News Archive: March 2010
Lancaster WIB Meets with Employers
Lancaster: In cooperation with The Lancaster Chamber, the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, the County of Lancaster, MANTEC, and the Lancaster County Association for Human Resource Management, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board met with 80+ representatives of Lancaster County employers to provide some new data on the nature of the economic recovery in the region, to hear the advice of employers about how government can make it easier to hire workers, and to share information about several new programs which will provide wage subsidies for employers that hire or place prospective workers.
Scott Sheely, Executive Director of the WIB, noted that, in January, Lancaster experienced the first increase in the civilian labor force in 18 months. He suggested that the Board would monitor progress to see if this is the beginning of a positive trend.
New Cluster Concepts: Activities in Creative Industries
Copenhagen: A new study, entitled "New Cluster Concepts: Activities in Creative Industries" discusses the different perceptions and methods of identifying creative clusters. It examines the perception and definitions of the creative industries. It compares different methods and different data using industrial and occupational statistics, and it illustrates the differences with employment data for the area of Greater Copenhagen as well as international clusters. For a downloadable copy of the study, click here.
Based on the comparison, recommendations are made on how to go forward with mapping creative clusters. The study also discusses international benchmarking of creative industries along with cluster initiative for creative industries. Finally, it discusses cross boarder collaboration between creative industries and the importance of user-driven innovation in the creative industries.
Accelerating Innovation in Energy
Cambridge: Several recent studies have suggested that significantly increasing the rate of innovation in the energy sector is a critical part of a cost-effective response to the threat of climate change. This literature has contributed to a lively discussion about how such acceleration might best be accomplished and, in particular, about the role that public policy in general and the federal government in particular might play in supporting innovation. This introductory chapter entitled "Accelerating Innovation in Energy" contributes to this discussion through an exploration of the histories of innovation in four particularly innovative sectors of the US economy: agriculture, chemicals, life sciences, and information technology. Click here for a downloadable copy of the introduction.
Corbett Visits PA CareerLink of Lancaster County
Lancaster (March 18, Capitol Wire Service): At a time of high unemployment and a shift in the state's top industries, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett urged job-seekers here to be "adaptable" in their search. Corbett visited a CareerLink center in Lancaster and talked with several unemployed residents before releasing his plan to increase jobs in the commonwealth. One part of that plan will be to help the state's educational institutions better prepare students of all ages for the jobs that are available.
Many of the residents Corbett spoke with were middle-aged and looking for new skills in what they described as a competitive, increasingly high-tech job market. "There's a whole different economy that we're in now in the 21st century, with the Internet alone, and you have older people who need to find those jobs, because the old manufacturing jobs, a lot of them have left," Corbett said. The state's CareerLink centers offer skills training, job-search assistance and related programs to residents who are looking for employment. Scott Sheely, executive director of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, said that county's center sees 1,500 new job-seekers each week.
Pennsylvania's unemployment rate in February was 8.9 percent, which was slightly up from the previous month but below the national rate of 9.7 percent. In Lancaster County, that rate currently is about 8 percent, according to local officials. Staff at the career center estimated that about 10 percent of the state's unemployed population come in for assistance.
Job Summit: Getting Lancaster County Back to Work
Lancaster: With the economic recession beginning to run its course, local communities now must deal with the anticipated "jobless recovery" that is predicted to keep unemployment high as employers match job growth with revenue growth. Washington and Harrisburg have some of the answers but The Lancaster Chamber, the Economic Development Company of Lancaster, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, the Lancaster County Association of Human Resource Management, and the County of Lancaster believe that we can tap the creativity of the business community in the area to identify ways that we facilitate getting Lancaster County residents back to work.
On Friday, March 26, 2010 from 7:30-10:00 am at the Eden Resort Inn, 222 Eden Rd. in Lancaster, join us for breakfast, a short briefing on government supports for business (tax credits, on-the-job training support, workforce readiness, grants and loans for expansion), and, most importantly, for some time to talk with other businesspeople about other ways to grow businesses (joint marketing, supply chain development, entrepreneurial development) and, in turn, grow jobs. Strategies identified will be referred to the stakeholder groups for action. Click here for a downloadable registration form.
This invitation to this program is limited to persons from the private sector, government, and economic development only. Folks from education and social services will be briefed at a later time.
National Association of Workforce Boards Honors Lancaster County WIB
Washington, DC: The National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) will honor three local Workforce Boards with its prestigious Theodore E. Small Workforce Partnership Award at its annual Forum on March 7th in Washington, DC.
The Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board will be honored as the Grand Prize Winner and the Brevard Workforce Development Board, Inc. and Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas will be honored as Distinguished Honorees. The award represents the highest recognition of workforce investment boards around the nation that take the lead in engaging Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs), business, economic development, education, labor, and other entities toward the goal of ensuring a highly skilled workforce.
2010 Grand Prize Winner: Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board
Partnership Initiative: Developing Employee Skills through Industry Partnerships
Since 2002, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board has convened an array of regional incumbent worker training partnerships, which now include Centers of Excellence in Production Agriculture, Long-Term Care Practice, Renewable Energy, and Packaging Operations and Manufacturing, as well as a Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program in Construction and the Industrial Maintenance Training Center of PA.
Centers of Excellence are implemented in partnership with Lancaster Prospers, an economic development collaborative consisting of the Lancaster Chamber, the Economic Development Company, the Lancaster County Planning Commission, Cooperative Extension, and the Lancaster County Conservation District. Many of these partnerships are regional and include up to ten additional workforce investment areas and together they engage over 450 companies in this network of industry-led incumbent worker training investments.
These partnerships have connected with the One-Stop system in Lancaster County and around the region through a robust program of pre-employment training directed to the career paths needed for key industries in the regional economy. Partnerships have also sponsored and supported youth programming related to career information and experience. Recently, stimulus funding has allowed the programs to connect to dislocated workers in a more intentional way.