Blog: Center for Education and Workforce

December 17, 2019
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.  
December 12, 2019
Engineering Excellence
© 2019 Getty Images
By 2020, one of the city’s higher education institutions, in partnership with some of the city’s major STEM businesses, will look to make a bridge of their own to address a skills gap that is prominent across the country. In the fall of 2020, the College of Charleston (CofC) will officially introduce its Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering degree program after being approved by the state’s Commission on Higher Education this summer. 
October 25, 2019
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.

September 24, 2019
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. 
September 5, 2019
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. 
August 27, 2019
Rural Renewal
A core responsibility of a chamber or local economic development agency is to support the economic vitality of the communities they serve. To succeed in that role, it is critical to keep abreast of trends in society to anticipate change and stay ahead. By focusing on building a strong economic foundation for a rural community, that leverages existing resources and tools wherever possible, community leaders can develop a powerful toolkit for courting individuals and business to consider relocating to their towns. 
July 24, 2019
STEM Pathways
© VEX Robotics Competition, Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation
Successful career pathways are created through deep and meaningful coalitions of organizations. These coalitions bring education, community members, and business leaders together with a shared dedication to meeting society's biggest challenges in a responsible, sustainable, and profitable way. They blur the lines between formal education, community service, workforce development, and economic development. 
July 1, 2019
Qualcomm 2019
© Qualcomm

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 8.6 million STEM jobs in May 2015, with the highest jobs in software development, user support, and systems analysts. Despite the high number of jobs, the lack of skilled workers in the labor force allow these positions to go unfilled. To make matters worse, the existing STEM workforce lacks diversity among women and minorities, not representing the emerging workforce of women and underrepresented groups. 

May 30, 2019
We Must Start Earlier
© Zero to Three
Most people agree that the foundation for later learning and skill-building is shaped by children’s earliest childhood experiences. But do we all agree on what “early” means? Our brains grow faster between the ages of 0 and 3 than at any later point in our lives, forming more than one million new neural connections every second. When babies have nurturing relationships, early learning experiences, and good health and nutrition, these neural connections are stimulated and strengthened, laying a strong foundation for success in school and the workforce. 
May 22, 2019
The New Normal
© Cisco
The world is changing. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here, and it is having an impact on everything, including the future of work. A significant evolution of the labour market is forecast over the next 10 years, and we do not fully know all the jobs of the future. Given the hyper transformation of technology, business models, and work, it is important to understand and anticipate what this means for youth, society, businesses, and government, so that everyone has an opportunity to participate in the digital economy.

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