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COWS and CLASP | Sep 27, 2013
Category: Jobs & Skills: Workforce Development & Industry Partnerships, COWS, High Road

To gain a better understanding of the post-secondary education needs in each state, we - together with CLASP - developed profiles of adult workers in every state who are in need of better skills and wages. Click below to learn more about your state.


Michele Mackey and Jessa Lewis Valentine | Sep 24, 2013
Category: Jobs & Skills: Workforce Development & Industry Partnerships, COWS, High Road, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Job Quality & Industry Studies

This report synthesizes key information on the health care workforce in South Central/Southwest Wisconsin. We provide a snapshot of the current workforce in 40 selected health care occupations based on a representative subset of area employers surveyed in Spring 2013. We also project near-term changes in that workforce based on future retirements and employers’ anticipated staffing needs. Comparing the 2013 results to those of a nearly identical employer survey in 2008 allows us to assess key changes and continuities in the region’s health care workforce over the last five years, and to gauge the accuracy of the 2008 predictions.

Across all occupations considered, the health care workforce in the region has expanded considerably over the last five years. This expansion was perhaps expected given the region’s aging population and their associated health care needs. Less expected was the precision of the 2008 projections across all occupations, given the economic turbulence of the last five years: employers predicted an overall workforce growth of eight percent between 2008 and 2013, and this is precisely what happened. Workers in 2013 were also slightly older than in 2008, a trend that may be driven in part by the Great Recession and the need by some workers to postpone retirement.

Sep 12, 2013
Category: Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Job Quality & Industry Studies, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy
2013 Healthcare Staffing Assessment - Nursing and Pharmacy
Satya Rhodes-Conway and James Irwin | Sep 11, 2013
Category: State & Local Policy, Energy

The health, wealth, infrastructure and ability to maintain basic services of cities will increasingly be degraded as our planet warms and our weather worsens. Yet local governments are currently sharing in the profits made by the fossil fuel industry – investing in the very companies that are directly responsible for this threat.


The Mayors Innovation Project, a COWS project, is working to support the local government fossil fuel divestment movement. Building on the example set by Mayor McGinn of Seattle, we’re working with cities to remove municipal funds from fossil fuel investments, and working with pension funds to do the same. Divestment can have a serious impact and send an important message, and this guide offers the tools to help you get started on a divestment campaign in your community.

Mary Ebeling | Sep 03, 2013
Category: State & Local Policy, Transportation

Wilmington functions as the hub of DART (Delaware's bus system) in New Castle County, providing over 10 million passenger trips a year—including us and demand response paratransit. Thirty-eight of DART’s 60 routes serve Wilmington. Within the City of Wilmington, DART ridership continues to grow, resulting in bus congestion in the city’s central business district (CBD), particularly around and adjacent to Rodney Square. This success illustrates DTC’s role as an increasingly important part of the economic engine of the city. DTC contributes positively to the overall economic vibrancy of Wilmington through the movement of people, increased accessibility to the transportation system, improvements in air quality, and provision of access to jobs, medical care, and commercial centers.


But, the success of Wilmington’s transit service has brought challenges. As DART added more service to respond to the increasing demand, the additional buses started stacking around the square—sometimes two or three buses deep along the King Street side of the square. The situation began to negatively impact traffic movement and presented a clear safety concern as bus riders scrambled to find their buses. Parallel developments around Rodney Square included the growth of the high-end condominium market as well as an increasing number of financial firms locating offices along or adjacent to the square. For these neighbors, the transit activity created challenges of congestion, cleanliness, and safety.


This study from the State Smart Transportation Initiative - a COWS project - seeks to make recommendations for improving current system operations and to point out directions that can help position DART to function as an integral part of the city’s and region’s transportation system.

COWS | Sep 01, 2013
Category: Jobs & Skills: Workforce Development & Industry Partnerships, State & Local Policy, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy

The national recovery has been weak. And in Wisconsin, the recovery has lagged behind even the meager pace posted nationally. This Labor Day, COWS has released The State of Working Wisconsin Update 2013, which shows just how much the Wisconsin economy has lagged behind the national pace and the sectors that account for the Wisconsin difference.


We find that Wisconsin would have 33,000 more jobs today if we’d only kept on pace with the national recovery. Since the Wisconsin economy began to grew, we’ve added 99,000 jobs. If Wisconsin had tracked the national recovery, the economy would have added 132,000 jobs. That difference, 33,000 jobs, is a measure of the how Wisconsin lags behind the national trend. To be sure, even that national trend is too weak. But in Wisconsin, we should have 33,000 more jobs today than we do.


Laura Dresser, Michele Mackey, Kathryn Edwards | Jul 01, 2013
Category: Jobs & Skills: Workforce Development & Industry Partnerships, State & Local Policy, Jobs & Skills: Job Quality & Industry Studies, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy

COWS produced Vital Signs 2013, a regional economic review for the Incourage Community Foundation. This economic analysis summarizes the most recent data to help focus discussions and decision-making on economic growth and opportunity in south Wood County. From schools to employers, wages to social supports, and employment to homelessness, COWS offers data that provides a shared understanding of where south Wood County is, and where it can improve. 

Laura Dresser | Jun 26, 2013
Category: Jobs & Skills: Workforce Development & Industry Partnerships, COWS, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Job Quality & Industry Studies, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy

This report from COWS highlights how raising the low-wage floor will improve quality of life for the 100,000 workers in poverty-wage jobs in the city, and for a roughly equal number of poverty-wage workers in the suburban counties around city. Long term decline was made more brutal by the Great Recession, leaving workers at the mercy of a dramatic shift from manufacturing into services, declining unionization, and falling job quality. Evidence of the economic crisis abounds, yet Milwaukee’s problems — including racial disparity and residential segregation, child poverty, crime and incarceration, catastrophic drop-out rates, especially for African Americans and Hispanics — are not inevitable. They result from increasing economic isolation of the central city and increasingly isolation even of the middle of the labor market from meaningful effects of growth. 

Correction: We regret a data error in the infographic on page 10, 'Low Income and High Poverty'. The correction has been made in the above downloadable document as of August 20, 2013.

COWS | Jun 14, 2013
Category: Jobs & Skills: Workforce Development & Industry Partnerships, Wisconsin

This report summarizes the accomplishments of and lessons learned from the Wisconsin Industry Partnerships initiative (2008–2012), a project directing state investment of more than six million dollars in concert with dozens of participating employers in order to increase the skills of over 6000 workers in the state. Wisconsin’s IP experience is especially relevant today as leaders turn their attention to building the skills of the state’s workforce.

Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership and COWS | Jun 04, 2013
Category: Jobs & Skills: Workforce Development & Industry Partnerships, COWS, Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy
The reinvigoration of manufacturing presents Milwaukee with a real opportunity. And the manufacturing opportunity could provide an answer to some of the city’s most ruinous problems, especially the economic isolation of the central city population. Manufacturing Better Opportunity & A Stronger Economy provides key data on manufacturing in Milwaukee and the problems which the central city community confronts. Additionally, it discusses the work that the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/BIG STEP has done and will continue doing in order to build a stronger bridge from community to manufacturers throughout the region.