Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Road to Recovery Strategies for Reemployment Summit. Even though I knew the number of attendees prior to arrival, I was overwhelmed by the flood of participants in Dr. Paul Harrington's opening plenary session on the state of the economy. The ballroom was jam packed with 1,000 workforce professionals from across the country. Each attendee listened with bated breathe, as Paul listed his recommendations to the workforce system: connecting to the employer community and making on-the-job training a priority. We all want to reemploy the millions of unemployed Americas. The question we all have: how do we reemploy America may appear simple but the answer is beyond challenging given our slow economic recovery. Jobs are scare and resources are limited but, I believe, the system has what it takes to succeed. Every person attended this Summit for one reason: to find answers and help their community prosper. By the end of the conference, I know every attendee came away with at least one idea to help their state or community. With so many sessions: entrepreneurial training to you can do that with rapid response funds, the volume of brainstorming, networking, and knowledge transfer was unstoppable.
There was a drum beat of excitement. This beat built into a euphony of innovations: how to connect the Unemployment Insurance with the workforce system and ways to innovate service delivery and engage the business community. Dr. Harrington said it, companies are grossing more, but there is a fear factor to invest. We are the connection between the employer and their future workforce. We have the first hand knowledge of talent in our community and how to develop it. Now we need to make these connections reality. All those who gathered at the Summit are empowered to explore and take risks: develop new models and targeting reemployment services based on data and create new or leverage existing career pathways to develop training and employment opportunities. So, folks, it's scary sometimes but, oh so very true, the workforce system is the answer. It's hard work but given the showcase of talent at the Summit I know we can do it.
This picture was taken during the Cross Border Layoffs Session with Mark Belanger and Thomas Phillips. Just one of the many sessions that showed us how to partner and be proactive so communities - no matter where they sit - stay competitive and services are seamless to our customers: employers and workers. Thanks to all the participants and speakers for a great Summit! Until next time...
We want to take a moment to wish everyone very warm, happy holidays. As well as a joyful, healthy, and prosperous new year!!!
The next issue of the quarterly newsletter will be available mid January.
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Paper Examines Older Workers' Job Struggles
“The New Unemployables,” a joint study by Boston College's Sloan Center on Aging & Work and the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, compares the job search, financial, and emotional experiences of older and younger unemployed Americans. The paper finds that older job seekers often face considerably greater challenges in their job searches than their younger counterparts and are more likely to remain out of work.