News Archive: July 2010
New Study Proves Impact of Sectoral Employment Projects
New York: Over the past two decades, an innovative approach to workforce development known as sectoral employment has emerged, resulting in the creation of industry-specific training programs that prepare unemployed and underskilled workers for skilled positions and connect them with employers seeking to fill such vacancies.
Based on earlier outcomes studies pointing to the promise of this strategy, Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) set out to conduct a random assignment evaluation to assess whether sector-focused programs could in fact increase the earnings of low-income, disadvantaged workers and job seekers. The results were as follows...
Participants in sector-focused programs earned significantly more than control group members, with most of the earnings gains occurring in the second year.
Participants in sector-focused programs were significantly more likely to work and, in the second year, worked more consistently than control group members.
Program participants were significantly more likely to work in jobs with higher wages.
Program participants were significantly more likely to work in jobs that offered benefits.
For each subgroup analyzed, program participants had significant earnings gains as compared to their counterpart controls.
For a downloadable copy of the report, click here.
The Future of Small Business Entrepreneurship
Washington, DC: What incentives and assistance could be made available to "gazelles" and to small business more generally? What policies are likely to work most effectively? In the near term, government policies aimed at bolstering the recovery and further strengthening the financial system will help small businesses that have been hard hit by the economic downturn.
Spurred by the interchange of ideas at a forum on small businesses, staff at the Brookings Institution have identified the following targeted ideas for fostering the health and growth of small businesses (and, in many cases, larger businesses) over the longer run:
Improve access to public and private capital.
Reexamine corporate tax policy with an eye toward whether provisions of our tax code are
discouraging small business development.
Promote education to help businesses struggling with shortages of workers with particular skills,
and promote research to spur innovation.
Rethink immigration policy, as current policy may be contributing to shortages of key workers
and deterring entrepreneurs who wish to start promising businesses in our country.
Explore ways to foster "innovation-friendly" environments, such as regional cluster initiatives.
Strengthen government counseling programs.
Click here to download a copy of the entire report.
Industry Tours for Educators
Lancaster: In late June, the Youth Council of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board sponsored tours of local businesses over several days for teachers, counselors, and school administrators from the 16 school districts in Lancaster County. Businesses participating included Herley Industries, Willow Valley Retirement Community, Immunomic Therapies, Southeast Lancaster Health Services, White Wolf Security, Illuminex, Cargas, Alcoa Mill Products, and the Susquehanna Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
This year's theme was Careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). This program provides a clear understanding of today's workplace, the operation and employment needs of local businesses, the wide range of career choices, and available education and training opportunitites for school personnel. Participants observe and experience the skills required for workplace success and to learn how to incorporate work-based learning into lessons for students.
Washington Kind to Angels
Kansas City (Entrepreneurship Blog of the Kauffman Foundation, June 14, 2010): Washington has been busy on several fronts important to entrepreneurs these past few months. One we must not forget to reflect on is the recent U.S. Senate approval of a bipartisan-sponsored amendment to the financial reform bill that protects against creating new barriers for high-growth entrepreneurs seeking to raise angel capital. This "Angel Amendment" addressed two of the original provisions in the bill that had the potential of creating regulatory obstacles for entrepreneurs raising angel financing and weakening the pool of angel capital by reducing the number of accredited angel investors.
More specifically, the amendment that passed eliminated the language in the bill requiring a 120 day Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) review period for investors that prove an annual income in excess of $200 thousand and net worth totaling more than $1 million. The incentive embodied in this language could have proven harmful for the availability of seed investment, which is already difficult to attract.