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 Response Page - Urbanik Interview -      
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These comments are responses to the statements listed below,
which were generated in regard to the 
Janice Urbanik  Interview of
09-05-2014.

Can a cooperative regional approach help to resolve the skills gap?

OVERVIEW

Janice Urbanik of Partners for a Competitive Workforce (PCW) in the Greater Cincinnati region shares her organization's efforts to fill a gap that also exists in the Twin Cities: employers have open jobs, but can't find people with the right skills to fill them, despite the existence of a sizeable pool of     unemployed or underemployed people. She asserts that this skills gap in Cincinnati's tri-state region is limiting employers' ability to compete,             individual's ability to provide for their families and the region's ability to grow existing companies and attract new ones.                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Urbanik's partnership is a private-sector-led collaboration of 150 organizations that works: (1) to connect businesses that have existing employment  needs to qualified workers available right now; (2) to build career pathways in the four targeted industries of health care, manufacturing, construction and IT; and (3) to assure that service providers all include in their programs training in core work readiness competencies that employers have          identified as just as important as the technical skills needed for a job. PCW has also started a Talent Pipeline initiative, which focuses on giving          STEM experiences to students in the K-12 education system and professional development on STEM careers to their                                                   teachers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Urbanik reports that since 2008: (1) PCW's partners have served over 7,800 adults, with 80 percent of them getting jobs and 73 percent retaining      those jobs for at least 12 months; (2) people who have gone through a PCW career pathway program have a 40 percent higher employment rate       and up to 58 percent higher earnings than people in the region who've gone through more traditional training programs; and (3) people who've gone   through a PCW pathway program earn an average of $7,500 more per year than before, pumping an additional $7.3 million into the regional                economy.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
PCW, Urbanik notes, is currently putting together a plan to reach the broad goal of 90 percent of the regional workforce being gainfully employed and earning at least 200 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four.                                                                                                                        

For the complete interview summary see:  Urbanik interview

Response Summary: Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

To assist the Civic Caucus in planning upcoming interviews, readers rated these statements about the topic on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

1. Topic is of value. (8.2 average response) The interview summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

2. Further study warranted. (7.5 average response) It would be helpful to schedule additional interviews on this topic.

Readers rated the following points discussed during the meeting on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): Regional cooperation preferred. (7.9 average response) Minnesota and surrounding states would do better economically by mainly working together rather than mainly competing against each other.

4. Establish a regional job development effort. (7.1 average response) Employers in Minnesota and neighboring states should establish a job development enterprise similar to that operating in the tri-state (Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana) Greater Cincinnati region.

5. Focus on better training. (9.3 average response) With or without interstate cooperation, Minnesota's economy would benefit greatly from more emphasis on finding and training potential applicants for hard-to-fill jobs.

6. Teach both technical and "soft" skills. (9.1 average response) Minnesotans should emulate the Cincinnati region's approach to workforce preparation, which assigns equal priority to both technical skills and "soft" skills, such as taking initiative, dependability, time management, problem solving, writing, and dressing appropriately.

7. Establish goals for metro citizens. (9.1 average response)  Twin Cities metro area should establish broad goals for education outcomes, health care and income and make plans for how to meet the goals by 2020, as the Cincinnati region has done.

 

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.

0%

0%

18%

45%

36%

11

2. Further study warranted.

0%

9%

9%

55%

27%

11

3. Regional cooperation preferred.

0%

9%

9%

45%

36%

11

4. Establish a regional job development effort.

0%

0%

27%

64%

9%

11

5. Focus on better training.

0%

0%

0%

45%

55%

11

6. Teach both technical and "soft" skills.

0%

0%

0%

45%

55%

11

7. Establish goals for metro citizens.

0%

0%

9%

27%

64%

11

Individual Responses:

Bright Dornblaser  (10)  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (10)  (10)  (10)

Michael Martens  (7.5)  (7.5)  (5)  (7.5)  (10)  (10)  (10)

3. Regional cooperation preferred. This needs to be regionally focused: Twin Cities & Western Wisconsin, Duluth & Superior, Fargo & Morehead etc.

Dave Broden  (10)  (10)  (10)  (10)  (7.5)  (10)  (10)

1. Topic is of value. Very positive approach to regional cooperation and the role of private sector as the leader vs. dependence on public sector.

2. Further study warranted. Recommend we find a strong Minnesota business public policy involved person to reflect on how the private and public sectors work together or do not in Minnesota today vs. 20 and 40 years ago. How can it be fixed?

4. Establish a regional job development effort. This is only common sense but we rely too much on the public sector, which is focused [on] competition rather than the private [sector], which seems [an] overall strength.

5. Focus on better training. We keep talking, and correctly so, about filling hard-to-fill jobs. Now let’s realize that there needs to also be attention to helping business exist in Minnesota and to expand or begin. Just saying fill the jobs without growth of existing business and creation of new jobs is simply without thought. Why is the focus on filling jobs vs. new and expanded business and then jobs?

6. Teach both technical and "soft" skills. Minnesota like all areas must do both, but before saying we need to do this, do we know if this approach may already be in place in many businesses? And when we say “Minnesota” should it sounds like the government needs to do this? Why not a public/private partnership?

7. Establish goals for metro citizens. Once again we are referencing a regional influence but stating that the Twin Cities must set goals, rather than Minnesota. Are we Minnesota or are we the Twin Cities? Let’s have the public/private partnerships solve this, not government and not public policy wonks, [but] real working leaders.

Ray Ayotte  (5)  (2.5)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)  (5)

Don Anderson  (5)  (5)  (10)  (5)  (10)  (10)  (10)

4. Establish a regional job development effort. A job development enterprise between Wisconsin and Minnesota would be feasible for the Twin Cities metropolitan region, as would an enterprise between North Dakota and Minnesota in the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area, but I don't know about including North Dakota and South Dakota in a Twin Cities job development enterprise.

Vici Oshiro  (10)  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)  (7.5)  (10)  (7.5)

7. Establish goals for metro citizens. As always, devil is in the details.

Larry Schluter  (9)  (8)  (9)  (7)  (9)  (9)  (9)

Very interesting discussion and would be a good approach to use here.  

Tom Spitznagle  (8)  (7)  (4)  (5)  (9)  (7)  (10)

Based on all of the issues identified in the interview it appears that too many Americans at all levels are collectively shooting themselves and their fellow citizens in the foot.  How could Americans fall so far, so fast in their handling of the fundamental building blocks for a successful career, family and an overall prosperous society?

Wayne Jennings  (9)  (9)  (10)  (5)  (10)  (9)  (10)

I was stunned by the comments of parents’ disinterest in paid job training for their children because of a mindset that only college is right.  We’ve gone too far with instilling the only-college goal for students, which demeans many other worthy careers and furthers a kind of classism. It says that somehow being a plumber or auto mechanic for example is less than a worthwhile career. What have we done?

Mark Ritchie  (na)  (na)  (na)  (na)  (na)  (na)  (na)

Great outside perspective. Thank you.

Mina Harrigan  (10)  (10)  (7)  (7)  (10)  (10)  (10)

Chuck Lutz  (7)  (6)  (7)  (9)  (9)  (8)  (9)

    

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Interview Group  includes persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

  John S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje (executive director), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted Kolderie, Dan Loritz (chair),
Tim McDonald, Bruce Mooty, John Mooty, Jim Olson, Paul Ostrow, Wayne Popham, Dana Schroeder, Clarence Shallbetter, and Fred Zimmerman


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The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405.  civiccaucus@comcast.net
Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919   ~   Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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