NLEP Aims For Retention Of Talented Workers

July 24, 2014

By: Alexandria Burris
Via: The Shreveport Times
The North Louisiana Economic Partnership unveiled its five-year strategic plan Wednesday. And while economic development remains a top priority, the organization is aiming to direct more time to the retention of talented and skilled workers and advocating for a unified North Louisiana.
“Aligning your resources behind a single vision for this area, that’s tough business. But that’s part of what NLEP is good for to help make sure everybody is on the same page as we talk about North Louisiana because your biggest competition is South Louisiana right now,” said Tom Stellman, president and CEO of Austin-based TIP Strategies, which helped NLEP develop its plan.
NLEP is a public-private partnership that works to foster economic development initiatives, support existing businesses and bring new jobs to the 14 parishes of North Louisiana. The organization unveiled its plan to the group of investors and public officials at the petroleum club.
The organization also is launching Regional Works 1.5 an investment campaign that it says will help with the implementation of the plan.
Scott Martinez, NLEP president said 2,000 jobs have been announced in North Louisiana this year. While the number is impressive, Martinez said more can be done. “I think we can do better with our road map for what can do with our future,” he said.
NLEP intends to target transportation, industrial machinery, petrochemicals and cyber security, data centers and defense intelligence businesses. The businesses fall into one of three industries NLEP intends to target for North Louisiana. Those industries are: advanced manufacturing, professional services and information technology.
The vision outlined in the plan is a North Louisiana that is a thriving region and a destination for high-quality talent, innovative companies and global industry. Stellman said the goals include fostering economic development, influencing the pipeline of talent and advocating for the region as a unified region.
NLEP must be a voice in making that skills produced in the region align with labor demands.
“Not only is this a pressing need for today it’s going to be pressing need for tomorrow,” Stellman said. “As baby boomers reach retirement and start moving out of the workforce you’ve got to have secession plans for fulfilling their skill sets and their experience.”

Governor De Jongh Signs Contract For Business Development Study For St. Croix

July 17, 2014

Via: Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr.

Photo Credit: "St Croix: Christiansted Harbor" by Erik Larson Via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. has signed an agreement with TIP Strategies, Inc., for the development of a Comprehensive Targeted Competitive Industry Study primarily for St. Croix. The scope of the project includes the examination of potential opportunities for recruiting and developing new businesses that promote both job creation and private investment in the territory. The study will be completed and submitted by November 1, 2014.

“Economic development and diversification has been the cornerstone of my administration,” explained the Governor, “and combination of the Great Recession and closing of oil refinery has reinforced our need for a competitive industry report to serve as an industry, and especially as a blueprint for St. Croix’s financial future.” He added, “I am confident that the study commissioned by the Bureau of Economic Research will provide invaluable information and ideas for the expansion of our economic base, with special focus on St. Croix.”
As outlined in the agreement with TIP Strategies, the deliverables include identifying needed technologies for St. Croix and the Virgin Islands, recommended public infrastructure and private capital needed, required supporting industries, industry support strategies to promote private investment in St. Croix and the territory and identify emerging opportunities to enhance existing firms on St. Croix. “The need for this competitive analysis was heightened by the HOVENSA closing and its benefit will be in the diversification of industries that we can attract to especially to St. Croix, while also putting in place support for our existing businesses in capitalizing the opportunities that we identify,” said Wharton Berger, Director of Bureau of Economic Research.
TIP (Theory into Practice) Strategies is a privately-held economic development consulting firm, based in Austin, Texas. The company, which was established in 1995, is dedicated to finding quality solutions for both public and private clients. The compensation for the development of the Comprehensive Targeted Competitive Industry Study is not to exceed $138,268 including travel and administrative expenses.

