Free Webinar Series: Economic Development & Workforce Development - Bridging the Gap

by Colleen LaRose 17. November 2014 16:38

Free Webinar Series: Economic Development & Workforce Development - Bridging the Gap

 

Camoin Associates is announcing a 4-part webinar series on trends in workforce development and what it means for the economic development community. Each webinar will provide valuable information and tools that economic developers can apply in your communities. Details for the first installment in this series is provided below.

 

Part I: The Disconnect Between Education & Workforce Development: And what this means for the future workforce

 

Download the slides (PDF).

 

See the full presentation on the Navigator YouTube channel.

 

Join us for Upcoming Webinars in the Bridging the Gap Series:

 

Part II: The Role & History of Workforce Development through the 1998 Workforce Investment Act (ended in 2014)

Date: January 8, 2015

Time: 1:00 - 2:30 PM

Register Here

  

 

Part III: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act  of 2014 (WIOA): What it Means to Economic Development

Date: February 5, 2015

Time: 1:00 - 2:30 PM

Register Here

   

 

Part III: Economic Development and Workforce Development Collaboration: Best Practice Case Studies

Date: March 5, 2015

Time: 1:00 - 2:30 PM

Register Here

 

 

   

Are you a Twitter user?

Join the conversaton! We'll be live tweeting during the webinars using the hashtag #EDbridgeWD 

 

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Why Your Economic Development Strategy Should Include the Health Care Sector

by Jim Damicis 17. November 2014 11:27

The health care sector is often not a focus of local and regional economic developers or included as a targeted growth industry in economic development plans and strategies. There are several reasons for this. First, it is often seen as “out of one’s control” because of health care bureaucracy (laws, regulations, insurance, etc.). Economic developers feel there is little they can do to influence decision-making within the context of economic development, namely supporting investment and jobs. Second, health care is not viewed as an export-intensive industry bringing in wealth from outside the local and regional boundaries. Rather, it is seen as distributing money within the local/regional economy because of its focus on serving local residents and workers. Third, except for select science and tech-intensive specialty occupations such as doctors, many of the jobs such as medical technicians and facilities support typically pay low to moderate wages. Fourth, the industry outlook for investment and job creation is often distorted by the financial and bureaucratic challenges of the larger institutions within the industry, primarily hospitals, causing emerging opportunities in new, innovative, small, and niche markets and businesses to be overlooked.

 

In spite of these perceptions economic developers should take a closer look at the health care sector as an important part of local and regional economies. Health care contributes significantly to the number of businesses and levels of employment and wages. Here’s what the data shows with respect to health care in the U.S.:

 

·        In 2013, employment in the health care and social assistance sector totaled nearly 14.5 million jobs representing 12% of all jobs. These jobs were present at 1.2 million establishments. This was the highest level of all the major employment sectors.

 

·        Between 2004 and 2013, the health care and social assistance sector added 3.3 million jobs, the most among all sectors in terms of job growth. This represented a growth rate of 22% over the ten-year period. And growth is projected to continue. Between 2013 and 2022 the health care and social assistance sector is projected to add another 3.8 million jobs (the most among all major sectors), an increase of 21%.

 

·        Also in 2013 there were another 3.9 million jobs in industry sectors closely related to health care including Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing, Medical Equipment and Supplies Manufacturers and wholesalers, pharmacies and health care stores, testing laboratories, Research and Development entities, and state and local government hospitals.

Source: Calculated by Camoin Associates, based on data from EMSI; QCEW Employees, Non-QCEW Employees & Self-Employed - EMSI 2014.2 Class of Worker; www.www.economicmodeling.com/ 

Additionally, the impact of health care on local and regional economies goes well beyond businesses, jobs, wages, and direct economic inputs and outputs. The level of access to and quality of health care determines individual wellness and, in turn, the well-being of communities and regions. They impact not only productivity, but quality of life and place to support workers and residents, attract and grow companies and entrepreneurs, and offer opportunities for community engagement and volunteerism.

