities hinges upon the amount of knowledge they have about green job and training opportunities. This concept, in hindsight, makes perfect sense and seems to be a natural programmatic element in preparing our green workforce.  However, sometimes we often forgot to include in our conversations or programs those that we do naturally.  What are you doing to help your workforce development staff become conversant in "green"? 

There are many technology tools and practices that are available to those in Workforce Development.  Each toolbox varies with the specific agency but the purpose of the toolbox stays the same; to organize the tools someone might need for a particular task.

 Technology is used in Workforce Development for case management, gap analysis, worker profiling, etc…  What tools do you have in your Technology Toolbox to help you with these tasks?  What tools would you like to add to your Toolbox and why? 

The Oakland Green Jobs Corps – who's mission is to build pathways out of poverty through green-collar training – will graduate its first class today and send 40 graduates into the world equipped for jobs in green construction, solar installation and retrofitting.

After graduation, a number of these students will head directly into jobs with Bay Area companies that have committed to providing 90-day on the job training for graduates. Others have agreed to interview the Green Jobs Corps graduates for current openings. Involved employers include:  SolarCity, Sunlight & Power, Borrego Solar, Swinerton, Canyon Construction, Federal Building Company, REC Solar, Weather Tight, Spectrum Inc., Sungevity, Dan Antonioli Construction and Wellington Energy Corp.

The Oakland Green Jobs Corps began when the Ella Baker Center convinced Oakland’s Mayor Ron Dellums to champion green jobs training and provide seed money to get the program started. Three Bay Area organizations were selected to develop a curriculum and run the program:  Cypress Mandela Training Center, Laney Community College and Growth Sectors Inc.


Editor’s note: This post is from Tarah Holt, Region 6 Federal Project Officer for ETA. It is a report report-out of the Supportive Services Supersized workshop session at the Region 6 Reemployment Forum.

What are some of the options available to people who have lost their job in these hard economic times?  Three topics were discussed during the Supportive Services Supersized session at the Reemployment Forum.   The Health Care Tax Credit (HCTC) is one of them. There are two ways to receive HCTC.  One way is a monthly benefit where the government pays 80% and the individual pays 20%.  The other is a yearly benefit and the individual pays 100% of costs and is reimbursed by the IRS later.   An International Revenue Service  representative  explained that  individuals who are involuntarily separated from their jobs on or after September 1, 2008 are eligible to receive the subsidy.  DOL benefits advisor Dania Kamafani from the Employee Benefits Security Administration explained COBRA which allows individuals to extend their health care benefits for 18 months after a qualifying event such as loss of a job, divorce, loss of dependent child status, death.  Maximum COBRA benefits timeframes is 36 months.  There is one extension under COBRA and that is a disability extension which adds an additional 11 months.  However to receive the extension a person must be qualified as disabled by Social Security.  What are the eligibility criteria for HCTC or COBRA?  Check the IRS website to determine criteria.  There are approximately 30 pages devoted to determining eligibility for services.  What are other benefits for individuals who have been involuntarily separated from a job?    Dan Parrish from Consumer Credit Counseling  explained that Consumer Credit Counselors also offers free budget and money management counseling  when  a counselor determines the level of financial crisis a client has reached and provides assistance options.  These options include the counselor negotiating lower payments or lower interest payments on behalf of the client.  Counselors help clients develop a budget the client can work with based upon the client's income.  The initial meeting at Consumer Credit is free of charge.  These three areas are options to individuals who are involuntarily separated from their jobs.  However, each situation is different so some research may be needed to determine which options are best for individual situations.  How are you making unemployed individuals in your State aware of these benefits? 

Editor’s note: This post is from Elina Mnatsakanova, Region 6 Federal Project Officer for ETA. It is a report report-out of the “Flexible Service Delivery Options” workshop session at the Region 6 Reemployment Forum.

