SSTI Digest

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Geography: Kentucky

Manufacturing wage growth supporting Appalachian economy

Earnings for Appalachian manufacturing workers grew 3.4 percent from 2012 through 2017 to an average of $63,583. The growth is in the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Industrial Make-up of the Appalachian Region, 2002-2017, which reviews employment and wages by sector across the region. Appalachian workers overall saw earnings increase by 3.7 percent over the five years.

Election results could yield new state policies; TX doubles cancer R&D

Democrats made some gains in Virginia’s Legislature, and in Kentucky, the governor’s seat looks to be turning over to a Democrat, but the current Republican is requesting a recanvass in the close race. If those results hold, Democratic challenger and current Attorney General Andy Beshear will take the seat from incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin, ending the state’s Republican trifecta (where one party holds the governorship and both chambers of the legislature). Mississippi’s gubernatorial seat remained in Republican control, while the gubernatorial election in Louisiana takes place on Nov. 16, and the incumbent Democratic governor there is seeking another term. Following Tuesday’s elections, the divided government in Virginia turned into a Democratic trifecta in Virginia, as Republicans lost their hold in both the House and Senate. Those outcomes and results from several state legislative elections, along with the results of several innovation-related initiatives, are highlighted below.

Several states in play this election cycle for innovation initiatives, gubernatorial and legislative elections

As voters head to the polls next week, some will be deciding the fate of innovation and development-related initiatives, while voters in Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi will be voting in gubernatorial elections. The initiatives include a possible additional $3 billion in Texas for cancer research. And in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia, legislative chambers are holding regular elections. Those races and initiatives are covered below.

Policy Academy teams meet to strengthen manufacturers

As part of an official kick-off for a yearlong Policy Academy, interdisciplinary teams from around the country met in Washington, D.C., last week to advance policies that strengthen their manufacturing sectors. The four state participants – Kentucky, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and Utah – are comprised of leadership from governor’s offices, state economic development departments, Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers, manufacturing trade associations, and other manufacturing centers. In addition to facilitated working groups, the event featured speakers from Deloitte, The National Center for the Middle Market, NIST, MForesight, New America, and the National Governors’ Association.

States’ fiscal picture improves with growing economy

The ability of states to deliver the services promised to its residents relies on their fiscal soundness. With most states beginning their fiscal year in July, SSTI has reviewed the current fiscal standing for each state and here presents a snapshot of our findings.

Most states ended their fiscal year with a surplus and continue to recover from the Great Recession, with a growing economy and job gains. However, they face continuing demands on their budgets, with expanded Medicaid payments and the growing opioid crisis confronting nearly every state. Such decisions affect the state’s ability to fund innovation efforts, from the amount of support available for higher education and STEM programs, to funding for entrepreneurship, and forging public private partnerships to strengthen innovation programming that the private sector cannot fully support.

Our analysis found that some states that rely on the energy sector to fund their spending priorities continue to struggle, while others are already factoring in anticipated revenues as a result of new Supreme Court rulings involving gaming and online sales tax collections.

KY pivots to new innovation model

After 20 years of a program that had supported innovation in the state of Kentucky, the governor said he wanted to consolidate the funding to support entrepreneurs and become more strategic in the state’s efforts. This month, the state unveiled a new program — Regional Innovation for Startups and Entrepreneurs (RISE), a strategy that unites each area’s most powerful economic drivers, prioritizes commercialization and promotes rapid scaling.  The new strategy is designed to decrease duplication of efforts and get investments more directly to entrepreneurs, said Brian Mefford, the executive director of KY Innovation.

States targeting strategies to boost workforce

State economic growth relies on the availability of a workforce capable of filling open positions. But increasingly around the country, one of the top concerns of employers is finding the right talent to fill these roles. Beyond corporate strategies in hiring, states are increasingly developing new initiatives to keep their pipeline of talent flowing.

States, industry partners launch workforce training efforts focused on 21st century jobs in CA, KY, MD, MI, NC, TN

Due to the effectiveness of employer-sponsored training program, U.S. states are working to build partnerships with industry partners that leverage public resources to help develop a 21st century workforce that addresses specific industry needs. Over the last month, partnerships have been announced between states and key industry leaders including AGCO, CVS, Tesla, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Some of those collaborations are detailed below.

KY, MO, NY, VT state budget proposals reveal cautious approach

Governors continue to be cautious in their budget proposals, with many TBED programs seeing level funding or modest increases and cuts in some states while few new programs are being introduced. Kentucky is transferring one program to economic development, while at the same time reducing its funding. Missouri is proposing short-term benefits that may impact longer-term growth, while New York is looking to fund its life sciences initiative announced last year and Vermont is proposing an increase for its growth and innovation pilot project.

Kentucky

States of Innovation 2017: Free tuition moving into more state toolboxes

This week we continue our series on state legislation pertaining to the innovation economy that has been enacted this year around the country. This second installment of the States of Innovation 2017 series deals with free tuition.

A number of states took action to increase the education and skills of their workforce by implementing free or greatly reduced tuition programs at either community colleges or state colleges. The move to increase access to higher education while not new, took up increased urgency this year. With Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Tennessee all taking action this past year, Maine and North Carolina were among others considering other options but as of today’s publication not moving the proposals forward.

States launch cybersecurity efforts focused on building 21st century workforce, NIST releases cybersecurity framework

Cybersecurity efforts have been increasing across the country. In July, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who also serves as chair of the National Governors Association (NGA), announced that 38 governors signed A Compact to Improve State Cybersecurity – a multi-state, coordinated cybersecurity effort focused in three areas that will

  • Enhance state cybersecurity governance;
  • Prepare and defend their states from cybersecurity events; and,
  • Grow the nation’s cybersecurity workforce.

The compact was the culmination of McAuliffe’s Meet the Threat: States Confront the Cyber Challenge. In addition to the compact, new cybersecurity-focused economic development efforts have been launched in several states including Delaware, Kentucky, and Wyoming. Meanwhile, NIST has released a cybersecurity workforce framework intended for use by all sectors in the states

Tech Talkin’ Govs, Part VI: FL defends economic approach, KY calls for outcomes-based education funding

The last of the state of the state addresses are trickling in, with Florida’s governor this week making the case for the state’s economic development organization and business incentives, which the Florida House of Representatives have targeted for elimination. Last month Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin called for education reform and highlighted the competition for state funds in workforce development. Ohio and Louisiana’s governors are scheduled to deliver their remarks in April.

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