Workforce Development Roundup: Intermountain West leads in employment growth; California’s record apprenticeships; Workforce Development Report released

Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Colorado were in the top five states for employment growth over the past year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Right now the Intermountain West’s story is really one about growth begetting growth,” said Chad Shearer of the Brookings Institution.

Apprenticeships are on the rise in California, where the state is expected to reach a goal of 100,000 apprenticeships by 2020. Currently, a record 82,000 apprenticeships are in place and the state has invested millions in programs to create opportunities in transportation, manufacturing, healthcare and more.

Amazon plans to build a new fulfillment center in Thornton, Colorado, creating 1,500 jobs. The online retailer reports it will offer wages 30% higher than traditional retail roles, full benefits immediately upon hiring, and education opportunities to employees.  

A Nevada summit focused on work-based learning convened employers, analysts, educators and members of governmental organizations such as the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation. The participants discussed workforce needs and how to connect young people with credentials and develop skills for good jobs. The state is also making a push to identify  hire employees for jobs in the growing manufacturing sector.

A comprehensive survey was delivered to North Dakota’s registered businesses to determine workforce needs and develop state policy that could help companies fill the skills gap. "Every community we've been in has needed workers," said Gov. Doug Burgum. The goal is to complete data analysis and develop policy recommendations by the end of September.

Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI) in South Dakota, winner of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, boasts a 99% employment rate for their students after graduation. Now, LATI is serving as a national model for aligning the unemployed or underemployed with employers that offer good jobs.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard released the First-Year Report of the Western Governors’ Workforce Development Initiative at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Rapid City. The report highlights the work of Western Governors to bridge the skills gap between workers and employers in the West.  Learn more by watching Initiative workshops and webinars

Get the latest news about the West and its governors by following the Western Governors' Association on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


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