Flexible Service Delivery Options session of the Region 6 Recovery and Reemployment Forum held on June 11, 2009 discussed models that could be employed to ensure that trainings and services provided to job seekers and employers are aligned with the current local and labor market requirements. Representatives from California local areas and the Employment Development Department (EDD) shared the best practices and identified the challenges encountered during the process. Models discussed during the session have different approaches to the common goal of increasing employability and job retention of California Workers. Riverside County, for example, uses team-based approach, creating teams, each of which focuses on a specific aspect of the process. Representative from EDD informed the attendees of the reorganization and retooling of LMI data that is currently underway. It has created new online tools for job seekers and employers. UI Program Navigator introduced by EDD to simplify the process of assisting clients was another innovative idea discussed during the session. Challenges faced by the state and local areas vary, however, some of the common ones are insufficient funding and unavailability of a common data system that could produce real-time and accurate reports. What new approaches is your State taking to get people back to work quickly?


Growing food and skilled workers

Windy City Harvest is a project of the Chicago Botanic Garden that teaches organic gardening and entrepreneurial skills to residents. Trainees learn how to grow healthy food that is then sold in local markets. In addition to learning sustainable urban agriculture techniques, participants learn the business side: planning, pricing, sales and marketing. 

The program combines 6-months of instruction that includes credits at City Colleges of Chicago with a 3-month paid internship. 

Windy City Harvest was highlighted at a recent Urban Agriculture conference in Chicago (more info here).

To learn more about the program, watch this video:

Click here if you can't see the embedded video.

If you know of other innovative programs that combine job training with urban agriculture, please let us know about them.



"Onward and Upward!"


Editor’s note: This post is from Tony Dais, Manager of Workforce Information Programs for ETA. It is an introduction to the WIN-WIN Community of Practice.


The WIN-WIN Network CoP (launched on June 8, 2009) is expected to be a win-win for workforce information producers, innovators, suppliers, users and consumers.  The site will cater to the special interests of this diverse group and will focus on highlighting the impact of workforce information and intelligence on decision-making.  Replicable models, complete with instructions for replication, will also be a focus that hopefully will spread good ideas across the country quickly.  The first three “How To” webinars provide insights to tools and approaches that support America’s economic recovery.

The site is very new and so far over 600 individuals have been invited to join the community.  If you are interested, please visit the WIN-WIN Community of Practice

Editor’s note: This post is from Carol Padovan, Region 6 Federal Project Officer for ETA. It is a report of the workshop session “Using Apprenticeship as a Reemployment Strategy” at the Region 6 Reemployment Forum.

Last Wednesday, June 10, I attended a very interesting session on using apprenticeship as a re-employment strategy. Tom Nelson, Director of the State of Alaska's Employment Security Division of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Department, described how they are using apprenticeship for re-employment. People who apply for UI benefits are presented with information on apprenticeship as one option for services. They are then assessed using Work Keys to determine what the best match for them is and connected with it. They use WIA funds to pay for training, often the first year of an apprenticeship. Alaska has made apprenticeship an integral piece of their overall state workforce development strategy; it's been integrated into their One Stop system through staff trained in the use of apprenticeship and it is viewed a means through which Alaska can train its residents to meet workforce needs of both small and large businesses, especially their gas pipeline - a major undertaking that they know they do not as yet have the skilled workforce within the state to achieve.

The second half of the session was a presentation from Paula Resa, who coordinates the Carpenters Training Committee's apprenticeship program in California. She described their intensive pre-apprenticeship program, a 9 week intensive training program to prepare participants to become apprentices. She told us how this program was developed because of the high attrition rate of starting apprentices and how costly that was for their trade. Aside from learning the basics of their trade, participants are taught in such things as worksite survival and how to get and keep a job; they garner several safety certifications; and learn financial literacy. Learning these topics contributes to their success as an apprentice. She indicated she is working with One Stops and LWIB's to recruit and retain participants, and to help their participants pay for tools, certifications, books and the other things they need to get through the course successfully.

Has your state or LWIB considered the benefits of using apprenticeship to achieve your workforce development goals? What has been your experience?

Editor’s note: This post is from Robert Willliams, Region 6 Federal Program Manager for ETA. The blog focuses on UI System Integration.


