Category Archives: Economic Development

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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Making a Shift in the Public Workforce System – Starting July 1, 2015

OCTAEJuly 1, 2015 marks the day that many of the provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) take effect. This new law has the potential to make a tremendous difference for tens of millions of workers, jobseekers and students across this country. WIOA’s transformation of our publicly-funded workforce system means that all of us—federal and state partners, governments, non-profits and educational and training institutions, must be pressing for innovations to ensure:

  • the needs of business and workers drive our workforce solutions
    one-stop centers, also known as American Job Centers (AJCs)
  • provide excellent customer service to both jobseekers and employers and focus on continuous improvement; and
  • the workforce system supports strong regional economies and plays an active role in community and economic development.

For WIOA updates and resources, please visit OCTAE’s resource page at www.ed.gov/aefla. Additional information can be found on the Rehabilitation Services Administration’s WIOA website and the Department of Labor’s WIOA website.

To read the rest of this important article from OCTAE, go to http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/ovae/2015/07/01/making-a-shift-in-the-public-workforce-system/

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The Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative

horseshoe initiative

Drawing a line from Virginia’s Eastern shore westward across Southside to Southwest Virginia, and then up the Shenandoah Valley, you trace an arc that represents 75 percent of the Commonwealth’s geography, where half million people have less than a high school education. As a result, Virginia ranks 31st nationally in the percentage of residents with at least a high school equivalency credential.

Click here to find One Course, One Virginia: The Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative

Click here for a PDF document: The Case for Support: The Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative.

Click here to find Elevate Virginia: Skills for Jobs and Business Growth