Category Archives: Economic Development

Workplace Readiness: Can It Lead to Better Employment and Earnings for Low-Income Adults?

This brief discusses 19 interventions identified by the Employment Strategies for Low-Income Adults Evidence Review (ESER) that featured workreadiness services as their primary employment or training strategy.2 This brief describes work-readiness interventions and their impact on employment and earnings. It also profiles six promising interventions and their impacts in more detail.This brief,by Jacob Hartog, Sarah Wissel, Annalisa Mastri, and Kelley Borradaile discusses 19 interventions identified by the Employment Strategies for Low-Income
Adults Evidence Review (ESER) that featured workreadiness services as their primary employment or
training strategy.2 This brief describes work-readiness
interventions and their impact on employment and
earnings. It also profiles six promising interventions
and their impacts in more detail.

To read this 2016 brief, click on this link:  https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/eser_ib_workreadiness_111116_b508.pdf

The Employment Strategies for Low-Income Adults Evidence Review (ESER) is a systematic review of the literature on the impacts of employment and training programs and policies for low-income people. Sponsored by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families, ESER provides practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a transparent, systematic assessment of the quality of research evidence supporting approaches to improve the employment-related outcomes of low-income adults.

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“More Unprepared Than We Thought: Adult educational attainment,” an SREB Fact Sheet

“Low-skilled workers are being left behind as technology shifts the workforce toward the middle-skills level. Educators and policymakers will need to reach these adults with education and training to fill plentiful, well-paying middle-skill jobs in their states. This [2018] fact sheet summarizes trends and state policy concerns.” – SREB (Southern Regional Education Board), November 2018

Strategic Leverage: Use of State and Local Laws to Enforce Labor Standards in Immigrant-Dense Occupations

Image of the report from the Migration Policy Institute entitled "Strategic Leverage: Use of State and Local Laws to Enforace Labor Standards in Immigrant-dense Occupations"This March, 2018 report by Andrew Elmore and Muzaffar Chishti from the Migration Policy Institute discusses the widespread practice of employer workplace violations in immigrant-dense industries.

“Immigrants, who account for 17 percent of the U.S. labor force, are twice as likely as native-born workers to be employed in an industry where violations of core labor standards are widespread. These wage-and-hour and safety-and-health law violations can often be traced back to the changing nature of the relationship between low-wage workers and the companies that employ them. For example, the practice of misclassifying workers as “independent contractors” rather than employees—and thus removing them from the protection of many workplace laws and enabling companies to sidestep payroll taxes, unemployment insurance contributions, and workers’ compensation requirements—is common in low-wage industries from construction to transportation.”

Click on this link to access the Migration Policy Institute’s report: Strategic Leverage

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New Evidence on Integrated Career Pathways: Final Impact Report for Accelerating Opportunity

 

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 1.47.35 PMJobs for the Future provides a link to the final implementation report, which “describes the effect of Accelerating Opportunity (AO) on education and employment outcomes for underprepared adult learners. Designed and led by Jobs for the Future and national partners, AO allowed adults with low basic skills to enroll in integrated career pathways at community and technical colleges.”

New Evidence on Integrated Career Pathways: Final Impact Report for Accelerating Opportunity, Theresa Anderson, Daniel Kuehn, Lauren Eyster, Burt S. Barnow, and Roberth Il Lerman, Urban Institute, 2017.

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Credential Courses at Community Colleges

Community colleges VAWorkforce Credential Grant Program at Virginia’s Community Colleges

“Recognizing the importance of promoting a capable workforce to meet the needs of employers and build Virginia’s economy, state lawmakers created a new grant program in 2016 to make specific workforce training programs much more affordable for students.

The new grant program reduces the student cost of specific Workforce Credential training programs by two-thirds so that more people can access this type of training and the jobs that stem from it. Find a

LIST OF COURSES ELIGIBLE FOR CREDENTIAL GRANTS

credential courses

Click on the Virginia Community College website here

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Education Matters: Career Outlook

According to 2015 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), earnings increase and unemployment decreases as educational attainment rises. Click here to enter the site.

Literacy Unemployment

Grouping workers by education level, the chart shows that those with more education have higher earnings and lower rates of unemployment than those with less education.

These data are from the BLS Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of households that collects information about demographic and labor force characteristics.

Dennis Vilorio is an economist in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, BLS. He can be reached at (202) 691-5711 or vilorio.dennis@bls.gov.

 

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Virginia’s Forgotten Middle

Middle Skilled Jobs and Low Skilled, Low Literate, Entry Level Workers in the U.S.

• Middle skilled jobs require more than a high school education but less than a bachelor’s degree (e.g., associate degree, postsecondary certificate, apprenticeship, etc.)

• Comprise about half of all U.S. jobs. Historically, these jobs were available to those with a high school diploma (sometimes less), but changes in production and increasingly sophisticated technology now require more education and preparation for this growing group of jobs than ever before.
Additional education and training beyond high school is now the norm for access to middle skills positions.

– The Future of the U.S. Workforce: Middle Skills Jobs and the Growing Importance of Postsecondary Education, Achieve, Inc., September 2012

NSC-Virginia-MiddleSkillFS-2014

The Skills Gap: Living wage work is available in all regions of Virginia, but not enough literate or trained workers are able to fill middle skilled job positions.

More than 175,000 middle skill job openings occurred in Virginia last year. Each job, on average, took 26 days to dill. That nearly month-long gap stripped businesses of more than 36 million hours of productivity; families of more than $1 billion in wages; and Virginia’s General Fund of an estimated $54 million in state income taxes.”

The Interest Gap: Too few people pursue these middle class careers because of outdated societal stigmas or they are unaware of them, how well they pay, the advancement opportunities they offer, or even how to secure the credentials necessary to pursue them.

The Affordability Gap: Financial aid is largely not available to Virginians pursuing short-term workforce training programs, despite evidence that they typically need it the most.

– Workforce Credentials: The Pathway to Virginia’s New Middle Class: Virginia’s Community Colleges, September 1, 2015

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