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Apr 17, 2012
Category: Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy

This fact sheet from COWS and the Wisconsin Women's Council, released in honor of National Pay Equity Day, shows that despite the growing importance of women’s contribution to the labor force and to household incomes, the gender wage gap stubbornly persists irrespective of age, race, or level of education. In 2010, Wisconsin women earned, on average, only 77.8 cents for every dollar earned by men.

The Wisconsin gap,while significant, is slightly smaller than in 2009 when women earned just 75 cents for each dollar earned by men. Nationally, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research has reported that the decline in the wage gap is mostly due to falling wages for men.

Jayson Chung, Matías Cociña, Laura Dresser | Apr 16, 2012
Category: Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Job Quality & Industry Studies
Toward College Success for Working Adults provides a clearer picture of the educational trajectory of low-skill adults in the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). The analysis presents statewide results from a pipeline data study on transition rates, enrollment, and diploma and degree completion for adults accessing a wide variety of basic skills and postsecondary courses and programs at WTCS. This knowlege can help colleges design programs and services that turn more workers into successful college graduates.
Michele Mackey, Sigrid Peterson, Laura Dresser | Mar 08, 2012
Category: Jobs & Skills: Workforce Development & Industry Partnerships, Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Job Quality & Industry Studies

Workforce Central is a strategic effort to address the growing workforce and economic challenges facing the community. Key components of their strategy focuses on developing adaptive leadership skills, shifting attitudes, and engaging leaders to work across boundaries.


This independent, local evaluation of its workforce development efforts is commissioned by Incourage Community Foundation’s Workforce Central initiative. This evaluation uses quantitative and qualitative indicators to assess progress towards achieving Workforce Central’s goals and “Ultimate Outcome”.

Mar 05, 2012
Category: Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy
Wisconsin Jobs and Low-Income Working Families looks at the one in four working families in Wisconsin who struggle to get by as well as the tens of thousands of workers whose jobs provide low wages and few benefits. The report was produced by COWS as part of the Working Poor Families Project.
James Irwin, Satya Rhodes-Conway, Sarah L. White, Joel Rogers | Dec 15, 2011
Category: Energy: Energy Efficiency, Energy

Retrofitting the nation’s public and institutional buildings for greater energy efficiency, financing these retrofits from the savings achieved, and requiring local-hire and job and advancement standards for those who do the work can provide the widespread high-road job creation needed in today’s economy. Publicly controlled buildings are an obvious place to focus for a number of reasons.

There are almost 140,000 entities in this sector in the United States, including state and local governments, school districts, colleges and universities, and medical institutions. We estimate that these entities control about 16.5 billion square feet of floor space and use about 3.87 quadrillion BTU a year, at a cost of about $40.7 billion. The estimated cost of upgrading this building stock is between $38.3 billion and $61.2 billion. Such upgrades would save approximately $8.1 billion dollars per year and create between 164,690 and 428,400 FTE. 

This report discusses the financial structures that can be used, the barriers to doing this work, and the policies needed to overcome these barriers and create high-road jobs.

The paper is part of the Big Ideas for Job Creation in a Jobless Recovery project funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the W.E. Kellogg Foundation and organized by the UC-Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Unemployment.

Nov 01, 2011
Category: Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Job Quality & Industry Studies
Developed by COWS for Regional Industry Skills Education (RISE), Key Middle-Skill Opportunities in Wisconsin provides a detailed look at projected job opportunities and wages in well-paying occupations that typically do not require a four-year college degree.
Nov 01, 2011
Category: Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy
Developed by COWS for Regional Industry Skills Education (RISE), Wisconsin RISE Target Population breaks down demographically those individuals who could use higher skills and better wages.
James Irwin, Ann Grodnik-Nagle, Amir Nadav, Matthew Brown, Dave Carey | Oct 01, 2011
Category: Energy: Energy Efficiency, Energy
Numerous barriers restrict the market for energy efficiency financing. The recommendations in this document suggest ways to reduce or eliminate these barriers in order to improve the function of the market.
Sep 04, 2011
Category: Jobs & Skills, Wisconsin, Jobs & Skills: Wisconsin Economy, Workers & Policy

The State of Working Wisconsin - Update 2011 provides data on the unemployed and underemployed in the state.

Terry Grobe, Kate O'Sullivan, Sally T. Prouty, with Sarah White | Jul 27, 2011
Category: Jobs & Skills, Jobs & Skills: Greener Skills

This paper explores the extent to which this emerging green economy can offer a pathway out of poverty for low-income young people, many of whom have disengaged from school and are struggling to find a way into the economic mainstream. These disconnected youth -- some six million strong -- represent an untapped resource. Despite the fact that they have experienced difficulties in their personal lives or communities and may not have completed high school, many seek a second chance, returning to programs such as Service and Conservation Corps or other education and work initiatives in their local communities.

Given the right supports, these young people can be valuable assets for new green industries seeking to grow a skilled workforce and to the communities in which they reside. Further, youth involved in Corps and other work and service oriented programs can learn and practice skills that give them a "leg up" in terms of entering green industries or providing environmental or conservation assistance to a range of local institutions.

What these young people need to fulfill their promise and meet their life goals is an effective on-ramp to emerging green pathways. This paper offers guidance to youth programs, and those who work with and support those programs, about how to learn more about and access industry-driven green credentialing and career pathways development work within local communities or regions. It then discusses how, with this knowledge in hand, youth programs can work with employers and postsecondary partners to build on-ramps to postsecondary technical training programs and entry to green careers. The paper offers a multi-step Framework that outlines strategies for connecting to career pathway efforts and delineates a three-phase model design to inform the construction of on-ramp programming.

The Corps Network and several principal partners -- including COWS, Green For All, The Academy for Educational Development, Workforce Strategy Center and Living Cities -- guided the development of the paper with additional support from numerous stakeholders.