Because of its significant impacts on economic, community, and individual health, the health care sector should become a focus of economic development efforts at the local and regional level. While the hospital and institutional component of the industry continues to experience consolidation, health care also offers future growth opportunities for medium and small businesses focusing on emerging services and technologies including personal and home-based care and tele-health. Also, by focusing on community health systems and preventive care through an approach that integrates providers and stakeholders in mental, physical, and social health, additional business and employment opportunities can be created. Over the course of the next year, along with colleagues through the Communities of the Future and World Future Society I will be exploring how a focus on community health systems can play an integral role in local and regional economic and community development.  I look forward to sharing our progress. In the meantime please feel free to contact me with examples in your communities or an interest in further pursuing this topic.

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Crowd Funding Economic Development

by Dan Stevens 17. November 2014 10:39

Most of us have heard of crowd funding by now, the trendy new way of raising funds by getting a large number of people to chip in whatever they are willing to invest. It has proven very successful in allowing entrepreneurs to raise start-up capital when a trip to the local bank goes south or is out of the question to begin with.

 

It has also helped generate significant money for social causes as demonstrated by (one of my favorites) the recent revival of Reading Rainbow that generated donations of $5.4 million on crowd funding site Kickstarter. It’s not just entrepreneurs and feel-good social causes benefitting from the movement, however. Communities and economic development organizations are discovering that crowd funding can help reach economic development goals.

 

Let’s take a look at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), which recently started a crowd funding effort (the first of its kind) for its Public Spaces Community Places Initiative. The initiative is designed to implement projects that help create vibrant communities and catalyze private investment like alley rehabilitation and public plazas.

 

One of the key components of the initiative is that it lets MEDC leverage its own resources by matching crowd-sourced funds with grants up to $100,000. The first project, a green alley in midtown Detroit exceeded its target of $50,000 and earned a 1-to-1 matching grant. 

 

Pure Michigan crowd funded project to repurpose five vacant storefronts into a community art center

 

Crowd funding is also being used for more grass roots economic development efforts. The Mile High Business Alliance, a Denver nonprofit, started a crowd funding platform called Neighborhood Catalyst. Community members are able to contribute funding to specific projects in their neighborhoods. The platform also makes it easy for residents to donate time and materials to projects.


Crowd funding for economic development is still in its infancy but the growth potential is enormous. Crowd funding has increased 1,000% in the last 5 years according to Fundable, a crowd funding platform for businesses. Communities and organizations involved in economic development should be aware of this potential funding source when looking to implement future projects.


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New Markets for Local Food

by Ian Flatt 17. November 2014 10:31

Anyone who has visited a local grocery store or restaurant recently has noticed that local foods have an increasingly prominent role in the local economy. By supporting these local farmers and producers, a greater share of the dollars spent on food can be retained in the local economy. A strong local food industry can also add to a community’s sense of place, supporting both population retention and the tourism industry. As the benefits of these local products have become more important to local economies, economic developers and community organizations are focusing on supporting both local food producers and consumers, restaurants, and major institutions that are interested in “buying local.”

 

At this time, farmers market are fairly common across the country and rate of growth of direct to consumer sales of farm products has begun to slow. To continue to capitalize on consumer demand for local foods, producers have turned to the wholesale markets to find a home for their goods, trading a lower price for greater sales. Farmers can derive many benefits from making large sales to wholesale markets, however this market also presents many barriers and challenges that small producers did not face in the direct to consumer market. Producers and organizations across the country have developed new ways to support this transition and help continue to grow the local foods market.

 

Food Cooperatives: To supply large wholesale buyers with the quantity and variety of agricultural products they require, local producers may need to combine their products with other producers in the area. Forming food cooperatives is one way to accomplish this. By aggregating the products of several small producers, local farms can meet the needs of large wholesale purchases, such as K-12 schools, universities, and hospitals. Cooperatives can also share some costs, such as marketing, distribution, and storage, to assist smaller producers that may not have that capacity. Formed in 1995, the New North Florida Cooperative Association has been working with local suppliers to provide a regular supply of agricultural products to area K-12 schools, serving over 200,000 students

 

Community Commercial Kitchens: Commercial kitchens can offer small farms and food producers the ability to process and store their products or transform them into value-added agricultural goods. These kitchens can also be utilized as a location to provide training and networking opportunities to local producers. With access to space in a commercial kitchen, local food producers can better position their products to sell to wholesale buyers and take advantage of opportunities to refine their business through classes and workshops. The Western Massachusetts Food Processing Kitchen was created to strengthen the local foods economy, providing processing and storage space, workshops, and assistance with marketing and sales to institutions.

