As part of its effort to develop long-term care sector initiatives in Colorado, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment asked NNSP to produce "Sector Initiatives for Colorado's Long-Term Care Industry". The report compares compensation for long-term care occupations with family economic self-sufficiency standards, provides easy to use guidance on developing sector initiatives and operating them, and explores lessons and challenges that many long-term care initiatives have identified.
NNSP partnered with the National Association of Manufacturers' Center for Workforce Success (CWS) to develop trade associations' capacity to sponsor sector initiatives. NNSP wrote - From Processing Food to Fabricating Metals, - which provided information on highly successful examples of manufacturing sector initiatives. NNSP also worked with CWS to develop Minneapolis and Cleveland-area sector initiatives. The success of the Minneapolis-area initiative, named "M-Powered," has led to an expansion of the program, increased support for sector initiatives at the policy level, and expanded interest in sector initiatives among post-secondary institutions. NNSP also contributed to a joint publication with CWS, "Filling America's Jobs: How Businesses Can Implement Sector Workforce Development Strategies for Jobs and Economic Growth".
The Insight Center's research on temporary staffing agencies has focused on a number of promising strategies used to move people with limited work experience and significant employment barriers into the workforce. These alternative staffing agencies across the country combine creative job placement strategies with training and social services, creating a system that can address the particular needs of the hard-to-employ.Â However, despite the fact that the temporary staffing industry is becoming more rooted in our economy, the impact of alternative staffing agencies on the overall staffing industry is limited.Â Our current research is examining ways in which public policy can be shifted to encourage high-road strategies industry-wide that would create employment stability for workers with significant employment barriers.
In partnership with the San Francisco District Attorney, Terence Hallinan, the Insight Center began a research project in 2003 focusing on ways to move previously incarcerated people into employment. The research aimed to guide the development of industry-specific workforce development programs in San Francisco that would provide good wages and career advancement opportunities for people convicted of felonies. While thisÂ work examines the experiences of ex-felons, it is also relevant to the issues facing other criminal offenders.
NNSP has advised state policy makers in Louisiana, assisting their efforts to develop policies to support regional sector initiatives. As part of these efforts, NNSP has analyzed regional plans to support development of sector initiatives and provided training at the state and regional levels. Previously, NNSP provided support to business leaders, community/technical college system representatives and others to champion support for sector initiatives, helping bring about the Louisiana Recovery Authority's decision to provide $38 million for sector initiatives in parishes that were devastated by hurricane Katrina or hurricane Rita. These efforts grew out of the Insight Center's years of work with healthcare and manufacturing sector initiatives in the New Orleans region, including a partnership with the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce though which we supported development a shipbuilding sector initiative serving New Orleans and the surrounding parishes.
In collaboration with the Haas Jr. Fund and Making Connections Oakland, the Insight Center provides technical assistance to community-based organizations in the Lower San Antonio neighborhood in Oakland. This neighborhood is very diverse, with multiple language groups. Our assistance includes advising on strategies to increase neighborhood outreach, providing models for workforce development among day laborers and recent immigrants, advising on micro-enterprise and cooperative development initiatives, and design of pre-apprenticeship and industry-focused job training programs.
Small businesses are often left out of the workforce development system. How can the workforce system play a greater role as provider of human resource services to small businesses? The objective of this 2003-04 project was to develop a model toÂ answerÂ that question.
Service workers in the University of California (UC) system are mostly immigrants and people of color who do the unglamorous but imperative work of keeping UC campuses and medical centers clean and functioning. In 2005, at the request of AFSCME Local 3299, which represents this group of workers, the Insight Center analyzed UC service worker wages for the nine UC campuses and five medical centers. The Insight Centerâ€™s analysis uses the California Self-Sufficiency Standard as a measure to determine whether service worker wages are adequate to meet basic needs. The goal of the wage analysis was to assess the degree to which UC's wages 1) are sufficient to provide for the basic needs of employees and their families; 2) are competitive with wages received by employees performing the same work for comparable employers; and 3) are lower than the eligibility requirements for state and federal public assistance programs.
This research for UNITE/HERE Local 11 in 2004 provided a brief portrait of the Los Angeles County hospitality and restaurant industry and described how workers' incomes in selected low-wage occupations compare to the basic amount needed to provide for a family. The Insight Center's analysis revealed that although workers in these categories are the backbone of a prosperous Los Angeles industry sector, they often receive wages which are simply too low to pay for basic family needs.
The Insight Center provided research and consultation to a coalition of job training and family support organizations in San Francisco's Chinatown. We helped the group identify structural barriers that prevent Chinese parents from accessing self-sufficiency wages and career advancement. We also analyzed existing gaps in family support and employment-related services needed to overcome those barriers so that the collaboration could design new, more effective programs.
The Insight Center conducted a survey of 200 vineyard and nursery workers in Oregon's Willamette Valley for the Farmworker Institute for Education and Leadership Development (FIELD). The purpose was to develop a model for increasing the wages and job quality of agricultural workers, while also increasing the quality and retention of the workforce in vineyards and nurseries. We accomplished this by identifying the skills, competencies, and training that would provide these workers with opportunities for career advancement. The project concluded with recommendations for combining various seasonal jobs to create year-round employment opportunities as well as developing a reward system to recognize more difficult tasks within the industry. As a result of this research, the broader FIELD project includes a new series of non-credit courses in Spanish at Chemeketa's Northwest Viticulture Center related to vineyard management. Some of the topics for these courses were identified through our survey. In addition, agriculture was named as one of the six targeted sectors for workforce development in Oregon, announced by Governor Kulongoski in December 2006.