Apprenticeships are on the rise. Employers are increasingly turning to apprenticeships to build strong pipelines of talent, and states are investing in apprenticeships as important workforce development tools. Inclusive apprenticeships – that is, apprenticeships that provide skills training to people with disabilities – provide additional benefits. In particular, they can help employers and states increase the hiring and retention of people with disabilities.

By
Guest

By Christina Gordley & Dexter Horne

 

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is November 8-14, 2020! The week is a nationwide celebration sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor to unite business leaders, job seekers, educational institutions and other vital partners to show their support for apprenticeships. National Apprenticeship Week allows apprenticeship sponsors to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships and exhibit the ways in which they can provide a gateway for individuals to join the workforce. States can benefit too; the wide range of public and private apprenticeships showcased during this week serve as models for the types of programs that could be implemented at the state level.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a massive increase in unemployment throughout the United States. Many youth transitioning into the workforce struggled to find summer employment. Youth with disabilities transitioning into the workforce were hit especially hard by the economic downturn brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the unemployment rate among youth with disabilities ages 16-19 reached 31.2% in July, compared to the 18.8% unemployment rate of all youth ages 16-19, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.

Illinois Summer Youth Employment Program

How should the state tax its citizens? Should the recreational use of marijuana be legal? Does the state need to do more to protect consumers from payday lenders? These are among the policy questions that will be decided this fall not by legislatures, but by the voters themselves.
In all, ballot measures of some kind are a part of this year’s elections in six Midwestern states.

CSG Midwest recently interviewed legislators and others about these measures, and what’s at stake. Here is an overview of some of the measures to be decided on in Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

CSG Midwest

Every year, state leaders, policymakers and advocates recognize September as National Suicide Prevention Month. According to data from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, suicide is the second leading cause of death for Americans ages 10-34, the fourth leading cause of death for ages 35-54 and the eighth leading cause of death for ages 55-64. As suicide rates continue to climb, states across the country have taken steps to reduce the number of deaths by suicide and provide access to mental health care prevention and treatment services, particularly for youth.