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Henry Louis Taylor, Jr. 1, D. Gavin Luter and Camden Miller | Oct 30, 2018
Category: COWS, High Road

The essay explains the reasons why and concludes with a section on a more robust strategy higher education can pursue in the quest to bring about desirable change in the university neighborhood.

 

Taylor, Jr. HL, Luter DG, Miller C. The University, Neighborhood Revitalization, and Civic Engagement: Toward Civic Engagement 3.0Societies. 2018; 8(4):106.

Laura Dresser, Matthew Braunginn and Emanuel Ubert | Oct 02, 2018
Category: COWS, State & Local Policy, High Road, Wisconsin
Securing strong economic opportunity for Wisconsin’s working families and closing racial and ethnic income disparity requires strong attention to the access and success of students of color at our state’s colleges and universities.

In this report we focus on college degrees – both the two year associates degrees offered by the 16 colleges of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and four year bachelor’s degrees offered by colleges throughout the University of Wisconsin System (UWS).
Laura Dresser, Joel Rogers, Emanuel Ubert, and Anna Walther | Aug 31, 2018
Category: Jobs & Skills: Workforce Development & Industry Partnerships, COWS, Jobs & Skills, State & Local Policy, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Job Quality & Industry Studies, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy, Jobs & Skills: Greener Skills

Read Executive Summary here.

Download infographic here.


A decade after the Great Recession, Wisconsin’s economy, at least in employment and family income, has finally and meaningfully recovered. Unemployment and involuntary part-time employment rates are low. And, nearly a fifth of the way into this new century, the value of the median income of four-person families finally exceeds its 2000 level. This is very welcome news for working Wisconsinites.

 

 

This good news is not untarnished. Despite job gains, Wisconsin’s job growth is slow relative to the national pace. Wages are still in no way keeping pace with worker productivity. Wisconsin is comparatively weak in more lucrative occupations: professional, scientific, technical, and information. Our manufacturing sector, while growing, is a still significantly smaller than at the beginning of the century. And inequality continues to grow. One in five workers currently holds a poverty-wage job with few benefits. Rural economies are declining. Wisconsin’s black/white disparities still lead the nation.

 

 

COWS | Aug 17, 2018
Category: Jobs & Skills: Workforce Development & Industry Partnerships, Jobs & Skills, High Road

Equity in Apprenticeship is a report series from COWS at UW-Madison. It highlights programs that use apprenticeship to extend occupational opportunity to historically marginalized groups, especially people of color and women.

 

These case studies of apprenticeship programs span the country and industries:

 

Health Care Pathways in LA: New Apprenticeship Opportunities as an Industry Changes

The Worker Education and Resource Center (WERC) in Los Angeles has become highly adept at preparing health care workers who share a cultural affinity with LA’s patient populations.

 

Manufacturing Pathways in Milwaukee: Bringing Skills and Equity to Manufacturing’s Future

The Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) program is the product of collaboration between labor and management leaders in Milwaukee’s manufacturing sector and has created a new rung in the ladder in production jobs.

 

Equity from the Frontline: Workers’ Insight and Leadership Supports a Network of Apprenticeships in Transit

In California, the Joint Workforce Investment in the South Bay Valley Transportation Authority has developed a web of apprenticeships and advancement opportunities.

 

Equity in Apprenticeship was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. We are grateful for their generous support. The findings and conclusions presented in this series are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

 

 


Laura Dresser | Jun 04, 2018
Category: COWS, State & Local Policy, Jobs & Skills: Job Quality & Industry Studies

Laura Dresser (2017), Human Capital in Context: Policies that Shape Urban Labor Markets. In Jobs and the Labor Force of Tomorrow: Migration, Training, Education, edited by Michael Pagano University of Illinois Press: Chicago, IL.

