Updates from NGA’s Workforce Development and Economic Policy Team – September 26, 2022. Questions, comments, or feedback? Want your work featured? Contact Jack Porter, Senior Policy Analyst, at email@example.com.
News from NGA
NGA Action Lab on Youth Apprenticeship: Request for Statements of Interest by 10/05
In its role as a national partner in the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) is hosting a two-day, virtual action lab on the issue of youth apprenticeship. In collaboration with New America, the NGA Center will deliver programming that builds on its recently published State Policy Playbook to Advance Youth Apprenticeship. Participants will gain a clearer understanding of the national policy landscape and state policy options for advancing youth apprenticeship, new connections to peers working on similar issues at the state and national level, and leave with actionable steps to pursue policy change on the issue of youth apprenticeship that best suits their state. Contact Jack Porter (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
NGA Releases Commentary on Inflation
NGA released a commentary post entitled “What Inflation Means for States and Territories: A Two-Part Briefing Series” to provide an overview of a briefing series NGA held for Governors’ staff and state and territorial agency staff over the past few weeks. The briefings aimed to go beyond the headlines and leave staff with a thorough understanding of what inflation is and how it is determined, key factors that contribute to changes in inflation, and insight into where it might be heading in the future.
National Current Developments
House Committee Holds Hearing on UI System
The House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions held ahearing on September 21 that examined the administration of the unemployment insurance (UI) system. The hearing focused on the UI system’s response during COVID and how the Department of Labor and Congress can improve the administration of the system. Witnesses included representatives from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the National Employment Law Project (NELP), the American Enterprise Institute (NEI), and a UI claimant.
Labor OIG Report on Pandemic UI
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report finding that potentially fraudulent unemployment insurance (UI) payments increased to $45.6 billion in a period that covers March 2020 to April 2022. The OIG announced this in a letter to the DOL Acting Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training (ETA), finding that DOL ETA has not taken sufficient action to implement the OIG’s recommendations from February 2021 to “(1) establish effective controls, in collaboration with State Workforce Agencies (SWA), to mitigate fraud and other improper payments to ineligible claimants; and (2) work with Congress to establish legislation requiring SWAs to cross-match high-risk areas.” The OIG report also details challenges it has encountered in trying to obtain data from SWAs in an effort to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse in the UI program. Among the three recommendations made by the OIG, the first OIG recommendation recommends that the Acting Assistant Secretary of ETA “Implement immediate measures to ensure SWAs are required to provide ongoing access to the OIG by amending its current guidance to require disclosures to the OIG for audits and investigations as necessary, mandatory, and without time limitation for the proper oversight of the UI program.”
News from the States
Georgia Technical College Announces Availability of $1 Million in Funding to Support Apprenticeships
The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) recently announced the availability of $1 Million in High Demand Career Initiatives (HDCI) Program funds to support the development and expansion of registered apprenticeships in Georgia’s high-demand industries. The program is focused on supporting Registered Apprenticeship expansion in the areas of Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Agribusiness, Automotive, Construction, E-Mobility, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Supply Chain, Film and Entertainment, Public Services, and Information Technology.
Maine to Bring Mobile Computer Science Labs to All Schools
Maine Governor Janet Mills recently announced the launch of a new Maine Department of Education initiative that will provide every Maine public school with a free, mobile computer science lab. The effort, funded through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, will enable all Maine students to access high-quality learning experiences that provide real-word training in robotics, programming, augmented and virtual reality, coding, and hardware.
In July, Governor Mills joined a group of 50 governors from across the country and signed a national compact on computer science education as part of then-NGA Chair Governor Asa Hutchinson’s yearlong initiative.
Missouri Approves Grants to Help Enhance Nursing Programs
Missouri Governor Mike Parsonrecently announced that nearly $3 million in grant funding has been approved for 11 Missouri colleges and universities to help enhance nursing education programs and develop solutions to alleviate staffing shortages. The competitive grants, totaling $2,997,690, were part of a special appropriation to the Missouri State Board of Nursing that was recommended and approved by Governor Parson.
