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Critical drivers of the innovation economy
According to a recent report from McKinsey & Company, almost 40 percent of American employers say they cannot find people with the skills they need. Almost 60 percent complain of lack of preparation, even for entry-level jobs.
However, the skills gap takes many different forms — from those just entering the workforce to those in mid-career whose jobs have been eliminated or changed to require more advanced skills. Some companies are stepping up their efforts to “re-skill” their workforces — among them is AT&T. Some 140,000 people at the telecommunications firm are currently retraining through online, certification, and degree programs.
Apprenticeship programs are another vehicle being used for advancing workforce skills, as well as for passing the knowledge of baby-boomers who are retiring onto younger employees who will need to replace them. The apprentice/mentor model allows for a direct transfer of knowledge.
Needless to say, companies have always seen universities as a source of talented workers possessing advanced skills, but now they are also increasingly benefiting from gaining access to university research needed to address specific challenges and improve the company’s business. Specifically, companies are locating in university “innovation zones,” often focused on specific industry sectors. Collaborations between companies and universities have become critical drivers of the innovation economy.

STEM Grads: At the Core of the Tech Location Decision

Steffen Kammerer, Senior Vice President, Technology Practice Group, JLL

The search for tech talent is leading companies to look at some traditional as well as surprising locations and also putting workspace buildout in a new perspective.

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First Person: Apprenticeship Programs Are a Win-Win for Industries and Workers

Kim Nichols, CEO, Franklin Apprenticeships

Area Development’s editor recently asked Kim Nichols, the CEO of Franklin Apprenticeships, about how modernized apprenticeships can change the perception of the manufacturing industry while helping to satisfy its workforce needs, as well as the needs of other advanced industries.

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University Innovation Parks Link the Academic and “Real World”

Steve Stackhouse-Kaelble, Staff Editor, Area Development

Research and innovation parks continue to evolve to meet the needs of students, faculty, and private-sector tenants alike.

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Editor's Picks: Workforce and the Innovation Economy

Closing the skills gap: Creating workforce-development programs that work for everyone - McKinsey & Company

The ‘‘skills gap’’ in the United States is serious. Here is how to do better. More »

Useful Stats: R&D personnel by state and metro area - SSTI

Across the nation, R&D at colleges and universities plays an important role in generating promising inventions, training our STEM talent pipeline, and supporting regional economic development. An SSTI analysis of National Science Foundation data finds that higher-education R&D (HERD) is a multi-billion dollar industry that directly employs nearly one million personnel on projects and grants in the United States. However, the locations of R&D projects and personnel differ greatly by state and region. More »

The Geography of Millennial College Graduates - CityLab

Millennials are more distributed across cities, suburbs, and exurbs than is commonly thought, but the clustering of college graduates does reinforce the country’s spatial inequality. More »

How to Reform Worker-Training and Adjustment Policies for an Era of Technological Change - ITIF

Rather than slow down technological disruption to protect a small number of workers at the expense of the vast majority who are benefiting, policymakers should focus on doing significantly more to help those who are displaced transition successfully into new jobs and occupations. More »

How Tech Companies Can Help Upskill the U.S. Workforce - HBR

The stakes are high and the time is right. Silicon Valley has created extraordinary wealth and has changed the nature of work. In so doing, it has also catalyzed unparalleled job disruption. It’s time for technology players–in Silicon Valley and beyond–to use the power of technology to more closely partner and coordinate with educators, employers, and government leaders – to make sure that every person in the American workforce is trained for success in the 21st century economy. More »

Developing Successful Strategic Partnerships With Universities - MIT Sloan Management Review

For many companies, universities have become essential innovation partners. However, companies often struggle to establish and run university partnerships effectively. More »

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