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Data Featured at the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board

Written By Gabriel Moss and Ken Poole

The American Workforce Policy Advisory Board met on September 18 to receive recommendations from four Working Groups.  One of those groups focused on the importance of data to the nation’s workforce system. The  Board’s Data Transparency Working Group presented several ideas tied to two key focus areas: (1) Modernizing O-Net with a new flexible ontology for skills that could be used to drive data collection and analysis and (2) Developing a new trusted system to share aggregated and individual workforce data.  The Working Group, co-chaired by Eric Holcomb, Governor of Indiana, and Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP, included LMI Institute Board member and National Association of State Workforce Agencies director, Scott Sanders.  The group focused on three key priorities: (1) improving workforce data assets so that skills data can become readily useful, (2) creating learning records that connect education, experience, and affiliations to present a more coherent picture about individuals’ capabilities, and (3) break down data sharing barriers.

The Working Group encouraged with American Workforce Policy Advisory Board to develop consensus on an interoperable digital learning record that includes data about traditional education attainment, non-traditional learning pathways, experience, professional affiliations, and other certifications to help job seekers attain high-wage jobs.  The Working Group presented a white paper identifying interoperable learning records (IRLs) as a novel and achievable method for connecting data about workers, employers, and educational and training institutions. The Working Group also recommended the adoption of limited, defined scope pilot programs to test IRL ideas for widespread adoption.

This widespread adoption will be enabled by the implementation of the Working Group’s three core policy recommendations: (1) create an inventory of current or planned projects and initiatives that relate to ILRs, (2) convene an expert group to develop an ILR project plan, and (3) champion fast-track prototyping among stakeholders in the ILR ecosystem to quickly bring a “minimum viable product” to market.

The first of these recommendations, the creation of an IRL inventory of current projects and initiatives, will be crucial in scaling and partnering between stakeholders to build an IRL ecosystem. For organizations and individuals engaged in this field, this inventory could mean increased opportunity for collaboration and coalition-building. Such a tool will be a boon to administrators as well as stakeholders, connecting communities and establishing a common ground and lexicon.

The proposed expert group will ensure the adoption of best practices and enterprise scale solutions through the piloting and roll-out of IRLs. The Working Group recommends these experts in policy, governance, and IRL-related technologies offer stakeholders the opportunity to ensure that the policies adopted at the federal level reflect their real, material experience in the field. These experts would identify those features and content required in an IRL minimum viable product (MVP) and ecosystem.

The report recommends the adoption of fast-track prototyping among stakeholders in order to scale up an IRL MVP as quickly as possible. The goal is to bring a solution to market by Q2 2020 in order to demonstrate IRL’s potential and begin realizing the benefits to American employers and learners. There is a tremendous need for increased transparency and uniformity in the nexus of transferable skills. IRLs promise to be this transparent bridge; bringing them to market as quickly as possible may be highly beneficial to workers and employers alike.

Source: https://www.commerce.gov/americanworker/american-workforce-policy-advisory-board

Professional Certifications and Licenses Increase Earnings and Reduce Unemployment, New Data Shows

Written by Anuradha Dhar

At the end of June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at the Department of Labor released a report on 2018 data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) on the role of professional certifications and occupational licenses in the U.S. labor market. Their most recent annual data was released in January 2019.

This data, produced since 2015, is the first to provide such comprehensive insights into the prevalence of certifications and licenses and related earnings. The Labor Market Information (LMI) Institute has been working with this data since 2015 to produce the State Certification and License Database, found here.

Certifications and licenses are credentials that demonstrate an individual’s competency related to a skill or knowledge used in performing specific jobs. Licenses are issued by a federal, state or local government agency; certifications are issued by nongovernmental certification bodies.

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RFP Announcement: State Projections Partnership looks to add 5-Year Industry and Occupation Products

The demand for medium term (e.g., 5-year) projections continues to increase. According to many customers of labor market information, five-year projections would better assist individuals to make informed career decisions and give policymakers more relevant information for aligning and allocating current and future resources across the education, workforce and economic development systems. At present, states are funded by the U.S. Department of Labor to produce 2-year and 10-year projections of industry and occupational employment growth.  In response to the customer demand, the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) has issued a Request for Proposal for an Estimation Process for Medium-Term (5-Year) Projections for State and Local Projections Products.

The Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) is a nationally recognized network of state labor market information specialists and experts creating critical information resources for the nation’s workforce system. The PMP serves as the central hub for supporting states as they develop and deliver high-quality state and local employment projections. The PMP has been charged with standardizing methodologies, offering technical assistance, and determining deliverable timetables. With this RFP release, the PMP is seeking the services of a qualified contractor to assist the organization with the development of a robust method to estimate medium-term industry projections and integrate those projections with existing BLS methodology in the production of industry and occupation projections.  These projections will become critical components and complement for the existing Projections Suite software used by the states to produce their official projections.

If you or your organization are interested in responding the RFP, download the RFP for more details.  The deadline to submit is Thursday, May 30, 2019

Download RFP (doc)

LMI Institute 2016 Accomplishments

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Current LMI Institute Membership

 The LMI Institute’s membership is comprised of state LMI agencies and other professionals in LMI and related fields. Currently, 34 states and U.S. Territories are active members of the LMI Institute.

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The LMI Institute also has a growing number of affiliate members, representing workforce development professionals, community colleges, and independent researchers.

Technical Training
  • Delivered two Basic LMI Analyst courses and one Applied Analyst training course.
  • Designed and delivered a customized training course for workforce development professionals at the National Association of Workforce Boards’ (NAWB’s) Annual Conference, and a webinar series for the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP).
  • Hosted a monthly webinar series attracting nearly 2,000 attendees.
LMI System & Program Support
  • Provided management and training support for the Projections Managing Partnership.
  • Developed the agenda and facilitated the LMI Directors’ Town Hall Meeting at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) National LMI Conference in Kansas City, MO (2016).
  • Hosted the U.S. Census Bureau’s Local Employment Household Dynamics Program’s monthly webinar series.
Research
  • Conducted a research study for the Centers of Excellence for Labor Market Research (California) using Current Population Survey micro-data to develop tables for California’s working age population with either certifications or licenses to determine the prevalence of certifications and licenses in the California workforce.
  • Initiated research and technical assistance to the National Association of State Workforce Agencies’ (NASWA’s) National Labor Exchange, in partnership with CREC and is exploring avenues that will enhance the contribution of the NLx (jointly operated by NASWA and Direct Employers Association) to the effective functioning of labor markets in the United States.
Partnership Facilitation
  • Fostered and continuously improved key partnerships with the Employment and Training Administration, BLS, the Workforce Information Advisory Council (WIAC), the Analyst Resource Center, the BLS / LMI Oversight Committee, and the NASWA LMI Committee.
  • Received Census Bureau’s 2016 Innovations in Local Employment Dynamics Award.
  • Delivered conference sessions on LMI at NAWB, NAWDP, and NASWA conferences. Participated in meetings of the Friends of BLS, Workforce Data Quality Campaign, etc.

 

For more information, visit www.lmiontheweb.org
Contact: Lindsay Johnson, (703) 522-4980, x 1028, ljohnson@crec.net

C2ER 2016 Accomplishments

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During the past 12 months, the Council for Community and Economic Research, YOUR professional membership organization, has been hard at work increasing the visibility of economic, workforce, and community research by advocating for higher quality data, promoting more focused public and private investments in local data, and continuing to strengthen C2ER products and services.  We have also sought to keep you informed about new data sources, exciting research, and opportunities to learn.  Following are some of the most vital accomplishments during the past year.

Communication with Data Users and Producers

 Weekly Publication of the C2ER/LMI Institute Update

  • Monitored and summarized emerging data issues, relevant events, and recent research
  • Distributed update to more than 9,000 individuals by weekly email publication, including C2ER/ LMI Institute members, as well as targeted stakeholder contacts
  • Published blog posts on topics relevant to C2ER members, including C2ER events and economic development news and trend analysis (http://blog.c2er.org/)

Journal of Applied Research in Economic Development

  • Produced 2 specialized articles in a blog format on key issues most relevant to economic development analysts and practitioners and relaunched the Journal in October 2016

Annual Conference, Training and Certification

  • Coordinated C2ER Annual Conference, LMI Institute Annual Forum, and the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) Summit in Minneapolis, MN, attracting more than 240 attendees for a week’s worth of programming on research leadership, practice, and related tools/techniques
  • Developed and delivered in-person training courses, including: Basic Labor Market Information Analyst, Foundations of Applied Economic Development Research, Applied Data Visualization: Moving from Theory into Practice, Leadership in Research Workshop: Developing and Managing a World-Class Research Operation, Marketing & Communicating Workforce & Economic Development Research, Data Viz Made Simple, and Applied Analyst Training.
  • Conducted 24 Webinars for C2ER, LMI Institute, PMP, the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Employment-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program, and annual conference sponsors

