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ARKANSAS TO RECEIVE $6.36 MILLION TO STRENGTHEN INDUSTRY-FOCUSED JOB TRAINING
The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (DWS) will receive $6.36 million from the U.S. Department of Labor for the state’s ongoing efforts to improve re-employment services and to develop innovative job-training programs that meet the evolving needs of the state’s labor market, officials announced Friday.
DWS officials said the state grant initiative will be used to provide dislocated workers and long-term unemployed individuals, including eligible underserved and minorities. The program aims to help those workers with pre-employment skills training and occupation specific training for employment opportunities within the high-growth industry sectors of advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology and the skilled construction trades .
“This is an incredible opportunity for our state,” said ADWS Director Daryl Bassett. “We plan to use these funds to serve at least 1,700 Arkansans with intensive re-employment services and connect 1,500 of those with training activities that are aligned with the workforce needs of Arkansas employers.”
LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION OF FATHERS IN 2014
In 2014, 92.8% of all fathers who lived with their children under age 18 participated in the labor force. That means they either worked or were actively seeking work and available to take a job if offered, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Among all fathers with children under age 18, 84.8% were employed full-time and 4.4% were employed part time. Another 7.2% were not in the labor force, and 3.6% were unemployed — that is, not employed but actively seeking work.
The labor force participation rate for married fathers with a spouse present was 93.7% in 2014, compared with 87.1% for fathers with other marital statuses. Married fathers with a spouse present were more likely to work full time than fathers with other marital statuses (86.7% and 72.6%, respectively).
BROOKINGS NAMES TOP 15 ADVANCED MANUFACTURING HOTBEDS, SAN JOSE TOPS LIST
The San Jose, Calif., area was named the top advanced manufacturing hub in the U.S. for its deep engagement with research and development and STEM workers to drive the city’s economic growth, according to a recent Brookings Institute report listing the top 15 metropolitan areas for advance industries.
MANUFACTURING SURVEY SHOWS OPTIMISM DOWN BY 15% FROM PREVIOUS QUARTER
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) recently released its quarterly Manufacturer’s outlook survey showing U.S. manufacturers are feeling less optimistic than they did three months ago. Some key NAM survey findings included:
- Manufacturing optimism has dropped 15% since December — More than three-quarters of respondents (76%) felt somewhat or very positive about their own company’s outlook (down from 91.2% in December 2014).
- Export growth is expected to remain sluggish — Exports are expected to rise by only 0.4% over the next 12 months, and 55% of respondents predict no change in export growth in the coming year.
- U.S. fiscal issues impact business — Nearly all respondents (95.5%) said it was important for policymakers to address the nation’s fiscal challenges. Respondents overwhelmingly (92%) suggested reforming the U.S. tax code as a top solution for reducing the deficit.
To see the full survey, click here.
FEDERAL COUNCIL SETS STANDARDS FOR FRONT-LINE ADVANCED MANUFACTURING WORKERS
The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), an industry-led training, assessment and certification system focused on the core skills and knowledge needed by the nation’s front-line production and material handling workers, released its national skill standards for workers in advanced manufacturing and logistics.
The MSSC has used these national production standards for front-line material handling and distribution work as the substantive basis for two nationwide training and certification programs: Certified Production Technician (CPT) and Certified Logistics Technician (CLT). These original standards involved hundreds of companies, over 4,000 workers, and unions at an investment of $9 million in federal and matching industry funds.
“This new edition continues MSSC’s national leadership role for the past 14 years in defining and updating these skills,” said MSSC CEO Leo Reddy. “They are the gold standard: the nation’s authoritative reference and common language for companies and schools to use in defining industry skill needs.”