workforce

Fed research explores employment opportunities for workers without college degrees

More than one-in-five jobs across America’s metropolitan areas are defined as opportunity occupations, those that pay above the national annual median wage and are accessible to workers without a bachelor’s degree, according to new research from authors at the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Cleveland. In Opportunity Occupations Revisited: Exploring Employment for Sub-baccalaureate Workers Across Metro Areas and Over Time, authors Kyle Fee and Lisa Nelson from the Cleveland Fed and Keith Wardrip from the Philadelphia Fed reexamine findings from a 2015 study. This update offers an in-depth analysis of the largest metropolitan areas across the country, finding that a region’s occupational mix and cost of living play a significant role in determining their share of opportunity employment.

Washington’s expansive college tuition program intended to build state's workforce

The Washington legislature passed a higher education bill that is awaiting the governor’s signature that would provide more aid for state residents attending higher education institutions in the state. The bill could raise nearly $1 billion over four years through an increase in the state’s business and occupation tax.

NY unveils $175 million workforce development initiative

Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched a new effort to streamline the state’s workforce development programs. The $175 million Workforce Development Initiative will consolidate the state’s fragmented workforce development funding opportunities. Using the state’s 10 regional economic development councils (REDC’s) to suggest and prioritize projects, the initiative will offer awards in three competitive categories: public-private partnerships that expand infrastructure and capacity for state universities to meet employer needs; programs to expand employer investment in workforce pipelines; and, workforce solutions that provide flexible funding for innovative workforce development projects such as those targeting advanced industries or underrepresented populations.

Clean energy jobs will require workforce transition

Earth Day has evolved from environmental consciousness raising in its beginnings in the early 1970s to this year’s celebration surrounded with climate change concerns and development of the clean energy industry..  A recent report from the Brookings Institution shows more discussion needs to happen around the types of workers, activities and skills that will be needed in the clean energy industry, and how those efforts can be more inclusive. Transitioning to a clean energy economy will involve 320 unique occupations spread across clean energy production, energy efficiency and environmental management, the authors found. The report highlights the fact that those workers earn higher and more equitable wages compared to all workers nationally, and many of those occupations tend to have lower educational requirements.

Innovation, broadband, higher education initiatives get state support

Innovation initiatives are seeing increased funding in some states as legislatures across the country begin to finalize budget bills and other legislation. SSTI continues to monitor these developments and this week we cover budget bills in Idaho that saw small increases to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, as well as increases in the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and STEM Action Center, and new funding for a computer science initiative. South Dakota will see an increase in funding for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and West Virginia passed bills creating an SBIR/STTR matching grant program, support for community and technical college tuition assistance, expansion of broadband service, and other innovation-related initiatives in its budget that passed earlier in March.

$350M initiative to help prepare for future of work

JPMorgan Chase has announced a new $350 million, five-year global initiative intended to meet the growing demand for skilled workers. The New Skills at Work investment will support community college and other non-traditional career pathway programs. It focuses on creating economic mobility and career pathways for underserved populations, as well as helping to forecast emerging skillsets for JPMorgan Chase employees.

Regions, states utilize tech internships to build 21st century workforce

While the U.S. economy hovers near full employment, employers contend that the skills gap still persists and it is impacting their ability grow. To address the long-term issue of the skills gap, several states and regions have turned to S&T internships to help students develop the necessary technical skills to address the needs of industry. The development of an S&T internship program can serve as a potentially highly effective strategy for developing and retaining talent workers while also helping integrate underserved communities into the 21st century workforce. This article highlights several examples from across the country.

Acceptance rate of H1-B visas continues decline

The share of H-1B applications approved by United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) in FY 2018 was well below the levels in FY 2017 and FY 2016, and new data from the first quarter of FY 2019 shows a continuing downward trend.

Useful Stats: Educational Attainment by Metropolitan Area (2007-2017)

For states and metropolitan areas across the country, cultivating a skilled and educated workforce is a critical part of economic development. In 2017, metropolitan areas anchored by major research universities – regions like Boulder, Ann Arbor, and Corvallis – had the highest share of adults 25+ with at least a bachelor’s degree, according to an SSTI analysis of recent census data.

Tech Talkin’ Govs, part 6: Education, workforce, climate change top TBED agendas

Educating the next generation of workers, ensuring they will have the skills necessary for the jobs of the future and paying attention to the actions that will affect the climate are all on the agendas of the latest round of governors giving their state of the state and budget addresses. A focus on skills can be seen in addresses from governors in California, Maine, Michigan, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. States are also continuing with initiatives to forward attention on climate change, as reflected in Maine’s climate agenda and Michigan joining other states in the Climate Alliance.

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