Data Advocacy and National Visibility for C2ER Member Efforts

  • Served as member of BLS Data Users Advisory Committee and national partner/advisor to the Workforce Data Quality Campaign
  • Collaborated with Friends of BLS and the Census Project in federal statistical advocacy efforts
  • Meet periodically with key Census, BLS, and BEA leaders to discuss data dissemination issues and improve regional data access
  • Nominated and helped to seat successfully two current C2ER Board members and 4 other C2ER members on the newly chartered Workforce Information Advisory Committee; provided technical assistance and resource support to the WIAC
  • Participated in several Capitol Hill visits to Congressional staff representing the interests of statistical data users.
  • Signed on to several letters advocating for proper funding for Census, BLS, and BEA and supporting efforts to ensure the ACS remains mandatory.

Data Collection and Research Activities

Cost of Living Index – C2ER’s flagship data product since 1968 http://www.coli.org

  • Redesigned and published a new website in WordPress
  • Remodeled and issued 2016 County and State Level Cost of Living Index
  • Added API for the C2ER data products
  • Improved the process of library application authentication
  • Conducted online data scraping for housing and grocery items nationwide
  • Updated current basket of goods and services priced to reflect better the current consumption pattern of households
  • Partnered with COX publishing house in marketing cost of living index


C2ER State Business Incentives Database Update
http://www.stateincentives.org/

  • Maintained and updated unique summary of around 1,800 state programs designed to help businesses create jobs with 2016-2017 state legislative changes
  • Added additional programs for all U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia
  • Updated the State of State Business Incentives Report to reflect the latest database changes
  • Renewed the partnership with SelectUSA at the U.S. Department of Commerce to provide content to international companies seeking U.S. facility locations
  • Updated the program manager contact list based on state agency feedback


C2ER State Economic Development Program Expenditures Database Update 
http://www.stateexpenditures.org

  • Updated database for FY 2017 proposed expenditures, as well as FY 2015 actual and FY 2016 appropriated expenditures (when available), for all 50 states in the database
  • Produced brief “State of State Expenditures” for FY 2015 through FY 2017, highlighting broad national spending trends and major developments in individual states
  • Produced database glossary and made significant upgrades to the state economic development expenditure database to develop greater consistency in the reports for FY07 through FY16.


Other Policy and Economic Research and Technical Assistance

  • Facilitated day-long LMI Directors’ Town Hall at BLS National LMI Conference in Kansas City, KS
  • Initiated a two-year project on state data sharing laws, regulations and agreements for a project sponsored by Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • Entered in to a contract with National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) to assess the data analytic opportunities that could generated by the National Labor Exchange database of job openings
  • Provided state incentives program information to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce SelectUSA program
  • Conducted research on Current Population Survey microdata about the prevalence of credentials by education level, occupation, and other workforce characteristics

 

Addressing the Skills Gap Starts in Your Own Office

NP Employees

A survey from the Chronicle of Higher Education shows that government and nonprofit employers have a more-difficult time with recent-graduate hires. Most of the issues cited involve “soft skills.”

Of the 700 employers in the survey who offered feedback on specific troubles they experienced with recent grads, most mentioned communication and critical thinking. Specifically, the employers stated that they often find candidates who cannot put ideas forward, support those concepts, and build upon them. “Soft skills” don’t just stop with communication and critical thinking. They include collaboration and respect for diversity. All too often, these people skills are becoming the value-add for new hires.

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Cost of Living Index Quarter 3, 2015 Media Release

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C2ER released the Cost of Living Index (COLI) third quarter report for 2015 in late October. Among the 265 urban areas that participated in the 2015 third quarter Cost of Living Index, the after-tax cost for a professional/managerial standard of living ranged from more than twice the national average in New York (Manhattan), NY to almost 20 percent below the national average in McAllen, TX.

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C2ER & LMI Institute announce 2014 award winners

C2ER has awarded their 2014 Applied Community Research Awards. The following individuals and their organizations were presented with their awards during Pittsburgh 2014, C2ER’s recent Annual Conference: Continue reading

Thompson discusses ACS: mandatory vs voluntary

Census Bureau Director John Thompson delivered the morning keynote on the final day of last week’s Annual Conference.

As part of his remarks, Thompson discussed the American Community Survey and the implications of the survey being made voluntary versus remaining mandatory. You can watch a  video of his comments here, which includes an analysis of the responses rates and data quality of each scenario:

You can access Thompson’s slides from the keynote.

Thompson addressed concerns about the ACS’s future in a blog post on his Director’s Blog at Census.