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  • Individual Author: Maguire, Shelia; Freely, Joshua; Clymer, Carol; Conway, Maureen; Schwartz, Deena
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    Over the past two decades, an innovative approach to workforce development known as sectoral employment has emerged, resulting in the creation of industry-specific training programs that prepare unemployed and underskilled workers for skilled positions and connect them with employers seeking to fill such vacancies. In 2003, with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, P/PV launched the Sectoral Employment Impact Study to rigorously assess whether mature, nonprofit-led sector-focused programs could increase the earnings of disadvantaged workers and job seekers. P/PV selected three organizations to participate in the study—a community-based organization focused on medical and basic office skills in Boston, a social venture focused on information technology in the Bronx, and an employer-union partnership focused on healthcare, manufacturing and construction in Milwaukee. 
    
    The study's findings show that program participants earned about $4,500—18 percent—more than the control group over the course of the two-year study period and $4,000—...

    Over the past two decades, an innovative approach to workforce development known as sectoral employment has emerged, resulting in the creation of industry-specific training programs that prepare unemployed and underskilled workers for skilled positions and connect them with employers seeking to fill such vacancies. In 2003, with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, P/PV launched the Sectoral Employment Impact Study to rigorously assess whether mature, nonprofit-led sector-focused programs could increase the earnings of disadvantaged workers and job seekers. P/PV selected three organizations to participate in the study—a community-based organization focused on medical and basic office skills in Boston, a social venture focused on information technology in the Bronx, and an employer-union partnership focused on healthcare, manufacturing and construction in Milwaukee. 
    
    The study's findings show that program participants earned about $4,500—18 percent—more than the control group over the course of the two-year study period and $4,000—29 percent—more in the second year alone. Study participants were also more likely to find employment, work more consistently, work in jobs that paid higher wages, and work in jobs that offered benefits. Furthermore, there were earnings gains for each subgroup analyzed, including African Americans, Latinos, immigrants, formerly incarcerated individuals and young adults. 
    
    Tuning In to Local Labor Markets also examines the strategies employed by the three organizations that took part in the study, as well as the common elements that likely contributed to their success. Implications for practice, policy and future research are explored; a forthcoming piece will provide detailed recommendations for policymakers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Woolsey, Lindsey; Groves, Garrett
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2013

    Today more than half the nation’s states are exploring or implementing sector strategies, making the model the most consistently adopted approach to meeting businesses’ need for skilled workers and workers’ need for good jobs. Sector strategies are among the few workforce interventions that statistical evidence shows to improve employment opportunities for workers and to increase their wages once on the job. Employers report increases in productivity, reductions in customer complaints, and declines in staff turnover, all of which reduce costs and improve the competitiveness of their companies. This is likely why an estimated 1,000 sector partnerships are operating across the country.

    Sector strategies are partnerships of employers within one industry that bring government, education, training, economic development, labor, and community organizations together to focus on the workforce needs of an industry within a regional labor market. At the state level, they are policies and investments that support the development of local sector partnerships. They are welcomed by...

    Today more than half the nation’s states are exploring or implementing sector strategies, making the model the most consistently adopted approach to meeting businesses’ need for skilled workers and workers’ need for good jobs. Sector strategies are among the few workforce interventions that statistical evidence shows to improve employment opportunities for workers and to increase their wages once on the job. Employers report increases in productivity, reductions in customer complaints, and declines in staff turnover, all of which reduce costs and improve the competitiveness of their companies. This is likely why an estimated 1,000 sector partnerships are operating across the country.

    Sector strategies are partnerships of employers within one industry that bring government, education, training, economic development, labor, and community organizations together to focus on the workforce needs of an industry within a regional labor market. At the state level, they are policies and investments that support the development of local sector partnerships. They are welcomed by governors, who are increasingly focused on the needs of critical industries and workers. Amid the challenges of the slowly recovering national economy, sector strategies can do the following:

    • Address current and emerging skill gaps. Sector strategies offer a mechanism to focus scarce resources on industries that are major job providers in an area, as well as to focus comprehensively on the workforce skills, from entry level to advanced, required in a regional economy.

    • Provide a means to engage directly with industry across traditional boundaries. Businesses operate in economic regions that may cross city, county, and state lines and education and economic development areas. Sector strategies work across the boundaries to identify and address specific workforce needs in almost every industry.

    • Better align state programs and resources serving employers and workers. Intense demand for balancing budgets at the state level threaten initiatives in education, training, economic development, and other essential state services. Sector strategies help to reduce inefficiencies and streamline state efforts by coordinating various programs and braiding disparate funding streams intended for the same purpose.

