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Indiana joins national drop-out prevention, workforce development program
Twelve Indiana high schools have joined a nationally recognized drop-out prevention and postsecondary transition program for at-risk youth.
The schools have joined Jobs for America's Graduates, or JAG, a national not-for-profit organization that seeks to keep students in school through graduation and to ensure their transition after high school into meaningful employment or postsecondary education. The program is now in more than 700 high schools across the country, which now reaches more than 35,000 students annually. The Indiana version of the program is known as JAG-Indiana. .
"We're counting on Indiana's youth to play an important role in Indiana's comeback, so it's important they stay in, graduate from high school and learn the skills necessary to be successful in a quality job," said Governor Mitch Daniels.
For a list of the Indiana schools participating, and for more information on the Indiana announcement, go here.
For the national JAG web site, go here.
Unemployment Down, Jobs Up
Indiana's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for March is the lowest in six years. According to the state's recent monthly employment report, unemployment in Indiana for March 2007 was 4.6 percent, down from 4.7 percent in February, and the lowest rate recorded in the state since September 2001.
"Thousands more Hoosiers were working in March and that's good news, but it's important to avoid over-reading these one-month reports," said Andrew J. Penca, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. "These monthly numbers can be very misleading in either direction, as they were on the downside last month. It's the long-term numbers that tell us what's really happening."
For example, Penca noted that snow and cold weather in February contributed to artificially depressed jobs numbers that month.
• Seasonally-adjusted employment for March was 3,133,167, up 3,495 from February, 2007, when it was 3,129,672. Compared to one year ago, employment is up 32,194 when it stood at 3,100,973 in March, 2006. Taking a slighter longer time frame, employment is up 106,030 from January 2005, when it was 3,027,137.
• On the jobs front, seasonally-adjusted payroll employment figures rose by 12,000 jobs in March from February. Construction employment rebounded strongly from February's weather-related loss, adding 9,300 jobs. Trade, education & health services and government also saw higher employment levels over the month, while manufacturing continued to trend downward. Over the year employment saw little change. Manufacturing shed 13,500 workers while the service-providing sectors added 7,400.
For the full employment release and report, go here.
Major Opportunities Update
Almost three hundred Hoosiers have enrolled thus far in the Major Opportunities pre-apprenticeship training program in five cities throughout the state. Many of the training providers are now in their second and third rounds of classes. Interest remains particularly high in the Gary and Indianapolis locations, and new marketing efforts have been undertaken in Fort Wayne, Evansville and South Bend to increase interest and enrollment.
In addition to those enrolled in the pre-apprenticeship programs, 9 individuals have already been placed into a construction trades apprenticeship, 21 have found employment in the construction industry, and 10 others have found work in non-construction jobs.
An interesting sidelight to these facts is that almost 2000 individuals have been assessed using the WorkKeys assessment instrument. Why is this important? These individuals can now access other services of our workforce development system.
In addition, to help facilitate the placement of graduates of the Major Opportunities training program, interested persons should consider the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) as a possible source of employment. INDOT places all of its job openings on the state's government job bank. This allows interested applicants to:
The link to the state job bank is http://www.in.gov/jobs/stateemployment/fe/apply.html. Starting salary for the Highway Technician position is $11.08 an hour. Applications must be completed online.
Evansville WIRED with new grant
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Emily DeRocco was in Evansville on March 30 to formally launch the Southwest Indiana WIRED (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development) program.
The nine-county southwest Indiana region received a $5.0 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Labor to better align the workforce and economic development systems to ensure that American workers and businesses are competitive in the global marketplace.
The Evansville WIRED project is one of 26 nationally and two in Indiana that have received federal funding. Initial plans released by the region indicate a desire to build on the region's Strategic Skills Initiative, which focuses on advanced manufacturing and health care training. Project managers also hope to build the region's entrepreneurial spirit. For more information on the federal WIRED program, go here
For Emily DeRocco's Evansville speech, go here
Data calendar shows when labor data released
Want to know when the latest state employment and other important labor market information will be available?
Here's how you can be in the know.
Go to the Data Release Calendar feature from the state's Hoosier's by the Numbers Data web site.
The feature provides a month by month schedule of when various governmental reports are released. Included among these reports are the monthly Current Employment Statistics (CES) and Labor Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) as well as the Labor Market Review and Consumer Price Index (CPI) . The schedule lists data from agencies such as the Department of Workforce Development, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau and others.
To access the Data Release Calendar, go here..