 

Food Exchanges: For some food purchasers and sellers, the biggest challenge is finding each other. Large wholesale purchasers who are accustomed to purchasing all of their products from one supplier may not have the time or manpower to find and vet many smaller suppliers. Some communities and organizations have stepped in to provide networking and outreach services to help create these connections. Online food exchanges have also become more common. These exchanges offer the opportunity for buyers and sellers to connect online by posting announcements of the products they need or have available. Recently launched by the Piedmont Environmental Council to serve the greater Charlottesville, VA area, the Farm-Chef Express offers this capacity to buyers and sellers, using an online forum and Twitter to post available products and needed goods in real time.

 

Food entrepreneurs and organizations in communities across the country have worked to creatively overcome barriers that could impede continued growth in the local food industry. How has your community overcome similar challenges in this market?

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Top 10 Facts Economic Developers Should Know About Their Region

by Rachel Selsky 16. November 2014 20:13
 

Click on the image below to watch a cartoon about the 10 things economic developers need to know about their region! What would you add to the list? Tweet us your answer @camoinassociate!

  

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Experiential Learning: Exposing Students to Manufacturing Opportunities

by Christa Franzi 16. November 2014 19:44

Case Study of Belknap County, NH

One of Belknap Economic Development Council’s (BEDC) primary objectives is to educate their young people about their career opportunities. Belknap County is located on the southern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, where most of the region’s manufacturing businesses are nicely tucked away out of sight. The only businesses local kids really see and interact with on a day-to-day basis are those in the service and hospitality and healthcare sectors. Additionally, local manufacturers and other related businesses in the region are seeing the average age of their workforce rise. To address these issues, BEDC partnered with Lakes Region United Way, Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, the Huot Technical Center, Lakes Region Community College, Meredith Career Partnerships Program, Lakes Region Community Services Council, NHWorks, and many school-to-career coordinators and guidance counselors from local schools (the "Workforce Partnership”).

 

First, the Workforce Partnership surveyed local guidance counselors to get an idea of the school-to-career programs they have. The biggest thing they wanted was career panels for students to ask questions (similar to the “Dream it. Do it.” initiative). The second thing guidance counselors asked for was more internship opportunities for their kids. The Workforce Partnership set a goal to get 200 of their local businesses signed on to provide local students internship opportunities by 2020. The economic development organizations began advertising the program to local businesses and guidance counselors marketed the program to local students and worked to prepare the students (“soft” skills such as arriving on time, how to dress, etc.).

 

As the program evolved, it became very time-consuming for the Workforce Partnership members to make the connections between the students and the businesses as many phone calls and emails were needed between organizations and businesses to align students with the right company. To make the process more efficient, the Workforce Partnership worked with the businesses to write up internship profiles. At the same time, the group raised money and in-kind contributions for the development of the Lakes Region Internship & Job Shadow Database, a web-based database launched in the summer of 2013. It allows businesses to upload profiles of internship opportunities and allows students, with assistance from their school guidance counselor to apply for these opportunities (www.lakesregioninternships.com).

 

The 200 x 2020 program is marketed on the radio and through an e-newsletter. About 30 businesses are currently participating in the program, and another 30 have expressed interest in the program since the launch of the database.

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The Disconnect between Education and Workforce Development

by Colleen LaRose 16. November 2014 19:44

In the last article, we discussed the definition of workforce development and the history of government programs that have made up the workforce development system since its early inception in the 1930s with the Depression. In this article, we will review the disconnect between education and workforce development, and why workforce development is still needed.

