After years of American companies sending jobs to other countries, recent trends suggest a surge in training workers at home and keeping production in the United States. Some manufacturers are bringing jobs back from overseas, a trend that many find hopeful for our economy. New hires topped 3 million in less than 2 years, with almost 2 million new workers coming on board in 2011. This policy academy addressed education and training to support American workers so they are the best-trained workforce in the world; ensuring efficiency and productivity by workers in domestic businesses; business incentives to invest in hiring and expanding; and technical support so companies can grow and expand.

Policymakers across the country continue to focus on expanding the collaboration between education--at the high school and postsecondary levels--and economic development in an effort to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce. Cooperation between the education and economic development sectors in state government, combined with active input from the corporate sector, is a critical factor in recruiting and retaining industry, particularly in manufacturing. Several states in The Council of State Governments' Southern...

Each year, more than 250,000 service members transition out of the military. Many of them become entrepreneurs: nearly half of military veterans start their own business after completing their military service.

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) a bipartisan, bicameral bill that was the result of months of negotiations between House and Senate leaders.  The bill, which received wide support (415 to 6), will modernize and improve the federal workforce development programs aimed at helping workers attain the skills needed for 21st century jobs.   The legislation recently passed through the U.S. Senate with overwhelming support (95 to 3, with 2 no votes) and now awaits the President’s signature.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—When CSG’s 2014 chairman Mark Norris talks about the State Pathways to Prosperity initiative, he says “it’s something like awakening the sleeping giant.” Norris, the Tennessee Senate majority leader, spoke at The Council of State Governments 2014 Leadership Council meeting in June.

Alan C. Walker, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, knows the importance of connecting a good education with economic development. “(N)othing is more critical to ensuring the economic strength of Pennsylvania and to securing good-paying jobs for Pennsylvanians than the development of a well-educated and trained workforce,” said Walker, who has been invited to speak at The Council of State Governments’ policy academy, “U.S. Workforce Development: Building Capacity at Home,” during the 2014 CSG National/CSG West Annual Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, in August. Pennsylvania’s workforce development efforts target businesses that might move jobs overseas as well as global companies looking for a U.S. location. Insourcing is the practice of building facilities in the United States and hiring Americans rather than basing operations abroad, according to Investopedia.

In late 2013, the Brookings Institute published an article about reforming workforce development and human capital policies. Although written for the federal government, a number of principles for creating state-level workforce development programs emerge.

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Many state policymakers talk about why it’s important to encourage entrepreneurs for a simple reason: Startups are just about the only places creating new jobs. “In most years, existing firms destroyed more jobs than they created,” Jason Wiens, lead policy engagement manager for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, told a group of Tennessee policymakers and business leaders at a CSG Entrepreneurship Day May 13. “But in every year since 1977, which is the first year for which we have data, startups have created an average of 3 million jobs a year. And the startup creation rates have remained fairly stable for the last 30 years, even during periods when we had a recession.”

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago examined the workforce development system in Chicago to discover characteristics and practices common to successful programs. Researchers chose six community-based employment and training programs assisting unemployed or underemployed adults. What can we learn from Chicago?

The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity is a leading indicator of new business creation in the United States. The index calculates the percentage of the adult, non-business owner population that starts a business over time using data from the Current Population Survey. Learn more at www.kauffman.org

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