Workforce Development

By Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene
During the years when the baby-boom generation was being introduced to the population of the United States, the fertility rate equaled about three births for each woman of child bearing age. But since the mid-1960s, when the baby boom ceased, fertility rates have been dropping. By the early 1970s, the fertility rate fell below two births per woman, and it has been declining steadily for at least the last 10 years. Since then, the U.S. fertility rate has been below replacement level—the level that is needed for couples to replace themselves in the population—according to the Population Reference Bureau.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27, the Kentucky work matters task force held its monthly meeting at the Kenton County Detention Center, or KCDC, in Covington. The visit included a tour of the drug rehabilitation program, featured in the New York Times for its breakthroughs in combating both addiction and incarceration issues in Kentucky.

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States are re-engineering their workforce development systems because of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  One of the primary workforce system challenges is that too many adults lack the skills or credentials required for in-demand jobs.   Of those who lack the skills for in-demand jobs, many do not know how to access information and training needed for the in-demand jobs.   The second major challenge is to prepare students to be college and career ready.  A 2015 survey found that that 78% of college faculty and 62% of employers believe that public high schools are not doing enough to prepare students for the expectations they will face in college and the working world.  In addition, it is estimated that by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require some form of postsecondary education or training.    WIOA provides the framework and direction to state governments to realign their workforce and educations systems to meet these challenges.
 
WIOA core programs include the federally funded adult, dislocated worker and youth services programs, the Wagner-Peyser program, adult education and literacy programs and rehabilitation services programs.  States are developing strategic plans for these programs and implementing WIOA through new programs and extensive collaboration between departments of workforce development, education, labor, human services and the state and local workforce development boards. This research brief reviews critical state strategies for implementing WIOA and is part three of a three-part series providing an overview of WIOA. 

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The Council of State Governments has announced a new technical assistance project called Occupational Licensing: Assessing State Policy and Practice for state leaders. Through this policy learning consortium, selected states will receive assistance to improve their understanding of occupational licensure issues and best practices; identify current policies that create unnecessary barriers to labor market entry; and create an action plan that focuses on removing barriers to labor market entry and improves portability and reciprocity for select occupations. Technical assistance will be provided through a partnership of The Council of State Governments, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the National Conference of State Legislatures, with support from the U.S. Department of Labor.

CSG South

This SLC Regional Resource examines initiatives in Southern states to increase the number of qualified teachers in STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Representative Gene Whisnant

Individuals with disabilities are major contributors to the modern workforce. However, the unemployment rate for those with disabilities is almost double  the unemployment rate of the general population according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Taking the proper steps to provide workers with disabilities the appropriate accommodations could reduce this high unemployment rate, and provide opportunities to thrive at work. Employment is the most direct and cost-effective...

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This eCademy webinar provides an overview of workforce development initiatives in the states, including a high-level summary of state plans for implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, or WIOA. Experts on WIOA provide state examples of both the consolidated and unified plans, highlight the process used to choose the plan, and discuss implementation and intrastate regional coordination.

This eCademy webinar provides an overview of workforce development initiatives in the states, including a high-level summary of state plans for implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, or WIOA. Experts on WIOA provide state examples of both the consolidated and unified plans, highlight the process used to choose the plan, and discuss implementation and intrastate regional coordination.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, or WIOA, provides for comprehensive realignment of the nation’s workforce development programs. The federal government provides significant funding to states for workforce system programs covered by WIOA. For program year 2016 the federal government appropriated more than $6.9 billion to states for the Core WIOA Program and approximately $3.4 billion in federal formula funding for partner programs, for total funding of $10.5 billion. Federal funding is also provided through competitive grants.

The Trump administration announced a preliminary 2018 budget proposal that included elimination of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). Funds from this program are allocated to states and national grantees in states to employ low-income senior citizens. SCSEP funds 43,600 positions nationwide at a cost of $9,698 per position.

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