CREC Project News and Updates

VIEWPOINT: State of the Union Reaction from CREC President Ken Poole

January 29, 2014

2014 as the Breakthrough Year? All Depends on Economic and Workforce Developers

Last night, in his fifth State of the Union address, President Obama recited a variety of accomplishments that highlight why the lingering Great Recession of 5 years ago may be behind us. We are on the cusp of tasting the fruits of our collective efforts to restore economic prosperity, create new economic activity, and further employ and empower those who have been struggling to find work. Or so says the President, in his view of America.

In his speech, the President called for reforms that would make the tax code more transparent and grow the revenue to make investments in critical infrastructure. He noted that America’s manufacturing base is witnessing a renaissance, but that regions must continue to be diligent in their support for new technology-driven jobs in these sectors. He also called for renewed investments in research and development that, through American ingenuity, will result in the next generation of new products and services.

These are all powerful themes that reflect the priorities of many economic and workforce development practitioners. So, why haven’t we achieved these goals yet? The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness believes a few factors are holding us back:

There is a lack of collaboration across jurisdictional boundaries and the political spectrum. Collaboration requires trust, a commodity often in very short supply. As regional leaders, we must redouble our efforts to find mutual self-interest in compromise. Through this principle, we should seek solutions to key challenges that focus on increasing our country’s competitive strengths – in its talented workforce, in its innovative enterprises, and in its democratic institutions.

There is also a widening chasm between those who are prospering and those who are struggling. Skills appear to be the most important predictor of whether an individual succeeds, but the cost (in both dollars and learning time) of gaining these pre-requisite skills are sky-rocketing at a time when the social compact with our workers is eroding. Our efforts must focus on addressing those rising costs and the burdens they place on learners and their employers.

We are fighting old economic battles when new ones are raging. The Affordable Healthcare Act is the law, despite the litany of failed votes in Congress to eliminate it. State and local leaders should proactively engage with businesses and workers to ensure they can take full advantage of our new healthcare system. Leaders should also ensure that our system becomes a competitive advantage in the export market, not a weakness.

We haven’t integrated the 3 percent of our population who are illegal immigrants.
On immigration issues, our focus should be on ensuring these individuals are contributing to our communities’ competitive strengths and to our tax base. Even in areas with a sluggish labor market, some industries are facing worker shortages. We need everyone to compete in the global market.

It will be up to us as economic leaders to overcome these challenges and move our states and communities forward. CREC applauds the President for highlighting his continuing agenda for our economy and workforce. But, it’s our efforts that will determine whether 2014 truly becomes a break-out year.

About This Project

Counting U.S. Secondary and Postsecondary Credentials 2022-23
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CREC continues its work in generating a national count of unique credentials available for American workers.  The count provides the number of credentials by type and by state.  CREC is conducting research on certain credential segments to better understand patterns of credentialing in certain key industries.  CREC will provide a national report on the status […]

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CREC is collaborating with George Washington University Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP) to support the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics’ (NCSES) use of administrative data to analyze training and education of the nation’s skilled technical workforce (STW). The limitations of survey data in this field necessitates the utilization of […]

Increasing Labor Market Data Use for Career Pathways Intermediaries and Practitioners
Start Date: Oct 2021 — End Date: Dec 2023

CREC is supporting support cross-state labor data linkages by increasing the data capabilities (e.g., training; access) among Gates-supported regional Pathways intermediaries through state agency partnerships that galvanize systems-level change. CREC seeks to enable secure access to individual-level outcomes data through aligned data sharing agreements and strengthening relationships between approximately 14 Pathway intermediaries and their respective […]

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CREC is providing technical assistance and peer-based learning to assist local development districts (LDDs) in building regional collaboration to help those in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) transition to or maintain work opportunities. With support from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and partnering with the Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA), CREC is supporting […]

Increasing Public Labor Market Information Capacity to Provide Sub-State and Skills Projections Data
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CREC is collaborating with the Projections Managing Partnership (PMP) to increase the capacity of the public Labor Market Information (LMI) system to provide relevant substate and skills data for education and training providers. The project will inventory substate projections availability among states, review and document methods for developing substate projections, add new substate projections content […]

Program Support for Treasury’s SSBCI Initiative
Start Date: Sep 2021 — End Date: Sep 2022

CREC is providing advisory and programmatic support to assist the successful implementation and operation of the U.S. Department of Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Activities will include formulating SSBCI eligibility and approval criteria, creating of standards and requirements for participation of lenders and investors, and aligning the SSBCI program with the requirements for […]

National Skills Coalition Initiative
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CREC is supporting with the National Skills Coalition initiative to expand upskilling for essential workers and ensure small businesses have the talent they need to succeed. NSC aims to close racial and other equity gaps and address the demand for digital skills. CREC will design and develop state data profiles that support qualitative inquiry, peer […]

Georgetown Workshop Series
Start Date: Mar 2021 — End Date: Oct 2021

The Association of Public Data Users received support from the Georgetown Massive Data Institute to deliver a workshop series for state and local government employees. This series of town halls and trainings informed attendees about the quality of the data that state and local leaders rely on and how they can improve and supplement it.

Synchronist Suite
Start Date: Mar 2021 — End Date: Ongoing

Synchronist shifted business retention away from a singular focus on community issues to include an understanding of the company and how it fits into the fabric of the community’s economy. Built on pioneering research, competitive intelligence, predictive analysis, national benchmark data, and an organizing, portfolio management principle, Synchronist Suite allows users to maximize the value […]

Facilitating a Manufacturing Playbook with the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Advisory Council
Start Date: Jul 2021 — End Date: Feb 2022

Working closely with Sparks Policy Group, CREC is supporting the work of the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Advisory Council. CREC is helping to facilitate the council meetings and working group sessions to develop recommendations on how best to strengthen manufacturing in the Commonwealth. CREC will provide supportive policy and economic research while also helping the Council members […]

About the Client

Team Pennsylvania

Team Pennsylvania is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 1997 to connect private and public sector leaders to achieve and sustain progress for Pennsylvania. Strong relationships between business and industry are necessary to facilitate partnerships for the betterment of our Commonwealth.