With the passage of the ARRA, there has been much talk around integration on the UI system with the other areas of the Workforce System, most notably ES (Job Service) and WIA which is responsible for training, Dislocated Worker and Youth programs and support services.  The questions become, how do we integrate UI claimants into the workforce system or how do we make workforce services available to UI claimant when most claims are filed remotely.  And to make matters worse, the fact is that in most SWAs, the UI and the workforce service systems are disconnected and do not communicate with each other.  Well how do you integrate a process that has different rules, different computer platforms and applications, different forms, different performance measures and weave them into a system with only one entry point that will provide for an integration of services to the unemployed and the underemployed worker?


The ETA Reemployment Initiative challenged the workforce system through a Summit in Baltimore and a series of Regional Forums to come up with innovative approaches that would allow the unemployed worker to navigate the workforce system and provide the workforce system an opportunity to provide better customer service.  By providing UI claimants with access to available work force services will enable them to make decision concerning their career path


I know there are many promising practices out there that address these issues.  Let’s hear from you! 


Has anyone developed an effective marketing strategy that inspires the unemployed to use their services?  Has anyone develop a process where one application enrolls you in all workforce services?

Editor’s Note: This post is from Ralph Zackheim, Region 6 Federal Project Officer for ETA. It is a report of “takeaways” from a few sessions at the Region 6 Reemployment Forum.

For three of the workshop sessions I attended  on June 10 and 11, a strong and persistent theme emerged – the necessity of strong partnerships with the community colleges in building an effective workforce system. The workshops on Creative Training Strategies, Pell Grants and Green Jobs all included dynamic and thought-provoking presentations by Community College Deans, staff and a Vice Chancellor. A few years ago such partnerships were nowhere near as widespread and profound as those exhibited at the Forum.

Here are some “takeaways” I got from the three sessions: Priscilla Leadon, Dean of Economic Development of the Contra Costa County Community College system, spoke of College professors regularly providing training to One Stop staff and participants within the Career Center itself.   Richard Galope, also a Dean at Foothill/deAnza Community College in Silicon Valley explained how Apprenticeship is part of the districts regular curriculum with direct connections to Unions and employers; In the “Teaching Green” session, Dr. Dan Throgmorton of Skyline College on the San Francisco peninsula noted the extremely tight connections forged by two local WIBs (San Mateo and Alameda Counties), “green” businesses and the community college in the development and refinement of a “green pathway” leading to jobs in which sustainability of energy and resources is the guiding principle.

Recently, I had a conversation with a colleague about what differentiates one type of Rapid Response from another.  Are there qualities basic to Rapid Response and what makes response stellar?  In response to the economic challenges facing the U.S. auto industry, others are asking these same questions. 


The scope and magnitude auto dislocations are having across the U.S. is not confined to any one geo-political boundary.  As such, it raises the issue of parity across workforce systems.  Are all dislocated auto workers receiving the same level of Rapid Response?  And, what is the minimum level of response all should expect?  Certainly, displaced auto workers in Michigan, Ohio, Delaware, etc. should expect a consistent level of service regardless of the economic region or workforce system.  However, do stark differences in approaches mean one group is at a disadvantage?  If we take this further, are there a menu of Rapid Response services and activities more likely to mitigate the impact of dislocations and support economic recovery?


So, what does make a Rapid Response truly great?  What, if anything could or should be done above and beyond minimum Rapid Response activities alluded to in the law?  Share your thoughts here, so we can ensure all dislocated workers are given equal chances to reenter the workforce in this challenging global economy.  Let’s generate a list of “must do” activities basic to Rapid Response and begin identifying those services and activities that make it stellar.


Some basic levels of Rapids Response suggested thus far include:


?         Permanent RR teams consisting of the State RR Coordinator; UI Specialist; WP/UI reemployment services; TAA and TRA Specialist; State human service agency representatives;

?         RR lead and team members are designated in each LWIA

?         Employer, labor representatives, and other affected parties are included in the RR structure and planning from the beginning

?         WARN notification and processing system exists

?         Funding mechanism is established that commits specific state and/or local funds to support each RR event

?         State Rapid Response unit has a survey methodology and design that collects, at the first RR session, each worker’s contact information, demographic data, work history, skill sets, educational level, long and short term goals, and training needs


This coming Thursday, June 18th, Region 2 will be having a similar conversation during our monthly peer to peer calls with Rapid Response Coordinators in our states.  Most Regions provide similar forums for Rapid Response Coordinators.  Contact your Regional Office representative for more information about similar opportunities to connect to your peers.

