News Archive: August 2009
Baby Boom Migration and Its Impact on Rural America
Washington, DC: While Lancaster County is hardly a rural area, it may be affected by baby boom retirement patterns over the next several decades. A new study by the US Department of Agriculture documents boomer migrant patterns and projects into the future. For a downloadable copy of the report, click here.
Baby boomers are a heterogeneous group. Younger boomers are still in the middle of child rearing and career building, while older boomers are more likely to be "empty nesters." In this decade and the next, this cohort will pass through stages when moves to nonmetro counties increase, especially to areas with scenic and urban amenities, high second-home concentrations, and lower housing costs. Analysis of county net migration rates shows that employment considerations become much less important as migrants approach retirement. The influence of employment change on migration for 60-64 year olds is one-fourth as strong as that on 30-34 year olds.
Library System of Lancaster County and PA CareerLink Collaborate on Career Planning Seminar
Lancaster: Beginning this week and continuing through 2009, the Library System of Lancaster County and the Business Services Team of the PA CareerLink of Lancaster County will be offering a free seminar entitled "Personal Career Planning: Getting from Here to There" at library locations in Adamstown, Columbia, Eastern Lancaster County (New Holland), Ephrata, Lancaster, Manheim Township, and Quarryville. The 90-minute program is designed to help people who are looking for work to become more focused on their job search.
Each of the libraries will provide at least one of the seminars each month with several providing two per month, one during the day and another in the evening. Click here for a schedule of the information sessions.
State of Innovation: PA's Advanced Manufacturing Sector
Cleveland: According to an article in IndustryWeek.com on June 30, 2009 by Tom Palasin, Manufacturing Ombudsman, PA Department of Community and Economic Development, manufacturing innovation and diversity have allowed the employers in the Commonwealth to weather the storms that have adversely impacted other states with a significant manufacturing base. Click here for a link to the article.
Overall, the industries that make up manufacturing continue to thrive because of nationally recognized programs and initiatives that support manufacturers, from financing and technical assistance, to access to education, a skilled workforce, training and international markets. The overall business climate in Pennsylvania has also improved dramatically, with a $1.7 billion reduction in business taxes as well as offering no sales tax on manufacturing equipment and one of the lowest personal income taxes in the country.
Hundreds Exhaust Unemployment Benefits
Harrisburg: Representatives of the PA Department of Labor and Industry announced in early August that 400 residents of Lancaster County exhausted their Unemployment Compensation benefits during the week ending July 18, 2009. That pattern has continued through the summer. Most UC claimants are entitled to some 77 weeks of support between the core program and additional benefits made possible under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Local workforce investment officials see this as one of the more disturbing trends that are a part of the recession that began in the last quarter of 2008. "It appears that this recession will be similar to the last one with a recovery underway relatively quickly in spite of the more complicated disruptions of the financial system but with employment lagging behind dramatically," commented Scott Sheely, Executive Director of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board. "We are concerned that people do not wait until their unemployment runs out to address their needs for retraining and preparing themselves to participate in the recover as it unfolds."
Sheely added further that the Board has made nearly $1.5 million in stimulus funding available for the development and implementation of more than 35 short and longer-term skill training programs. Topics include construction, building maintenance, building energy technology, adminstrative support, bookkeeping, sales, printing, industrial machine maintenance, customer service, medical transcription, and many others. This training directly supports the 100 occupations that the Board has identified as being most important as the recovery develops. Click here for that list.
As a part of the ongoing programs of the PA CareerLink, the service facility at 1016 N. Charlotte St. in northern Lancaster City, offers a Career Information Seminar every Tuesday at 1:30 pm. Click here for more information.
Lancaster: Beginning this week and continuing through 2009, the Library System of Lancaster County and the Business Services Team of the PA CareerLink of Lancaster County will be offering a free seminar entitled "Personal Career Planning: Getting from Her
Lancaster: This week, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board released information related to the amount of funding that companies in its Industry Partnerships in Food, Metals, Agriculture, Plastics, Health Care, and Industrial Maintenance contributed to the work of the Partnerships to match the $1,242,310 provided through the PA Department of Labor and Industry in its 2008-2009 fiscal year. Businesses put $388,995 in cash into the training for their incumbent workforces while adding another $1,173,461 in in-kind (primarily worker wages while in training) contributions for a total of $1,562,456 or 126% of the government funds spent.
In this period of time, the 200+ companies involved in the six Partnerships trained well over 3,000 workers in skills designed to move them ahead in career paths that companies need to be competitive in the global marketplace and that workers want in their search for family-sustaining jobs.
Unfortunately, the Industry Partnership program is one of many that appears to be lost in the extended budget negotiations that are now taking place in Harrisburg. It was excluded from the Bridge budget and appears to have dropped off the radar as negotiations around the remainder of the budget continue. "This is a real shame," commented James Black from Ross Technology and Chair of the Workforce Investment Board. "This may be one of the best programs for business that has come out of Harrisburg ever. It is being cut at a time when we desperately need these government investments that will lead to further economic development." "Our facility and dozens of others around Lancaster County have used this program to improve the productivity of our workforce and the safety of what we do in long-term care," added Sharon Leese from Moravian Manor and Vice-Chair of the Board. "In the long run, Lancaster County businesses and our employees lose out."