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ETA Assistant Secretary Jane Oates testified on July 16 before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety on WIA Reauthorization.  Oates said that the Administration supports the reauthorization of WIA, and that the reauthorization legislation should “create a modernized system that provides seamless career advancement services for low-skilled adults, at-risk youth, and dislocated workers and others needing employment, training and retraining services.”  She emphasized the need for the system to embody a “dual customer approach” which meets the needs of both workers and employers. In her written testimony, Assistant Secretary Oates highlighted a number of successful Recovery Act-funded efforts underway in the states to respond to the economic crisis in the nation. 

Testifying along side of Oates was Martha Kanter, Under Secretary, at the U.S. Department of Education.  Both Oates and Kanter said that the Administration’s approach will be to reach broadly across multiple departments, including the Departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services, to ensure that programs work harmoniously and effectively at the local level.

Also testifying at the hearing were several state and local workforce officials as well as some advocates and employers who have successfully used the system.

Transcript of written testimony and a recorded webcast of the hearing.

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  www.CareerLinkNYC.com. 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 www.CareerLinkNYC.com.  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, Vault.com, the Ladders and the New York Times.  As a result of our private sector partners www.CareerLinkNYC.com 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.

I read an article in GCX Magazine that did a great job drawing attention to how the manufacturing industry can serve as the foundation for a green society.  Read the full text of the GCX Magazine article “Green Economy Success Requires Trained Talent” by Ingrid Goncalves.

From the article:

The transition to a green economy isn’t just about saving the environment. It’s also about making our society economically and socially sustainable. When people’s health improves, when they’re well-paid and secure, and when they’re treated fairly, their creative potential is unstoppable —and creativity is the key to finding innovative solutions to the environmental crisis.

Many of the best green jobs are in the manufacturing industry. We’ll need to build our sustainable economy. That means recycling waste into new raw materials for production; updating existing products to make them more eco-friendly; and creating entirely new products and technologies to clean up the environment and develop renewable forms of energy. No wonder 70 percent of private sector research and development takes place in manufacturing.

A key step toward building a viable, high-tech manufacturing industry capable of serving as the foundation for a green society is generating media awareness. Do you agree? How could your agency use available information to generate additional media awareness that would spark the public interest?

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?

July Webinars
Posted on July 17, 2009 by Jennifer Pirtle
0 Comments   Add Comments

Here is a list and short description of the webinars currently scheduled for July on Workforce3One.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Strengthening Your Reemployment Efforts Through Strong UI Connections

During this economic crisis, strong reemployment services must emerge to respond to the growing numbers of UI claimants and dislocated workers. This "hands on" Webinar will provide participants with tools and best practices from States who have developed effective strategies to connect their unemployment insurance claimants to critical Wagner-Peyser and WIA services. Presenters from Nevada and New Jersey will share their success in making the UI connection.

Presenters: Yustina Saleh (Director, Labor Market & Demographic Research, New Jersey Department of Labor), and Kim Morigeau (Program Specialist, Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation)

Moderator: Kevin M. Culp (Division of Adult Services, Employment and Training Administration)

Date: July 29, 2009

Time: 2:00 Eastern

Length: 90 minutes

Oregon Employment Dept has a blog!

Some information on their organization of the blog:

Guidelines on their posting--  on Mondays, it's state or local press releases.  Tuesdays are about Fast Facts and other local information.  Weds brings a summary of a recent Oregon Labor Trends article, Thursdays a summary of the weekly around the state report, and Fridays is relevant national information.

Two staff are responsible for responding to comments and for comment moderation; blog readers have option to comment, no misinformation of inflammatory,etc. language.

check it out: www.oregonemployment.blogspot.com

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 http://www.qualityinfo.org/pubs/green/greening.pdf. Printed copies will be available soon. To request a printed copy, please e-mail lmipubs.emp.@state.or.us or call phone (503) 947-1204.