Editor’s note: This post is from Melinda M. Mulawka, Deputy Director of the New York City Workforce Investment Board. Throughout her tenure with the WIB, Melinda has been responsible for the development and implementation of high priority initiatives such as the NYC Labor Market Information Service and In addition, she has spearheaded efforts to recruit dynamic business members to the Board and enhance communication to the WIB’s many stakeholders, as well as served as the Acting Executive Director throughout 2009.


In 2008 New York City launched the Workforce1 NYC Transportation Center (“Center”), which is one of the first large-scale sector initiatives in NYC and the nation.  The Center applies a sector-based workforce model to a large career center and was initially funded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Center for Economic Opportunity. 


The goals of the Center are to:

?         Help make companies more competitive by becoming a recognized expert of the workforce needs of transportation companies and providing services to meet those needs. 

?         Connect low-income workers to good jobs with career advancement opportunities within the sector.

?         Catalyze systems change within transportation by working collaboratively with other parties to identify and address barriers that impact employers and low-wage workers. The program focuses on placing the majority of participants in jobs with good wages and benefits.


Using labor market data, the Center chose to focus specifically on four subsectors; Air Transportation, Truck Transportation, Passenger and Ground Transit, and Air Support Transportation.  Within these subsectors, the Center works closely with companies to assess their hiring and training needs and to develop customized solutions to meet those needs.  These services include extensive job preparation and training services, tailored to meet the specific needs of transportation companies for both jobseekers, and incumbent workers employed within the industry.  By doing so, the program creates a pipeline of highly qualified transportation workers that saves companies time and money, improves productivity, and makes businesses in the transportation sector more competitive. For example, many companies have expressed a need for supervisory training to both retain workers and provide advancement opportunities for line staff. The Center has created customized supervisory trainings for two employers with the expressed focus to address an industry need as the workforce is aging out and there is a need to bring and advance new workers within the sector.  The Center has also found that having a deeper engagement with employers has enabled the Center to maintain and exceed performance expectations despite challenging economic times.   By having their “fingers on the pulse” of employer demand, staff has been able to connect those who were recently dislocated from employers in the sector with other like opportunities.  Similarly, the Center also screens new entrants into the sector, assisting jobseekers seamlessly transition into a new field.


Accomplishments and Impact

As of April 2009, the Transportation Center has made at total of 869 placements and promotions.  A total of 664 individuals have been placed in jobs and 75% of those placements are in jobs that pay $10 an hour or more.  The average hourly wage is $13.47 and the median wage is $13.03.  In addition, a total of 205 individuals have received promotions and the 75% of those individuals have received a 10% increase in wages or more.  Two hundred and thirty nine individuals have enrolled in training (primarily for Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL) or supervisory training).  Additionally, over 80 transportation companies in NYC have been served by the Transportation Center.


Other key successes measured by the Center include the formation of a successful business advisory council (called the Leadership Committee) made up of employers from the industry, training providers, industry associations, and economic development organizations that provide market intelligence and feedback on the strategic direction of the Center. 


Serving as a Model

Historically, due to the intense focus and level of expertise required to be successful, sector initiatives are most appropriate to smaller scale or boutique programs.  The Workforce1 NYC Transportation Center is one of the first sector initiatives in the nation that has been brought to scale.


Why we are successful:

?         NYC has recognized that by understanding the industry dynamics, the specific competitive environment, and workforce needs of employers within the sector the Transportation Center will create lasting changes in the labor market system that are positive for workers and employers. 

?         The design of the model was created with input from national sector leaders including Aspen Institute and the most effective programs in the country helped to provide input and learn from their implementation lessons.  This large scale initiative has been achieved by capitalizing on the close business connections and feedback loop from employers, as well as specialized high-quality hiring and training. 

?         The Leadership Committee that advises the Center, is an integral resource in this process and brings together several stakeholders in the industry to illicit feedback about the Transportation Center activities. 


Other Sector Initiative Resources:

What is a sector initiative? The New York City Example: Workforce1 NYC Transportation Center


National Network of Sector Partners

What Is a Sector Initiative?