 

One question I am often asked is, “Why do we need workforce development, isn’t that what we have schools for?” Which is usually followed by a negative quip about what is lacking in the education system today. I like to respond by asking, “Well, first tell me, what is your philosophy of education? Are you:

 

An Idealist – Believing that education should be centered on an individual’s ability to develop his or her skills of introspection, intuition, insight and logic

 

A Realist – Believing that education should be centered on Science and Math, using objective, sensory, learning in a completely rational environment

 

A Pragmatist – Believing that education should be centered on making someone adaptable, being able to think in ways that are interdisciplinary, forcing someone to be experimental in how they learn new ideas

 

An Existentialist – Believing that education should be centered on capturing each individual’s human potential, and understanding his or her quest for meaning in life

 

A Perenialist – Believing that education should be centered on the learning of the great ideas of western civilization

 

An Essentialist Believing that education should be centered on how one should become a practical member of society

 

A Reconstructionist Believing that education should be centered on whether one is able to think with critical consciousness and adapt ideas related to social change

 

A ProgressivistBelieving that education should be centered on HOW to learn (such as how we process information)

 

A Behaviorist Believing that education should be centered on learning that is shaped by one’s environment

 

A Cognitivist Believing that education should be centered on learning that derives from conflict

 

A HumanistBelieving that education should be centered on self-fulfillment

 

And what is the philosophy of your local school board? And are you involved with the school board at all? Do you know why have they adopted that philosophy? Is it the business needs of the region, the culture of the region, and/or the mores of the region that drive their educational goals?

 

Since each local school board has a large hand in defining how, what, and why children learn, (in addition to the rules established by state boards of education, education-certifying bodies, and federal Department of Education regulations), they are ultimately responsible for the future workforce for the region. But most people don’t think about the future, and are interested in the Here and Now…and so they typically don’t get involved in the local education system decisions and don’t vote in local school board elections unless there is an immediate impact that may raise their taxes.

 

But, you see, we can’t talk about workforce development and why it is needed or not needed until we grasp what education is doing (or not doing) to prepare people to support themselves in life.

 

Twenty years ago, the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) began an initiative called “Equipped for the Future” (EFF) that defined the knowledge and skills adults need in order to successfully carry out their roles as parents and family members, citizens and community members, and workers.

 

These content standards determined that a person needs:

 

Communication Skills

  • Read With Understanding

  • Convey Ideas in Writing

  • Speak So Others Can Understand

  • Listen Actively

  • Observe Critically

 

Decision-Making Skills

  • Solve Problems and Make Decisions

  • Plan

  • Use Math to Solve Problems and Communicate

 

Interpersonal Skills

  • Cooperate With Others

  • Guide Others

  • Advocate and Influence

  • Resolve Conflict and Negotiate

     

Lifelong Learning Skills

  • Take Responsibility for Learning

  • Learn Through Research

  • Reflect and Evaluate

  • Use Information and Communications Technology

Now go through this list of skills, and think hard about what you learned in school. How many of these skills did your formal education include? For example, were you taught in your formal education how to negotiate and resolve conflict? Were you taught how to plan? Were you taught how to guide others? I know I was not. Yet these are the basic skills needed to be able to survive as an adult!

 

You are now beginning to understand the disconnect between education and workforce development…and why we need workforce development. Stay tuned for next month's article on what the newest workforce legislation has done to address this problem.

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The Labor Allocation Challenge: How Our Education System Must Adapt

by Michael N'dolo 16. November 2014 19:42

In September’s newsletter, we launched a “big-think” theme about the macroeconomic trends leading to job dislocations and how we, as economic developers, can think about it and respond (Original article, follow-on articles 1 and 2).

 

The original theme was the changing nature of jobs based on rising productivity and the associated lowering of demand for labor, especially non-specialized labor. It seems only fitting that the discussion would have to touch on education and how the changing nature of jobs might change the very nature of education. Or perhaps more accurately, how our education system should change to adapt to the future of jobs.

 

Workforce development is increasingly being integrated with economic development (witness Camoin Associates’ recent move to add workforce development consulting to our service lines). A natural extension of this reach is a reach into the educational system itself. The following video is a short and highly entertaining foray into how our K-12 educational system is set up, how it is entirely inappropriate for the economy of the future, and how we can think about changes to educational paradigms that will prepare the children of today for the creative-focused economy of tomorrow. I promise, it will be the best eight minutes you spend today on anything. Enjoy…

 

This link is courtesy of Colleen LaRose, our new Workforce Development Specialist.

 

At a recent conference,we had a great conversation with our colleagues at Redevelopment Resources on this very issue. They recently posted two articles on their blog about preparing our workforce for the economy of the future:

 

And, as a “bonus item,” please also check out this brief article on the move to freelance work, and how it is becoming more about lifestyle and preferences than about economic necessity.

