: Center for Education and Workforce

Taking Action on Childcare
© Child Care Aware of America
As a business leader, you’ve noticed it is becoming more and more difficult to hire and retain qualified workers. You’ve likely even considered the longer-term scenarios – will it be even more challenging to secure a reliable and productive workforce 5 or 10 or even 20 years from now?  
Iowa Survey on Early Education Needs
© 2019 Getty Images
The current unemployment rate in Iowa is 2.5%, and there are currently 40,000 people on unemployment and 60,000 job openings. As historically low unemployment continues, employers are always looking for opportunities to recruit more workers and also to retain their existing workforce. To solve this challenge, Iowa business leaders have increased wages, offered flexible work environments where possible, and expanded benefits. More recently, one of those benefits is childcare.  
Accelerating Childcare in Oregon
© Bend Chamber of Commerce
Like much of the nation, Oregon is in a childcare crisis. There are openings for only one in three children under the age of five in registered childcare centers and in-home providers. This is not only a crisis for families seeking affordable and high-quality childcare, it impacts employers who are struggling to attract and retain talent in a record low unemployment environment. 
Workforce Challenges Solved with Early Reading as a Priority
© 2019 Getty Images
The 2019 Nation’s Report Card, released last week, showed alarming drops in reading and disappointingly middling results in math. This has huge implications for our nation’s future workforce and heartbreaking consequences for families across the country who are trusting our public education system for the most basic of learning goals. 
Talent Forward 2019 Wrap-Up
© Photo by Ian Wagreich / © U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Each year, as the Chamber Foundation hosts the Talent Forward national workforce conference, we focus on talent—educating and training, talent tech and data, recruiting, hiring, and upskilling. With no shortage of talent challenges, the opportunities for informative discussion are endless. While a day devoted to dissecting talent-related topics could focus solely on the problems, Talent Forward is all about the solutions.

ECE is a Broken System
© 2019 Getty Images
In this country, the early childhood education system is in market failure. In recent years we have seen the greatest federal funding increases for early childhood education in history, and yet those significant investments just barely make a dent to tackle the need. In 2018, NASEM studied “how to fund early care and education for children…that is accessible, affordable to families, and of high quality, including a well-qualified and adequately supported workforce.” The report concluded that a financial windfall of around $54 billion would be required. 
Mounting Costs of Childcare in Washington State
© Association of Washington Business (AWB)
The lack of access to affordable, high-quality childcare isn’t just a problem for families. A new report found that it’s costing Washington businesses more than $2 billion per year in employee turnover or missed work, and the total cost to the state economy tops more than $6.5 billion per year.
Twitter Chat: Is Early Ed an Infrastructure Conversation?
On Tuesday, August 27, the Chamber Foundation partnered with Linda Smith of the BPC to host a Twitter chat discussing infrastructure challenges for early childhood education facilities. In a span of 45 minutes, the participants of this chat were able to provide more than one million Twitter accounts with data, research, and case studies arguing for early childhood education to gain a seat at the table where infrastructure conversations are happening. 

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