Sector Essentials: Using Research to Guide Planning

Sector Essentials: Funding


Public Private Ventures

Sectoral Research



Multiple examples of successful programming


Note: We will be posting here from time to time about Rapid Response, layoff aversion, and managing transitions within your economy.  We want to share some thoughts and ideas, and generate discussion on these topics.  So please comment or respond!


The public workforce system is a two-client system.  Businesses and workers are both critical customers for the system.  And Rapid Response is the hub of this two-client workforce system. 

Rapid Response plays an invaluable role in a fully functioning, fully developed workforce system.  Flexible and responsive, Rapid Response is at the heart of the promise that the workforce system makes to both the working public and the nation’s employers: When you need us most, we will be there. 

Want to be seen as a hero in your community by heading off the storm?  Rapid Response is the answer.  Rapid Response should be visible, it should be active, and it should be one of the foremost weapons in your arsenal against economic transition.  Rapid Response is the business service for trying times.  And did we mention there’s money attached to it?  With significant flexibility?  Money you can use to position your state or WIB as a critical partner to business.  Money that permits innovative solutions, making a difference at a time of need.

The regulations on Rapid Response emphasize the value of talent recapture—keeping skilled talent engaged in the regional economy—and talent redeployment—retraining a proven workforce to meet a region’s changing needs.  The programmatic options available through Rapid Response allow states and local areas to play an active role in shaping and maintaining a competitive, resilient regional workforce. 

There is an opportunity here that is all too often overlooked. Rapid Response need not and should not remain a single, onsite visit to an employer in response to the filing of a WARN notice.  If used to its full potential, Rapid Response is an investment within a region, of value to the business community, allowing the workforce development organization to play a greater role in the regional economy and fulfilling the promise of a robust and proactive workforce investment system.

Optimal application of Rapid Response as a transition management service allows the workforce system to remain relevant across the entire business cycle.  When Rapid Response is viewed solely as a service to individuals affected by layoffs, much of its inherent value is lost.  While working to reduce the affects of a layoff on individuals is a valid and valuable service, the scope is limited and often fails to meet the greater challenges facing the regions economy.  

Rapid Response realizes its full potential as a business service, allowing relationships with employers to be maintained and enriched—throughout the business cycle.  By building long term relationships with business, and more importantly business leaders, Rapid Response allows the workforce system to play a central role in a region’s economic development efforts.   Rapid Response is one of the few government-funded programs whose mission is to serve the needs of employers, workers and communities.  The planning and information gathering necessary for effective Rapid Response also establish an awareness of and familiarity with the talent needs of a region. The direct connection between business service and allows the workforce community’s ability to strategically meet the needs of both hiring employer and dislocated worker.

If Rapid Response were not a legislated requirement, the most innovative and effective workforce development organizations would recognize the value and find a way to perform this essential service. 

The bottom line?  Invest in the potential of Rapid Response and make a greater difference in your community!

Do you have any examples of innovative approaches to Rapid Response to share?  Have you provided critical solutions to businesses in transition?  Have you received favorable press?  Please share in the comments section!


Editor’s note: This post is from Melinda M. Mulawka, Deputy Director of the New York City Workforce Investment Board. Throughout her tenure with the WIB, Melinda has been responsible for the development and implementation of high priority initiatives such as the NYC Labor Market Information Service and In addition, she has spearheaded efforts to recruit dynamic business members to the Board and enhance communication to the WIB’s many stakeholders, as well as served as the Acting Executive Director throughout 2009.



As the fate of our economy is more uncertain than ever, it is essential that as workforce providers we are able to provide timely and easily digestible labor market information to career advisors and jobseekers, and business developers and employers. Lucky for us there are a multitude of resources available at our fingertips – the trick is making them work for you.


Labor Market Information (LMI) is a useful tool that allows you, as a workforce professional, to speak knowledgeably with jobseekers and employers about sector or industry group and what is happening in your local labor market.  LMI can be used for a range of purposes from identifying the top employers in your area and locating their location for business development purposes, to understanding job trends and occupational requirements to assist jobseekers make skills training decisions or compare their skills will employer needs. 