CONTACT: Charlie Johnson, Economist
WorkSource Oregon Employment Department
503-947-1274
Charlie.B.Johnson@state.or.us

Over the past year, I assumed the responsiblity of coordinating Dislocated Worker/Rapid Response programs in Region 2.  We have always traditionally held monthly conference call with State Coordinators to encourage regional information sharing and networking with the hope that our States discover new synergies as they respond to economic challenges.  One of my responsibilities is to scan WARN announcements accross all six states and look for dislocations that may have regional, if not wider, implications and facilitate the necessary connections.  While reviewing each of the six state WARN websites, I realized that each state posted and displayed their data in very different ways.  These differences can confound efforts to share information accross geo-political lines and certainly complicate data compilations for mapping dislocations and other useful exercises. 

One of the easiest first steps I took to begin discussions about these challenges ws to compare the websites and draw attention to their similarities and differences.  To do this, I put together a simple matrix that compares each site accross 22 dimensions (I can share this matrix for those that are interested).  The result...well, I cannot say we are any closer to remedying the differences, but what can say is there is an increased awareness of the need to change. 

Perhaps the biggest stumbling block to this change is coming to an agreement about what a common format should contain or look like.  Money is also an obstacle whenever web design is mentioned, but, perhaps even more daunting is the differences in opinion about what can be shared without endangering the competitive edge of any one company experiencing economic turmoil.  There is no easy answer for these questions, but that does not preclude a healthy discussion about its merits. 

In my research I also found out that not to long ago, ETA ventured into the devleopment of a single WARN reporting website.  Its development guided by a national workgroup of state coordinators.  Perhaps it time again to revisit this idea or some version of it as we continue our recovery work.

Rob Sentz is Marketing Director for Economic Modeling Specialists Inc (EMSI), a firm that helps organizations and regions understand regional labor markets, industries, occupations, demographics, workforce trends, economic impacts, skills, job compatability, educational attainment and more--at almost any level of geographic detail.

 

 

When it comes to green jobs many are asking the same sorts of questions. This includes things like:

  • "What is a green job?"
  • "Is the local workforce prepared for green jobs?"
  • "What programs do we develop?"
  • "How do we help workers find jobs?"

And while these are challenging questions to answer, the task is made even more difficult by lack of data and analysis. To help, we have included a few labor market and economic-based resources that are good starting points for local planning efforts.

  1. O*NET Greening of the World of Work: Implications for O*NET-SOC and New and Emerging Occupations This report summarizes the recent research to investigate the impact of green economy activities and technologies on occupational requirements in an effort to determine their impact on current O*NET-SOC occupations and to identify new and emerging (N&E) occupations that may be considered as potential candidates for inclusion in the O*NET-SOC system.

  2. In 2008, the California Centers of Excellence launched a a statewide effort to study the workforce needs of emerging and evolving green industries and occupations. The report is entitled Understanding the Green Economy

  3. Economic Modeling Specialists Inc has offered a series of papers and Green Jobs Resources that provide insight on how to (1) map policy information, job titles, and "green projects" to regional labor market infomration and (2) perform economic analysis so you can understand what development scenario(s) to pursue.

Back in 1996, the Center for Workforce Development conducted a study and published a Toolkit that, among other things, identified the principles of best practices common to successful Workforce Development programs.  Despite the 13-years that have passed since the Toolkit was published, the Best Practice Principles identified are still relevant and discussed today.  They include:

 

  1. Leadership and Accountability
  2. Demand-Driven Design
  3. Open Access
  4. Portable Skills
  5. Continuous Improvement
  6. Public-Private Partnerships
  7. Sustainable Financing
  8. Replicability
  9. Economic and Social Impact

Something that makes this Toolkit stand out from others is that it provides a guidebook that, using real-world case studies, maps how the Best Practice Principles were implemented to provide Workforce Development projects that improved economic opportunity.

 

The Toolkit includes the following documents:

 

  1. Compass to Workforce Development: A Study

The Study talks about the background for the creation of the Toolkit, the definitions and significance of workforce development, the challenges of implementing workforce development projects, the social and economic issues addressed by current workforce development investment, and the principles of best practice common to successful workforce development programs.

 

  1. Compass to Workforce Development: A Guidebook 

The Guidebook explores 20 best practice case studies; places on 6 continents where people’s lives have been improved by investment in their skills and productivity.  The guidebook also provides regional and country-level background for each profiled program.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts/views/comments on whether or not you find this Toolkit helpful.  I would also love to know if you would recommend this Toolkit to others. 

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