 

“Wait! That’s not all!” Round it out with a read from McKinsey about “Redefining Capitalism,” as they put it, with implications for the Labor Allocation Challenge—measuring and defining capitalism as the act of identifying and solving human problems, not simply the production goods and services.

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Featured Indicator: Farmers Markets—How does your state stack up?

by Tom Dworetsky 16. November 2014 19:41

In recent years, the number of farmers markets in the U.S. has taken off. According the USDA, in the last ten years the number of farmers markets more than doubled, growing from 3,706 in 2004 to 8,268 in 2014. The factors contributing to this explosive growth are numerous: the “slow food” movement, the desire to support local businesses and farmers, community-building and local economic development initiatives, increased awareness around the need to bring fresh produce to food deserts, and others.

 

For this month’s indicator, we look at farmers markets per capita by state to determine which states are ahead of the curve when it comes to the local food movement. The chart below shows the top ten states in terms of farmers markets per 100,000 residents. Vermont is way ahead of the pack with over 15 farmers markets per 100,000 people. Though it ranks 49th in terms of population, the state has 95 farmers markets! Neighboring New Hampshire has 99 farmers markets, but about half as many as Vermont on a per capita basis (7.5 per 100,000 residents). Two other New England states—Maine and Rhode Island—help to round out the top 10. For the sake of comparison, the bottom five states (from lowest to highest) were Texas, Florida, Arizona, Utah, and Georgia (all with fewer than 1.5 farmers markets per 100,000 residents).

 

 

We acknowledge that are some limitations to this ranking: it does seem to be a bit bit biased toward states with small populations (seven out of the top ten in terms of farmers market per capita are also in the bottom ten in terms of population). In addition, the data does not take into account the size of the farmers markets. California has the most in absolute terms with 768, followed by New York with 643.

 

Why is this important?

Looking at data on farmers markets gives a sense of the states where the local food movement has really taken off. It is probably no surprise that Vermont tops the list given its reputation as a very progressive state in many respects. While overall growth in the number of farmers markets nationally has begun to level off, there are still many markets that are far from saturated. It will be interesting to track how farmers markets continue to evolve in response to shifting consumer preferences.

 

Click here to download data on farmers markets and see the complete ranking.

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Job Opening: Economic / Workforce Analyst

by Christa Franzi 20. October 2014 09:31

 

 

We're looking for an Economic/Workforce Analyst to join the Camoin Team. 

Job Description

The person chosen for this full-time professional level position will primarily serve as a research analyst for a variety of projects, including economic and workforce strategies, real estate and industry market analysis, development feasibility studies, and economic and fiscal impact analysis.  Other responsibilities will include grant writing, supporting the management of client administered programs, helping in the preparation of proposals, social media campaigns, participating in site visits and presentations, and other internal company tasks.  Limited travel. 

Please e-mail cover letter and resume to Robert Camoin at rcamoin@camoinassociates.com.  If selected for additional consideration, we will request additional documentation at a later date.  Please no telephone inquiries.

Desired Skills and Experience

Strong analytic skills in data analysis, professional-level competencies in Excel, excellent writing and communication skills required.

Advanced degree in policy analysis, economics, business finance, urban planning, public administration, or other related field required.

Some professional level experience required, may include temporary work as long as demonstration of aptitude and performance can be made. 

Work in the field of workforce and economic development a plus.

Demonstrable attention to detail and organizational skills.

A good communicator, strong collaborator and team player.

Accustomed to working in an open office setting.

Experience in proofing, copy editing, graphic design, and/or GIS a plus.

Experience with consulting and project management preferred.

Facilitation and presentation skills a plus.

Comfort with social media and on-line collaboration.

Knowledge of research methods including survey/statistical analysis and web-based research.

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About Camoin Associates

Camoin Associates is a professional service firm that utilizes its understanding of the public and private sector investment process to assist businesses and developers in capitalizing on funding, financing and tax programs established to encourage private investment. We also specialize in advising economic development organizations and municipalities in creating strategies, policies and programs that support investment and job creation.   [Click Here for More]

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