Category Archives: Workforce

Wake Up, America! The Future Public Health Workforce is at Risk

Source: Center for State and Local Government Excellence

A new Center for Excellence poll finds that most Americans are unaware that state and local public health departments are facing a serious shortage of skilled professionals that could put the health and lives of citizens at risk.

Most Americans don’t see it as a problem. As many as 45 percent of public health workers are expected to retire within the next five years. But the poll of 1,200 adults, which was conducted for the Center by by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, finds that only one in three Americans see this as a major problem for state governments, and only one in four see it as a problem for local government.

“We count on public health professionals to prevent the spread of disease, protect us from bioterrorist threats, make sure our food is safe to eat, and our air is safe to breathe,” said Elizabeth Kellar, executive director of the Center for State and Local Government Excellence.

“Those closest to the public health infrastructure know that the safety net is fragile. The public sector workforce is older than the private sector’s, and state and local governments are facing their greatest turnover ever. Public health is an area that already faces critical shortages, so there is no time to lose.”

Full report

The Workforce Evolution: Recruiting and Retaining State IT Employees

Source: National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO)

An upcoming shortage of state IT government workers is predicted by many to be evident and quickly approaching. As the state IT workforce begins to face the challenges of a potential worker shortage, and as it evolves to reflect the modern workforce of the future, employee recruitment and retention tactics must be examined in order to attract and retain top IT talent. A product of NASCIO’s State IT Workforce Working Group, this brief focuses on these recruitment and retention tactics for state CIOs by examining traditional and innovative recruitment strategies, successful retention initiatives and state best practices in each of these areas. By taking steps to augment a potential state IT worker shortage, state CIOs will be better prepared to face these challenges as they arise.

Full report (PDF: 800 KB)

America’s Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs – Education and Training Requirements in the Next Decade and Beyond

Source: Harry Holzer, Robert I. Lerman, Urban Institute, March 18, 2008

From the summary:
This paper analyzes data on recent employment and wage trends, as well as projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to analyze the likely future demand for workers in “middle-skill” jobs – i.e., those requiring more than secondary school but less than a bachelor’s degree. Contrary to recent assertions that demand for middle-skill jobs will shrink dramatically (creating an “hourglass” or “dumbbell” labor market), we find that demand for such jobs will remain quite robust. The growth in supply of workers with these skills will also likely shrink as “Baby Boomers” retire and are replaced by immigrants. Thus, education and training programs that help less-educated workers gain these skills remain a worthwhile investment. Written for the Workforce Alliance, Washington D.C.

Towers Perrin Study Debunks Common Workforce Myths – Stress, Technology and Bosses Not Always the Enemy

Source: Towers Perrin, Press Release, February 20, 2008

Based on the Global Workforce Study 2007

Stamford, CT, February 20, 2008 – Some of the most pervasive beliefs about the workforce have recently been challenged by findings from Towers Perrin’s 2007 Global Workforce Study – among them, that workers are highly stressed, that they resent the demands of new technologies and that they dislike their bosses.

To understand what drives employees to perform and succeed, Towers Perrin recently surveyed nearly 90,000 employees in 18 countries. The survey, which explored the drivers of workforce engagement – employees’ willingness to go the extra mile to help their companies succeed – also exploded many of the myths that surround today’s workforce.

Grading the States 2008: A Management Report Card

Source: Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene, Governing Magazine, March 2008

Information is king. No single idea emerges more clearly from year-long research done for the 2008 Government Performance Project. As always, this report focuses on four fundamental areas of government management: Information, People, Money and Infrastructure. But this year, the elements that make up the information category — planning, goal-setting, measuring performance, disseminating data and evaluating progress — overlap with the other three fields to a greater degree than ever before. Information elements, in short, are key to how a state takes care of its infrastructure, plans for its financial future and deals with the dramatic changes affecting the state workforce.

Get individual state report cards via dropdown menu.

See also:
Pew Center on the States

Current Strategies to Employ and Retain Older Workers

Source: Lauren Eyster, Richard W. Johnson, Eric Toder, Urban Institute, March 4, 2008

From the summary:
As the U.S. population ages and the number of people reaching traditional retirement ages increases, employers need to do more to attract and retain older workers, many of whom are highly experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled. Successful approaches include offering formal and informal phased retirement options and creating flexible work arrangements, such as part-time work, flexible schedules, job sharing, telework arrangements, and snowbird programs. Federal, state, and local governments, as well as nonprofit organizations and post-secondary educational institutions, help older workers find employment and secure job training. They also educate employers about the value of older workers.

Facing the Future: Retirements, second careers to reshape state and local governments in the post-Katrina era

Source: Center for State and Local Government Excellence, March 2008

From the summary:
A new Center for Excellence poll finds that most Americans are unaware that state and local public health departments are facing a serious shortage of skilled professionals that could put the health and lives of citizens at risk.

See also:
Fact Sheet: The Impending Shortage in the State and Local Public Health Workforce

Economic Costs of Inadequate Investments in Workforce Development

Source: Harry Holzer, Urban Institute, Submitted to Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives, February 26, 2008

From the abstract:
In testimony on the ramifications of inadequate investments in workforce development, Senior Fellow Harry Holzer told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the very low earnings and employment of millions of Americans generate high poverty rates and impose huge costs on the U.S. economy. The research evidence, while somewhat mixed, shows that many public investments in workforce development are cost-effective at raising the earnings of low-income workers.

Four Million Health Care Workers Needed: How To Recruit Them?

Source: Genevieve Gencianos, PSI

The world lacks more than four million health care workers and this has been clearly stated by the World Health Organisation. This means that every country in the world has a shortage of health care workers. But where will these millions come from? A quick fix for rich countries is to recruit them in poorer ones. PSI is now campaigning for a code of practice in the international recruitment of health care workers.