    This paper offers a snapshot of sector strategies today, an overview of what makes them different from traditional workforce and economic development programs, and a description of actions that state administrators and policymakers can take as part of a policy framework to support their creation and effective operation. It shows how sector strategies are evolving to integrate potentially powerful supply-side and demand-side activities, providing a means to integrate career pathway initiatives focused on the education and skills development of workers with the kind of high-growth industry clusters that have been the focus of economic development initiatives for decades. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: National Employment Law Project
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2012

    NELP is conducting on-going research to track the current recovery on multiple dimensions, including unemployment, wages, and occupational and industry growth patterns. This report updates NELP’s previous analyses of job loss and job growth trends during and after the Great Recession. We find that during the recession (2008 Q1 to 2010 Q1), employment losses occurred throughout the economy, but were concentrated in mid-wage occupations. By contrast, during the recovery (2010 Q1 to 2012 Q1), employment gains have been concentrated in lower-wage occupations, which grew 2.7 times as fast as mid-wage and higher-wage occupations. (author introduction)

    NELP is conducting on-going research to track the current recovery on multiple dimensions, including unemployment, wages, and occupational and industry growth patterns. This report updates NELP’s previous analyses of job loss and job growth trends during and after the Great Recession. We find that during the recession (2008 Q1 to 2010 Q1), employment losses occurred throughout the economy, but were concentrated in mid-wage occupations. By contrast, during the recovery (2010 Q1 to 2012 Q1), employment gains have been concentrated in lower-wage occupations, which grew 2.7 times as fast as mid-wage and higher-wage occupations. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Bank, Helen; Schulman, Karen; Frohlich, Lauren
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    The first years of life are critical to children’s development and their future success.  Infants and toddlers need stable, responsive, nurturing relationships for their healthy development.  However, parents working in low-wage jobs face particular challenges as breadwinners and caregivers.  With limited incomes, parents struggle to meet their children’s basic needs: a home in a safe community, nutritious food, and books and toys to encourage their children’s learning.

    Many parents strain to afford the safe and stable child care they need to be able to work—much less the high-quality child care that children need to be successful in school.  In addition, the working conditions in many low-wage jobs make parenting more difficult.  Low-wage jobs often entail unstable, unpredictable, or inflexible schedules and lack any paid sick or family leave; this can keep parents from spending time with their children on a regular basis and from being consistently available when their children need them, and can make it difficult to arrange child care.  In addition, some mothers in low-...

    The first years of life are critical to children’s development and their future success.  Infants and toddlers need stable, responsive, nurturing relationships for their healthy development.  However, parents working in low-wage jobs face particular challenges as breadwinners and caregivers.  With limited incomes, parents struggle to meet their children’s basic needs: a home in a safe community, nutritious food, and books and toys to encourage their children’s learning.

    Many parents strain to afford the safe and stable child care they need to be able to work—much less the high-quality child care that children need to be successful in school.  In addition, the working conditions in many low-wage jobs make parenting more difficult.  Low-wage jobs often entail unstable, unpredictable, or inflexible schedules and lack any paid sick or family leave; this can keep parents from spending time with their children on a regular basis and from being consistently available when their children need them, and can make it difficult to arrange child care.  In addition, some mothers in low-wage jobs face discrimination on the job because of their pregnancy or caregiving responsibilities.

    Many mothers of very young children work in low-wage jobs—including jobs as cashiers, personal care aides, maids, and restaurant servers—and are facing precisely these challenges.  Working mothers with very young children are more likely than workers overall to be in low-wage jobs. More than half of mothers who have very young children and work in low-wage jobs are raising children on their own; half are working full time; and over one-third are poor.  They are disproportionately African-American or Hispanic.  They are also less likely to have a college education than workers overall. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Thompson, Jeffery W.; Turner-Meikeljohn, Susan; Conway, Maureen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    This case study on Focus: HOPE is the fourth of six sectoral studies to provide an in-depth look at individual sectoral employment development programs and their interaction within distinct economic and industry environments. It explores HOPE, a Detroit civil rights organization with a highly developed machinist training program. Section 1 discusses its programs, historical events that led to its current structure, details of HOPE's sectoral strategies, and key relationships it has formed to achieve its objectives. Section 2 describes important features of the machinist-related occupations and industry that employs these workers. It discusses relationships between machine shops and competitive factors affecting the automotive industry. Section 3 focuses on how HOPE puts its sectoral strategies into practice, particularly how it interacts with and influences industry and other key educational and governmental entities to increase employment opportunities for the disadvantaged population. Section 4 reviews HOPE's core training program, the Machinist Training Institute (...

    This case study on Focus: HOPE is the fourth of six sectoral studies to provide an in-depth look at individual sectoral employment development programs and their interaction within distinct economic and industry environments. It explores HOPE, a Detroit civil rights organization with a highly developed machinist training program. Section 1 discusses its programs, historical events that led to its current structure, details of HOPE's sectoral strategies, and key relationships it has formed to achieve its objectives. Section 2 describes important features of the machinist-related occupations and industry that employs these workers. It discusses relationships between machine shops and competitive factors affecting the automotive industry. Section 3 focuses on how HOPE puts its sectoral strategies into practice, particularly how it interacts with and influences industry and other key educational and governmental entities to increase employment opportunities for the disadvantaged population. Section 4 reviews HOPE's core training program, the Machinist Training Institute (MTI), with training programs for disadvantaged people with a range of skills and educational backgrounds. It explains the content and approach of each training course and the services that provide outreach, recruitment, evaluation, and post-training placement assistance. Section 5 discusses outcomes associated with MTI's training, including ratios for graduation and placement rates, and costs. Section 6 reviews lessons learned and challenges HOPE faces. (Author abstract)

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