NYC’s Approach to Labor Market Data:

To help us navigate and synthesize the available sources, New York City created the NYC Labor Market Information Service (NYCLMIS), a joint endeavor of the NYC Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  The NYCLMIS provides labor market analysis to inform practitioners and policy makers of critical issues affecting NYC’s labor market and economy. 


More specifically, the NYCLMIS has assisted in helping practitioners in the City learn about and understand the variety of resources available to help get people back to work.  Not every local area has a Labor Market Information Service – so here is compilation of some “need to know” information and what it can be used for:


Labor Market terms and definitions:        


Subsector intelligence:  

  • Identify top employers and locate employer sites. Knowing who your key employers are, as well as understanding where they are located will assist you in doing business development.  You can also use this information to understand if employers are clustering in a certain region, and make determinations about supply chains. (Helpful Tools: On the Map: Version 3; How To Find and Download Business Lists)
  • Current workforce facts.  Understanding who is working now, can help you assess the key employment demographics, as well as address gaps between the current workforce and employer demand. (Helpful Tools: Community Economic Development Hot Reports)



  • Identifies promising occupations for jobseekers.   Using tools like O*Net will allow you to gauge jobseekers skills, experience and qualifications against employer needs.  You should also use qualitative information from employers in your area to refine the skills, experience and qualifications to meet your local labor market. (Helpful Tools: O*Net and employer interviews done locally)


  • Identifies entry-, mid- and high-level wages.  This information can be used in a number of ways such as counseling jobseekers entering a new profession or assisting employers in competitively advancing incumbent workers. (BLS Employment Data Sets and visit your State Labor Market Data resources)


Other Easy to Use Resources:

Census Bureau

Community Economic Development Hot Reports

Quarterly Workforce Indicators

On the Map: Version 3

Industry Focus


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment Data Sets


Other Resources:



While the reports produced by the NYC Labor Market Information Service are NYC specific, the “how to” guides for using labor market data tools is something anyone can use. Available on the web are:


Often in times of economic distress and with hundreds or thousands of people losing their jobs, those of us in workforce and economic development immediately believe the road to recovery is finding existing jobs for people to fill or recruiting new companies into our regions.  When really perhaps the better strategy for long term sustainability is to help individuals to become entrepreneurs and a grow a new company with their developed talents.

Two weeks ago, Springboard Engineering of Newton, Iowa was named the Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur of the Month by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.  Read the press release here: or listen to the podcast interview of Springboard CEO, Jordan Bruntz here: .  The Sprinboard Engineering story is a great example of how entrepreneurism is at least one piece of the reemployment and recovery puzzle. 

Springboard Engineering was started after several members of the Maytag R&D organization did not want to take Whirlpool up on the offer to move to Benton Harbor and work for the large corporation when it closed the Maytag operations in Newton.  The former Maytag R&D leaders were able to take advantage of the entrepreneur class FastTrac and other entrepreneurial services through the MyEntre.Net program of the University of Northern Iowa which the community launched as a strategic response to the Maytag depature.  Springboard now employees over 40 individuals and is providing engineering services throughout the world from Central Iowa. (

One of the transformational strategies of the Iowa Innovation Gateway regional innovation plan is to create a culture of entrepreneurism in Central Iowa.  We are doing this in many ways including expanding the MyEntre.Net program to all 7 of our counties and by encouraging our students in the region to participate in Business Horizons which is a dynamic weeklong summer program for high schools students to explore life as an entrepreneur.  More information on Business Horizons can be found at:

Throughout the Iowa Innovation Gateway region, companies like Springboard Engineering and programs like Business Horizons are helping us achieve our regional goal of building a culture of entrepreneurialism and putting people to work!!

