WIB Requests Comments on Changes to Local Plan
Lancaster: On October 26, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board submitted a modification to its Local Plan to the PA Department of Labor and Industry covering the period through June 30, 2011. This modification aligns the Plan with the current Individual Training Account policy and with the policy changes made by the Board which allows the Local Area to provide training services using contracts for services. The Plan can be viewed by clicking here.
A Profile of Pennsylvania's Unemployed People
Harrisburg: To help lawmakers and the general public make more informed decisions about job creation policies and assistance for unemployed people, the PA Department of Labor and Industry recently published A Profile of Pennsylvania's Unemployed People. This report provides a comprehensive profile of unemployed Pennsylvanians. Click here to download a copy of the report.
With the U.S. economy is in the midst of the longest period of high joblessness since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the high rate of unemployment has prompted an ongoing debate about the need for public policies that stimulate job creation and more directly assist the unemployed. The report presents the basic facts on Pennsylvania's unemployed, including their demographic characteristics and educational background, where they live, their work histories, and the industries and occupations of their last job.
The New "Cluster Moment": How Regional Innovation Clusters Can Foster the Next Economy
Washington: Twenty years after Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter introduced the concept to the policy community and 10 years after its wide adoption, clusters-geographic concentrations of interconnected firms and supporting or coordinating organizations-have re-emerged as a key tool and rubric in Washington and in the US's economic regions. A recent paper by the Brookings Institution appraises the situation. Click here to download a copy of the report.
After a decade of delay, the executive branch and Congress have joined state and local policymakers in embracing "regional innovation clusters" (RICs) as a framework for structuring the nation's economic development activities. Cluster thinking and cluster strategies have the potential to accelerate regional economic growth and assist with the nation's needed economic restructuring, but they are more a paradigm than a single program.
In that sense, the opportunities that a cluster policy framework provides for delivering impact, clarifying economic priorities, and coordinating disparate programmatic efforts will only grow more important in the coming era of intensified competitive pressures and tightened resources.
Number of Persons Exhausting UI Benefits Staggering
Lancaster: In response to information released last week by the PA Department of Labor and Industry, the PA CareerLink of Lancaster County is preparing for a dramatic increase in people seeking services as they reach the end of their Unemployment Compensation benefits.
A report by the Center for Workforce Information and Analysis of the PA Department of Labor and Industry showed that 1,182 Lancaster County residents exhausted their Unemployment Compensation benefits on a cumulative basis from January 1 through August 31 and projected that another 2,433 residents will exhaust their benefits by December 31, 2010.
Ready2Work, an indepth workforce assessment and enrichment program; new short-term skill-based training programs in forklift driving, basic machine maintenance, assembly, printing, blueprint reading, and industrial maintenance; a part-time version of the long-time Job Club; and new options for work and learning are among the new programs being added.
"Increasingly, we are responding to the needs and suggestions of our industry partners in designing training experiences that will meet the needs of employers for skilled workers," commented Lori Rank, Site Administrator of the PA CareerLink. "However, at the same time, we need to reach out to many more people who may have been unsuccessfully looking for work on their own. Helping them make their job search more productive will be an integral part of our new service options."
Lancaster Companies among Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies
Harrisburg: Susquehanna Bancshares, Clark Associates, Smilebilderz, Nxtbook Media, Amelia's Grocery Outlet, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Herley Industries, Ameri-Tec Mechanical, Fulton Financial Corporation, HVAC Distributors, Greiner Industries, and Innerlink were recently recognized as among the Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies in the region by the Central Penn Business Journal.
Companies were self-nominated or nominated by another company, had revenue of at least $500,000, and provides three years of financial information for 2007-2009. Rankings were assigned based on the percentage growth from the first year to the last.
At a time when finances are tought in Central Pennsylvania, these companies are defying the odds and growing. Congratulations to all involved.
Pre-Apprenticeship Programs Lead to Construction Careers
Washington: Construction is an industry that continues to attract attention as policy makers and workforce leaders seek to connect people to jobs in the current economy. New policies promoting energy efficiency and supporting the development or re-development of our national infrastructure have the potential to create significant demand for construction trades skills.
In a new report, the Workforce Strategy Institute at the Aspen Institute investigated how pre-apprenticeship programs can prepare individuals, particularly low-income, minority and women job applicants, to take advantage of emerging career opportunities in construction. Through interviews with leaders of 25 promising and innovative construction pre-apprenticeship programs, WSI explored a variety of factors that impact program design, and identified ways in which the contributions of these programs could be enhanced as part of a broader workforce development strategy for the construction sector.
This report was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and is part of a larger project exploring the capacity of the workforce system to prepare individuals for jobs in the construction industry. The project also includes a census and 13 in-depth profiles of construction pre-apprenticeship programs. Click here for a downloadable copy of the report.