Sarah Thomason, Lea Austin, Annette Bernhardt, Laura Dresser, Ken Jacobs and Marcy Whitebook | May 22, 2018
Category: COWS, Jobs & Skills, State & Local Policy

In November 2012, fast-food workers in New York went on strike and the Fight for $15 was born. Over the last five years, the movement has lifted wages for more than 17 million workers across the nation by fighting for and winning numerous minimum wage policies (National Employment Law Project 2016). Substantial minimum wage increases are underway in California, New York, Oregon, and more than 30 cities and counties around the country. In states and cities covered by them, these new minimum wages will increase earnings for 25 to 40 percent of workers (Reich, Allegretto, and Montialoux 2017; Reich et al. 2016). After four decades of wage stagnation and rising inequality, the movement has delivered real, much needed, and meaningful progress in a remarkably short period of time.

 

Fast food has been iconic in the discussions of the minimum wage, from the influential mid-1990s research that found no negative employment impact of wage increases in the industry, to the fast-food workers who have walked out on strike in cities across the country in recent years (Card and Kruger 1995). But of course the reach of these wage increases extends well beyond fast food to underpaid workers in multiple industries. The dynamics of minimum wage increases vary across industries based on each industry’s specific structure.

 

Nowhere are the distinct dynamics more pronounced and challenging than for those employed in human services industries. This paper focuses on an important subset of these workers: those who provide homecare and early care and education services to the very young, people with disabilities, and those who are frail due to age or illness. We explain the pressing need to raise these workers’ wages and the unique structure of their industries that results in a funding squeeze for wage increases—at the root of this is the fact that most families are unable to afford all of the homecare and child care they need, never mind pay enough to ensure that workers earn a living wage, and public human services are chronically underfunded.

 

These workers provide a critical (but too often unrecognized) public good; as such, we argue that a significant public investment is a necessary part of the solution, both to deliver minimum wage increases to these workers and to cover the significant unmet need for care. We provide background about the shared and divergent challenges in the homecare and early care and education industries, as well as review emerging policy initiatives to fund wage increases for homecare and early care and education workers and identify principles for public policy going forward.

May 16, 2018
Category: COWS

The UniverCity Alliance (UCA) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is looking for a new local government partner for the UniverCity Year (UCY) program for the period of 2018-2021. Could this be your community?

Katya Spear | Mar 13, 2018
Category: State & Local Policy, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Health in All Policies

First featured in the March 2018 Community Health issue of The Municipality - Your Voice. Your Wisconsin. Published by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.

 

To be reprinted nationally in Current Municipal Problems, a quarterly, with a bound annual volume. For those interested in identifying and solving problems of local government, it is published by Thomson Rueters.



Feb 15, 2018
Category: COWS, Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Wisconsin added 12,500 jobs, most of them in October. In contrast to the strong October, in December, Wisconsin actually lost jobs. Still, over the quarter, the state’s job base grew. Growth was driven by private sector gains, with the state adding 15,200 private jobs. The state lost 2,700 public sector jobs across the quarter capping off a very weak year in the public sector. Wisconsin’s ended 2017 with 3,300 fewer public sector jobs than a year ago. Still, as with the quarter, so with the year. Private sector growth meant that the state jobs base grew 1.4 percent: Wisconsin added 40,200 jobs in 2017. The unemployment rate continues to drop slowly across the nation and Wisconsin is not an exception. Unemployment in Wisconsin stands now at 3.0%, significantly below the level of the end of 2016 and at its lowest point since the recession.

 

View job watch archives here.

Nov 14, 2017
Category: COWS, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy

In the third quarter of 2017, Wisconsin posted modest job growth, adding just 7,300 jobs. Growth in September had to make up for job losses in the previous months. In August, the state lost 7,100 jobs – the worst month in jobs in more than a year. Private sector job growth in September was strong enough to make up for August’s losses and the state completed the third quarter of 2017 with 2,900 more private sector jobs. Wisconsin’s public sector has been unsteady but ended the quarter with 4,400 additional jobs after a strong September. Public sector employment is now slightly above the January level, despite losses over the summer. The unemployment rate continues to drop slowly across the nation and Wisconsin is not an exception. Unemployment in Wisconsin stands now at 3.5%, significantly below the level of the end of 2016, but up slightly from an early summer low of 3.1%.

 

 

 

View Job Watch Archives here.