Editor's note: this blog post is from Pam Frugoli (above left), ETA National Office and Amanda Shaffer (above right), ETA Boston Regional Office

A major goal of analyzing transferable skills is to help an individual build a career path by identifying a potential next career move to make from their present job.  With that in mind, take a look at an interesting new tool that displays career paths that real people have followed, developed by mapping the database of resumes posted on the job board  The Monster Career Mapping Tool is currently in a beta version.  Watch the banner that comes up as it contains a short video overview of the tool.  Then you can click on the Get Started button—which takes you to a bubble map of careers.  Note that at the bottom of that map there is a button labeled Tutorial that shows what you can do.  There is also a button up above the banner that says Browse our Showcase career paths which will bring up 7 actual paths—including one from Registered Nurse to Health Educator.  Remember though, this shows the jobs a person went through—it doesn’t necessarily show the education required along the way.  Test it out, then comment and share your experience with the rest of us!

Ten ways Twitter will change the way potential clients look at you

 24/7 Wall St. has come up with 10 ways in which Twitter will permanently change business within the next two to three years based on an examination of Twitter's model, the ways in which Twitter is currently being used, and some of the logical extensions of how Twitter will be used in the future.  The article can be found at

The article points out that as Twitter grows in size and acceptance, it will increasingly become a placeTwittering where companies and organizations build brands, do research, send information to customers, conduct e-commerce, and create communities for their users.

The article discusses how having the opportunity to tell customers about attractive sales (such as new job postings listed with a specific One-Stop) and new products (such as a new training program now available) can be done at remarkably low cost while providing for greater geographic accuracy. 

One of the consistent challenges each generation of marketers face is being able to pick the right medium and message to appeal to a particular audience of "buyers".  Substitute the word "workers" for "buyers" and reflect on how this tool can be used in your efforts to increase community outreach while at the same time promoting your organization as smart, hip, and connected.

Blog Post by Michael Wald, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Public Affairs, Region III, Atlanta Georgia:  I don't know if everyone has seen Secretary Hilda L. Solis's White House blog, concerning Green Jobs, which went up on the site last week. If not, here it is:

As the Secretary of Labor, I believe investing in our nation’s clean energy future will not only secure America’s energy supply and promote economic stability, but also advance all of our communities. Investments in the green economy can revitalize old industries, create new industries and generate new jobs for our workforce. These are jobs that will stay in the United States and cannot be outsourced. They will help pave a pathway out of poverty; strengthen urban and rural communities. Through these jobs we can export products - not paychecks. And these jobs will help rebuild a strong middle class and protect the health of our citizens and planet. In the past several months, I had the opportunity to visit workers who are receiving training and acquiring new skills for green jobs. In places like the Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania and the East Los Angeles Skill Center, underserved adults are being trained for green jobs like the ones the Recovery Act is creating. These jobs range from the manufacturing of advanced batteries and wind turbines to the installation of solar panels and skills to conduct energy audits. The Labor Department officially announced plans to release $500 million from the Recovery Act for grants to prepare workers for careers like these. These funds will help both dislocated and incumbent workers, at-risk youth and underserved communities. $50 million of that money will assist communities affected by auto industry restructuring. The competition for grant money is anticipated to begin in June 2009. Through these grants and the partnerships I have entered into with the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Energy and Education, we are working to rebuild our economy in a more equitable manner, one that is inclusive of all Americans regardless of socio-economic background or gender. Together we can help individuals enter career pathways leading to economic self-sufficiency. The new foundation green jobs can provide long-term security for the economy as a whole, and bring security to a family to help pay their mortgage, get their children health care, and put food on their table. In these tough economic times, there are those that argue that we can’t afford to focus on the environment. But if we work to create a new clean energy economy, we can both make our planet cleaner, and provide good stable work for all Americans. ****** Como la Secretaria de Trabajo, creo que al invertir en una econom?a basada en la energ?a limpia no solamente aseguramos nuestro futuro en materia de energ?a, sino nuestro progreso econ?mico y, al mismo tiempo, creamos oportunidades para todas nuestras comunidades. Inversiones en una econom?a verde pueden crear nuevas industrias y nuevos trabajos. Estos trabajos no pueden ser exportados. Estos trabajos pueden ayudar a revitalizar nuestras comunidades y a crear oportunidades para personas pobres. Mediante estos trabajos podemos exportar productos y no los salarios de nuestros trabajadores. Estos trabajos pueden crear una clase media m?s grande y proteger la salud de nuestros ciudadanos y nuestro planeta. En los ?ltimos meses, he tenido la oportunidad de visitar trabajadores que est?n recibiendo entrenamiento y se est?n preparando para aprovechar estos nuevos empleos verdes. Ejemplos son el Community College del condado de Allegheny en Pensilvania y el centro de capacitaci?n (Skill Center) en el este de Los ?ngeles, donde adultos est?n siendo entrenados para los trabajos verdes que ser?n creados por la Ley de Recuperaci?n y Reinversi?n. Estos trabajos incluyen la manufactura de bater?as y turbinas de viento, instalaciones de paneles solares, y la auditoria del uso de energ?a. El Departamento de Labor anunci? oficialmente sus planes de hacer p?blicos $500 millones de la Ley de Recuperaci?n y Reinversi?n en forma de becas para preparar a los trabajadores en carreras como estas. Estos fondos ayudar?n a trabajadores que han perdido sus empleos, trabajadores nuevos y trabajadores j?venes. $50 millones ser?n otorgados a trabajadores afectados por la reestructuraci?n de la industria automotriz. El proceso de licitaci?n para recibir este dinero comenzar? en Junio del 2009. Mediante estas becas y los acuerdos establecidos con los Departamentos de Energ?a, Educaci?n, y Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano, estamos trabajado para crear una econom?a mas equitativa que incluya a todas las personas sin importar su antecedente econ?mico y social o su sexo. Juntos podemos asistir a los trabajadores y ponerlos en camino hacia un futuro m?s prospero. Los empleos verdes pueden sentar una nueva base para nuestra econom?a y darles la seguridad econ?mica a las familias para pagar sus hipotecas, pagar el seguro m?dico de sus hijos y alimentar a sus familias. En estos tiempos de crisis hay individuos que dicen que no podemos invertir en el medio ambiente. Pero si creamos una econom?a basada en la energ?a limpia, podemos limpiar nuestro medioambiente y al mismo tiempo crear nuevos y buenos trabajos para todos

