In a tight labor market, building a pipeline of skilled workers can be a challenge. This work becomes even more difficult when you consider the changing needs of the workforce, whether it is new technology or transferring knowledge from baby boomers to millennials. Companies are increasingly finding that this is a challenge they cannot take on alone. Community involvement is a critical piece of the puzzle to creating a talent pipeline equipped to meet the dynamic demands of business. Community colleges, workforce development agencies, and community-based organizations are connected to untapped pools of talent and are equipped to help deliver the training needed to help build the skills needed quickly. To engage the community, companies should conduct a landscape analysis to identify partners and initiatives which can help them find the talent they need.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Round 4 Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training or TAACCCT grants closed out in November, wrapping up New Growth’s run of nine TAACCCT evaluations over seven years. TAACCCT grants funded community colleges across the country to create or improve training programs in manufacturing, transportation, and energy industries, among others. Although each grant funded initiative was unique, our cumulative experience surfaced a number of best practices for both colleges and evaluators. For colleges we learned more about effective practices for student success and how consortiums can serve as hubs for information and resource sharing. From the evaluation standpoint, we were able to identify practices that will sharpen our data collection and strengthen our reports.
As 2018 comes to a close, we have asked some of our team members to reflect on what they have learned from the year and what trends they have seen emerge. First up, is our Grants Manager, Robin King, who detailed the trends she’s seen from both federal and philanthropic grant openings and decisions.
New Growth Group and MJ Crocker and Associates partnered with Cuyahoga Community College to explore the role of the employer in addressing current skill gaps and the emerging Industry 4.0 trends. The project team used a framework to identify and analyze manufacturing workforce programs that exemplify best practices, resulting in sustainable partnerships with measurable outcomes. The Employer Engagement Playbook was created from this work and is designed to guide community colleges in collaborating with employers and other key stakeholders to meet current and future workforce needs. Nikki Glazer Stoicoiu recently presented the findings and introduced the Employer Engagement Playbook at the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers Conference. This blog summarizes the presentation.
Throughout our years in workforce development, we have seen programs and initiatives focused on either supply-side or demand-side. In this dichotomy, supply-side programs focus on the process of training and supporting job seekers or incumbents, and demand-side initiatives focus on organizing employers to address their talent challenges. While it should be noted that programs are rarely only supply or demand facing, the focus on who the program is seeking to serve (job seekers or businesses) can lead to siloed systems with limited information flows. To address this, investors, policy makers, project directors, and other key stakeholders may consider moving from an either/or approach, to a both/and.
In workforce development, one day you’re in and the next day you’re out. New Growth has worked in over 20 states, which gives us a sneak peak into the hottest trends in workforce development from coast to coast. This summer, apprenticeships, shortened grant timelines, and interstate data sharing are making waves.
This month we sat down with our Counsel, Krissa Kean, to learn more about administrative data sharing. As part of her role, Krissa manages data transfer and integrity issues during workforce program evaluations, and negotiates data security agreements with entities ranging in size from community colleges to state agencies.
This month we sat down with our Director of Evaluation, Brian Schmotzer to learn more about how he puts together evaluation plans and the sources of data we use to execute program evaluations.
This report identifies strong practices for aligning postsecondary education and training program content with the skill needs of employers in the advanced manufacturing sector. Advanced manufacturing employers grapple with skill gaps that hinder their businesses. Effective solutions to this challenge emerge when employers contribute essential knowledge and resources to improve education and training programs. As such, identifying and implementing innovative roles for employers to connect with the web of educational institutions, training providers, and public workforce systems is critical. This report establishes a framework for identifying exemplary practices, provides summary information, and presents key findings and recommendations for engaging employers.
We sat down with Kaci Roach, our Project Manager, to learn more about her role and how she keeps her projects and meetings on schedule.
We sat down with Nikki Glazer Stoicoiu, our Data Manager and Analyst, to learn more about her role and what sort of data she geeks out over.
We sat down with Robin King, our Grant Services Manager to learn more about how she views her work and what drives her passion for grant writing and funding forecasting.
Since being founded in 2010, New Growth has performed evaluations and data analyses for various organizations such as K-12 school districts, post-secondary educational institutions, and non-profits. While the definition of impact differs from project to project, many education or workforce-related evaluations include the tracking of education or employment-related information such as: enrollments, graduation rates, job placements, and job retention. In most cases, the best way to obtain data and track outcomes is to connect directly with administrative data sources that have standardized ways of collecting information.
As 2017 comes to a close, we reflected on some of the biggest lessons we learned this year. Observing the cardinal rule of knowledge-sharing “what is learned here leaves here”; below are some of the insights we gained:
Last month we blogged about the work that New Growth did for Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (Skills). Skills is a public-private partnership working to find jobs for unemployed and underemployed job seekers in the Chicago area. They have adopted a “demand driven” approach – working with businesses to determine their hiring needs and then finding qualified individuals to fill those jobs. Skills wanted to measure how well their model was working in the real world, so they hired New Growth to evaluate the project.