Friday, November 9, 2012

Behind the Curtain: A Real Look at the State of the Workforce

The National Association of Workforce Board (NAWB) President/CEO Ron Painter launched a new blogtalkradio show, Workforce Central that focuses on key workforce issues and investment strategies to help America compete globally.  Drexel University’s Paul Harrington joined Painter the day after the election to talk about the re-election of Obama and insights into what is actually happening in the labor market. Harrington highlighted all of the market indicators pertaining to economic recovery and underscored an important marker that workforce professionals should watch— the unemployed workers to vacant jobs ratio.  While the recession brought on a 6:1 ratio (on average) immediately after the recession, the slow pace of the job recovery to date has only decreased this to 3.5:1, or 3.5 job seekers to every one (1) vacant job.  This demand deficient environment poses a continued challenge for workforce professionals.

Harrington referenced a recent paper co-authored with Research Professor, Neeta P. Fogg,  Center for Labor Markets and Policy, Drexel University about the collapse of the labor market for 16 to 24 year old.  Harrington said that higher education is clearly an important alternative for many high school graduates, but it is too often the only pathway to employment for young people, especially in our cities. We need to rebuild these pathways — starting at the high school level — so that students develop not just academic competencies, but occupational and behavioral traits as well, because these qualities are valued by employers.

How do you plan to tackle the multitude of workforce challenges in your region?  Weigh in now, and also tune in to our next Workforce Central blogtalkradio show with John Colbert from Capitol Hill Partners for a lively discussion about what the election results mean for the workforce investment system and trends to watch.

Friday, October 19, 2012

What's on horizon in health care?

On Thursday, October 18th, NAWB and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation co-hosted a gathering in Pittsburgh to discuss what impacts the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may have on the healthcare workforce. Read the article.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

San Bernardino County Businesses Surveyed

Workforce Investment Board prepared to help businesses and job seekers through economic recovery

San Bernardino, CA (August 15, 2012) – The San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) surveyed 2,220 local businesses regarding growth, employment trends and quality of workforce for the region and industry sector. The top three industries in the County – healthcare, transportation and logistics and manufacturing – indicate hiring and business growth is expected. The WIB continues to support and assist businesses during the upward trend through its Business Resource Team and Employment Resource Centers. Many of the employers surveyed, participated in programs implemented by the WIB including job fairs, On-the-Job Training grants, process improvement and no-cost workshops.

"The businesses surveyed are reporting an increasing need to hire, plans to expand services, products or physical space and improvements in the quality of the local workforce," said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board. "This is valuable data that will steer our Business Resource Team to continue working with these employers, as well as reach out to additional business to help them hire, train and employ our county's residents."

The WIB and its Employment Resource Center teams use this report to determine which employment sectors are growing and where to focus training funds to assist job seekers who want to enter long-term careers.

The findings included:

  • In the West Valley region, 21% of employers surveyed reported an increasing need to hire and 24% indicated they were planning expansion.
  • In the Deserts, 21% of employers surveyed reported an increasing need to hire and 16% indicated they were planning expansion.
  • In the East Valley, 26% of employers surveyed reported an increasing need to hire and 23% indicated they were planning expansion.
  • In Healthcare, 26% of employers surveyed reported an increasing need to hire and 26% reported they were planning expansion.
  • In Transportation & Logistics, 19% of employers surveyed reported an increasing need to hire and 19% reported they were planning expansion.
  • In Manufacturing, 22% of employers surveyed reported an increasing need to hire and 25% reported they were planning expansion.
"The vital support the Workforce Investment Board provides the local business community definitely addresses our current unemployment rate of 11.9%," said Josie Gonzales, San Bernardino County Chair and Fifth District Supervisor. "As the WIB continues to help our employers grow their businesses and create more jobs, we offer greater opportunities for our residents to find well-paying careers closer to home.”

Employers who are interested the Workforce Investment Board programs may call: (800) 451-JOBS or visit

About the Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County

The Workforce Investment Board of San Bernardino County (WIB) is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors.  The WIB strives to strengthen the skills of the County’s workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations. The County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors is committed to providing county resources, which generate jobs and investment.

The WIB, through the County of San Bernardino’s Economic Development Agency and Workforce Development Department, operates the County of San Bernardino’s Employment Resource Centers (ERCs) and Business Resource Centers (BRCs). The ERCs provide individuals with job training, placement and the tools to strengthen their skills to achieve a higher quality of life. The BRCs support and provide services to the County’s businesses including employee recruitment.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Napa explores incubator at former airline training facility

County, city hope program would spur new high-paying jobs
By Eric Gneckow, North Bay Business Journal, Business Journal Staff Reporter

NAPA COUNTY – Efforts to create a first-ever business incubator in Napa County could take another step forward in the coming weeks as project members seek additional startup funding from the county Board of Supervisors and the Napa City Council.

More employers are hiring, but taking a conservative approach

Missouri's jobless rate in February dropped to 7.4 percent -- its lowest mark since late 2008. And while that's good news, companies still seem to be moving cautiously when adding new staff. Read more...

Mayor Launches 'Learn2Earn' Initiative

Calling adult education and job training the “path to prosperity” for Fresno, Mayor Ashley Swearengin launched the Learn2Earn initiative, a public awareness campaign aimed at removing the obstacles for Fresno adults looking to obtain more education or gain additional skills for the changing workplace. Read more...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Job Seekers Talk About Ageism and The Need For Re-Training, Internships

The Jobs Creation Commission has been hold regional hearings across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to solicit public testimony from local businesses, hiring agencies and workers to learn more about the key factors necessary to increase job creation. Read more...

Friday, April 13, 2012


Local employer benefits through County Workforce Investment Process Improvement Program

San Bernardino, CA (April 13, 2012) –Bishamon Industries Corporation faced increased competition with their EZ Loader product, which could have translated to lost sales and lost jobs. With the introduction of the new model, they needed to make sure they could efficiently produce and deliver this product before the competition stepped in.