ReemploymentWorks! Forum Report Out:

Last Thursday, May 28th, I attended a very informative session on providing reemployment services to UI claimants.  Marie Moss, Assistant Administrator of Tennessee’s Department of Labor & Workforce Development talked about their Reemployment Services Assessment (RESA), a tool that has updated the worker profiling tool previously used.  Among the things considered are Wage Replacement (the relationship between what you earned every week working and your unemployment benefits).  In some cases, the wider the gap, the more incentive a UI claimant has to find employment and the more likely they will welcome reemployment services referral.  There’s also an enrollment category: how many days does it take the dislocated worker to file a claim?  Some workers don’t want to go through the claim process because they feel they can quickly find work themselves or because they are misinformed about when or how to file their first claim.  Other considerations include whether the claimant has transportation and their tenure in their last job.  It’s interesting that Tennessee found that wage replacement is a better indicator than the workers’ industry to determine their need for reemployment services referral.  40% of claimants in Tennessee file their first claim on line.  The state is able to quickly assess whether the claimant got help using the Web-based filing system.  Knowing this is important to assess whether the claimant is computer-savvy or perhaps in need of computer skills training.  How has your state updated their profiling system and what considerations go into this approach?

Editor's note: This is a blog post from Lauren Fairley-Wright (photo above), ETA National Office and Rebecca Sarmiento, ETA Dallas Regional Office. This post and future blog posts published the first Tuesday of the month discuss Skills Assessments.


ARRA funded activities authorized under WIA and Wagner-Peyser encourages states to consider how assessment and data-driven career counseling can be integrated into service strategies that support training and job search activities in anticipation of economic and job growth.

To facilitate information sharing between workforce colleagues, we invite you to post innovative practices and/or strategies you are using related to the effective use of assessments in your local area, state or region.

Consider sharing information on the following:

  • What assessment tools have you found to be effective and why?  Example Answer: O*NET Interest Profiler because we can tailor it to each customer.  Staff finds it user-friendly.
  • For what purpose do you use the assessment tool?  Example Answer: Career Exploration
  • For which type of customers is the tool administered to?  Example Answer: Out of School Youth (14-19 yrs)
  • Do you feel the assessment tools you are using are effective in aligning customers’ job search activities with labor market information in your local, state or regional area? Why?