• SSTI poll shows overwhelming support for innovation platform

    More than 90 percent of the electorate support expanded efforts to strengthen the key elements of a knowledge-driven economy. Members can sign up for a webinar on how the poll can inform your communications.

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

SSTI Digest

The latest reporting and analysis on breakthroughs in technology-based economic development research and issues that matter most to you. To receive the SSTI Weekly Digest via email, sign up here.


“Crossroads of our being:” Thoughts on what comes after the election

I suspect the whole country woke up Wednesday morning and looked at the half that voted for the other candidate and said, “What were you thinking?!?” Rather than attempting to address the question of what people were thinking, let me attempt to address where we are and what we need to do.

The 2016 election of Donald Trump, the rise of Trumpism, the pandemic and George Floyd’s killing have laid bare fundamental crises that face America. The challenge that presumptive President-elect Joe Biden has is how to address the stark divisions we have in the country. The election results are just representative of the divisions we’re facing.

Voters weigh in on innovation issues: ballot issue round-up

While official results are still being certified, unofficial counts reveal a mixed bag on a slew of state ballot initiatives that could have an impact on innovation, education, state budgets and elections. Some gained favor with voters, like a battle over gig workers and how they are classified, which landed on the side of Uber and Lyft.

All incumbent governors reelected; only Montana sees party switch

After a historic election night, the winners of the gubernatorial elections in 11 states appear to have been chosen. Barring a dramatic swing in votes, all of the nine incumbent governors have been reelected to a second or third term. In Montana, Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) has flipped control of the governor’s seat, and in Utah, Spencer Cox (R) has defeated Chris Peterson (D). Many of the incumbent governors held strong approval ratings going into election night and won their voters’ approval for another term as the country tries to inch out of the pandemic and recover economically.

Changes coming to congressional science, small business committees

As of this writing, control of Congress remains officially undecided, although the end result will likely be status quo: Republican control of the Senate and Democratic control of the House. While the discourse and activity around major legislation may not change, there will be changes to the committees that most strongly impact science and small business legislation. The new members will not be determined until the next session, but multiple departures from these committees are already known.

Senate

Five things to know about SPACs, the exit trend of the year

More special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have been formed in 2020 than in the last several years combined. These entities have helped some high-profile unicorns go public recently, including DraftKings and Nikola Corp.

Battleground state voters show rising trust in science

Nearly half of voters within battleground states have a deep level of trust in scientists, according to a recent study conducted by Third Way. This represents a significant increase from the 21 percent of voters who held scientists in high esteem in 2016, and is in line with Pew Research Center’s earlier report that found 39 percent of U.S. adults trust science and believe scientists act in the public’s best interest.

Apprenticeships providing pathways to good jobs, better economic outcomes

Apprenticeships, which will be celebrated during National Apprenticeship Week beginning Nov. 8, are receiving renewed attention and being highlighted as an avenue of economic mobility. Two recent reports highlight the opportunities of apprenticeships, the promise they hold for economic mobility, their expanding reach and a new effort in California to reach 500,000 apprenticeships by the year 2029.

Federal Reserve and Alabama launch new workforce development tool

In an effort to help Alabamians advance into higher-paying careers and understand how higher income from new careers can establish a path toward self-sufficiency, the state of Alabama and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta have partnered to launch a new career tool.

Pandemic speeding automation; impact on jobs could worsen inequality

New analysis from the World Economic Forum (WEF) forecasts an 85 million global loss in jobs by the year 2025 due to pandemic-induced increase in technology adoption. While social distancing measures such as remote work have already brought many white collar workers into the “future of work,” the quickened pace of technology adoption and automation across all sectors will create greater employment challenges for lower paid and lower skilled workers. The WEF’s Future of Jobs Report 2020 also indicates that the jobs created to work with these new technologies could reach 97 million by 2025. However, business leaders and the public sector must take action to promote equitable workforce development and prepare all workers for the jobs of the future.

While the bulk of the report takes a global perspective, the WEF also provides several country-specific profiles. The trends in the U.S. profile indicate that 57.6 percent of companies surveyed are accelerating the automation of tasks in response to the pandemic, and 91.5 percent are accelerating the digitization of work processes, while only 44.1 percent are implementing upskilling and reskilling programs. As companies increasingly rely on technology — and the use of technology — to complete essential business functions, displaced workers will face increasing demand for new, technology-based skills.

Higher ed enrollment picture becomes clearer: first-time students drop dramatically, community colleges see steep enrollment decline

First-time beginning students looking to pursue post-secondary education tumbled this fall, showing a 16.1 percent decrease nationally when compared with last year’s figures, according to recently released data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. That decline was even worse at community colleges, down 22.7 percent compared to a 1.4 percent increase the previous year.

First- and second-generation immigrants making up larger portion of higher education enrollment

In 2018, 5.8 million students at colleges and universities within the United States were either the children of first-generation immigrants or were immigrants themselves, which accounted for 28 percent of the total student population and was a noticeable increase from the 2.9 million enrolled in 2000. This data serves as the foundation of a new report from the Migration Policy Institute, Immigrant-Origin Students in U.S.

$43.3 million announced for 51 new POWER grants

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced $43.3 million for 51 projects in the region’s coal-impacted communities. More than half of the awards will support recovery-to-work efforts or broadband initiatives. To date, ARC has awarded over $238 million and supported 293 projects.

Pages