Nebraska Extends Executive Orders to Facilitate Hospital Planning & Strengthen Healthcare Workforce
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts recently extended two previous executive orders made to facilitate hospital planning and ensure additional healthcare workforce capacity. The Governor originally issued Executive Order (EO) 21-12 on August 26, 2021, to expand the pool of healthcare professionals who are eligible to care for Nebraskans. Among its provisions, the EO authorizes the credentialing of retired or inactive healthcare professionals, defers certain continuing education requirements, and suspends various statutes to allow new healthcare providers seeking a license to begin practice. The second EO temporarily suspends various state statutes so that healthcare facility administrators and practitioners such as audiologists, alcohol and drug counselors, and speech pathologists can more readily contribute their skills to serve Nebraskans.
Virginia Announces $1.2 million+ in GO Virginia Grants
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin recently announced more than $1.2 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) grant awards. These grants will support four projects focused on innovative workforce development initiatives designed to expand talent pipelines in technology sectors as well as foster entrepreneurial startups, business development and venture investment. GO Virginia supports projects that focus on workforce development, cluster scaleup, startup ecosystems, and site and infrastructure development to encourage regional economic growth and diversification. In addition to the awarded GO Virginia funding, the four awarded projects leveraged an additional $745,000 in local and non-state funding.
New America Report: What Everyone Should Know about Designing Equity-Minded Paid Work-Based Learning Opportunities for College Students
New America has released a report that features case studies of emerging program models across the United States to understand the motivation, goals, and design of paid work-based learning opportunities available at two-year colleges. The report outlines four recommendations for community college leaders and state policymakers. Findings from this study have important implications for state policymakers and college stakeholders in career services, academic advising, and workforce development.
Job Quality Toolkit Released
The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology recently released the Job Quality Toolkit, which outlines eight “drivers of job quality.” The Job Quality Toolkit was produced by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the U.S. Department of Commerce, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor and around 60 industry representatives. The drivers of job quality were developed after a robust literature review on domestic and international workers’ perceptions of job quality, combined with the input and insight of many job quality experts from academia, think tanks, advocacy groups, nonprofits, employers, and labor unions.
News to Know
Head Start Webinar
The Office of Head Start is holding the webcast “Building a Pipeline of Qualified Early Childhood Educators Through Innovative Career Pathway Efforts” on October 5 at 3 PM EDT. The webinar will explore a range of innovative strategies to build and support career pathways for the early childhood education workforce. To register, click here.
Webinar: DOL’s Career Pathways Evidence Coffee Break: Video Screening and Q&A with Researchers
DOL’s Chief Evaluation Office, in partnership with the Employment and Training Administration, is hosting a webinar on October 13, 2022 from 2:00 PM-3:30 PM ET in which they will highlight key findings from the recently released Career Pathways Descriptive and Analytical Project. During the webinar, presenters will screen a series of four short videos from DOL’s Evidence Coffee Break series, where researchers from Abt Associates share actionable information for practitioners and hold a question and answer session with the study team. To register for the webinar, click here.
Recently-Issued ETA Guidance
The following guidance letters were recently released by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA):
- UIPL 18-22: Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 State Workforce Agency Unemployment Insurance (UI) Resource Planning Targets and Guidelines.
- UIPL 02-20, Change 2: Extension of Time for States to Express Interest in the Grant Opportunity Announced in Unemployment Insurance Program Letter (UIPL) No. 02-22, to Support States Following a Consultative Assessment for Fraud Detection and Prevention, Promoting Equitable Access, and Ensuring the Timely Payment of Benefits, including Backlog Reduction, for all Unemployment Compensation (UC) Programs.
Even before the pandemic, an increasing number of cities, counties and states were requiring employers to offer paid sick leave. But COVID-19 illustrated that such laws aren’t just about protecting people’s livelihoods — they can help save lives. Seventeen states now have mandatory paid sick leave laws; at least 20 cities and counties have similar requirements.
The Daily Show
Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh shares his perspective on the current U.S. labor market, discusses what U.S. companies can learn from how workers are trained and treated in other countries, and offers his antidote to “quiet quitting.”