Category Archives: 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.

Meeting the Challenge: Improving Dislocated Worker Services in Ohio

Source: Jon Honeck, Policy Matters Ohio, February 2008

Policy Matters Ohio has today released a new report, Meeting the Challenge: Improving Dislocated Worker Services in Ohio. The report finds that Ohio’s rapid response program has failed to spend available federal WIA funds and that Ohio’s local workforce areas have served few individuals through their dislocated worker programs, providing intensive services or training to only 3145 individuals statewide in PY 2006. The report, authored by Policy Matters Ohio economist Jon Honeck, advocates that Ohio adopt three reforms: (1) set numerical targets for local areas to serve minimal levels of dislocated workers with intensive services or training and require corrective action plans for local areas not meeting the targets, (2) review local area procedures for determining eligibility for WIA services and develop rules that reduce barriers to WIA services, and (3) standardize and improve rapid response services to improve the flow of dislocated workers into one-stop centers for easier and quicker provision of services to workers.

See also:
Press release
Executive Summary

Child Labor

Source: Megha Bahree, Forbes, Vol. 181 no. 4, February 25, 2008

That garden stone, handmade carpet or embroidered T-shirt you just bought was probably made by child labor.

Every time you buy an imported handmade carpet, an embroidered pair of jeans, a beaded purse, a decorated box or a soccer ball there’s a good chance you’re acquiring something fashioned by a child. Such goods are available in places like GapKids, Macy’s, ABC Carpet & Home, Ikea, Lowe’s, and Home Depot. These retailers say they are aware of child-labor problems, have strict policies against selling products made by underage kids and abide by the laws of the countries from which they import. But there are many links in a supply chain, and even a well-intentioned importer can’t police them all.

“There are many, many household items that are produced with forced labor and not just child labor,” says Bama Athreya, executive director of the International Labor Rights Forum in Washington, D.C. It’s a fact of a global economy, and will continue to be, as long as Americans (and Europeans) demand cheap goods–and incomes in emerging economies remain low. If a child is enslaved, it’s because his parents are desperately poor.

Volunteering in the U.S.: 2007

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, USDL 08-0090, January 23, 2008

About 60.8 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2006 and September 2007, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The proportion of the population who volunteered was 26.2 percent. This 0.5 percentage point decrease in the volunteer rate follows a decline of 2.1 percentage points in the prior year. The volunteer rate had held constant at 28.8 per- cent from 2003 through 2005, after rising slightly from its 2002 level of 27.4 percent.
These data on volunteering were collected through a supplement to the September 2007 Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households that obtains information on employment and unemployment among the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and over. Volunteers are defined as persons who did unpaid work (except for expenses) through or for an organization.

International Care: R.I.’S Hospitals Look Abroad For Nurses

Source: Felice J. Freyer, Providence Journal, January 26, 2008

So far, the number of foreign nurses in Rhode Island is small. Of the 20,553 nursing licenses, only 79 belong to foreign-trained nurses, some of whom probably have not yet arrived. Rhode Island Hospital’s 20 foreign nurses work among 1,800 bedside nurses at the hospital.

But, here as elsewhere, the trend is clearly growing — held in check, at least for now, by limits on the number of visas the State Department will give out. Rhode Island Hospital has offered jobs to 133 additional foreign nurses who are waiting for visas. Kent Hospital has 26 foreign nurses “on the way.”

Nationwide, 12 percent of those who took the qualifying exam for a nursing license last year were educated overseas.