Jobs Charted By State And Salary

July 10, 2014

Via: Flowing Data
The chart [above] shows what people do and what they get paid. These vary depending on where you live. Select a state in the drop-down menu, and use the slider to adjust the median annual salary.
Prominent industries in a state can say a lot about an area. Is there a lot of farming? Is there a big technology market? Couple the jobs with salary, and you also see where the money’s at. You see a state’s priorities.
For example, look at California. You see an increased prominence of farmworkers and laborers, whereas the farming, fishing, and forestry sector is nearly nonexistent in many other parts of the country. I expected a lot more in the midwest states, but relative to the other occupations in those states, the farming sector doesn’t seem that big from an employee perspective.
For a drastic change, switch to Washington, D.C., where people who work in the legal and business sectors are much more common. I realize it’s a comparison between a city and states, but whoa, that’s a lot of lawyers packed in one place.
Move the median salary up a bit, and you get a sense of overall salaries (and a correlating cost of living, kind of) as you check out different states.
Anyway, it’s an interesting first look at employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Where Are The Hardest Places To Live In The U.S.?

July 7, 2014

By: Alan Flippen
Via: The New York Times

Click for interactive version

Click for interactive version

Annie Lowrey writes in the Times Magazine this week about the troubles of Clay County, Ky., which by several measures is the hardest place in America to live.
The Upshot came to this conclusion by looking at six data points for each county in the United States: education (percentage of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree), median household income, unemployment rate, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity. We then averaged each county’s relative rank in these categories to create an overall ranking.
(We tried to include other factors, including income mobility and measures of environmental quality, but we were not able to find data sets covering all counties in the United States.)
The 10 lowest counties in the country, by this ranking, include a cluster of six in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky (Breathitt, Clay, Jackson, Lee, Leslie and Magoffin), along with four others in various parts of the rural South: Humphreys County, Miss.; East Carroll Parish, La.; Jefferson County, Ga.; and Lee County, Ark.
We used disability — the percentage of the population collecting federal disability benefits but not also collecting Social Security retirement benefits — as a proxy for the number of working-age people who don’t have jobs but are not counted as unemployed. Appalachian Kentucky scores especially badly on this count; in four counties in the region, more than 10 percent of the total population is on disability, a phenomenon seen nowhere else except nearby McDowell County, W.Va.
Remove disability from the equation, though, and eastern Kentucky would still fare badly in the overall rankings. The same is true for most of the other six factors.
The exception is education. If you exclude educational attainment, or lack of it, in measuring disadvantage, five counties in Mississippi and one in Louisiana rank lower than anywhere in Kentucky. This suggests that while more people in the lower Mississippi River basin have a college degree than do their counterparts in Appalachian Kentucky, that education hasn’t improved other aspects of their well-being.
As Ms. Lowrey writes, this combination of problems is an overwhelmingly rural phenomenon. Not a single major urban county ranks in the bottom 20 percent or so on this scale, and when you do get to one — Wayne County, Mich., which includes Detroit — there are some significant differences. While Wayne County’s unemployment rate (11.7 percent) is almost as high as Clay County’s, and its life expectancy (75.1 years) and obesity rate (41.3 percent) are also similar, almost three times as many residents (20.8 percent) have at least a bachelor’s degree, and median household income ($41,504) is almost twice as high.

Research Manager Position

July 1, 2014

TIP Strategies is seeking qualified candidates to oversee the firm’s research activities. This position will play an integral role in supporting TIP’s economic development and workforce consulting practice by performing advanced quantitative and qualitative research on a range of subject areas including economics, demographics, real estate, planning, and public policy. In addition to analytical work, the research manager will contribute to the preparation of high-quality written reports, presentations, and other deliverables intended to communicate findings to clients and stakeholders.
Along with these duties, the successful candidate will spearhead efforts to maintain the firm’s position as a thought leader in the economic development arena by researching trends and preparing engaging visualizations, blog posts, presentations, and other materials to help differentiate the firm’s business development efforts. The position is based in Austin and may require occasional travel.
Specific responsibilities include:

  • Researching, analyzing, and visualizing primary and secondary data
  • Conducting topical research on issues related to economic development
  • Preparing GIS-based maps and other data visualizations using various economic and demographic data sets
  • Designing, managing, and analyzing surveys
  • Summarizing key findings from research and drafting content for client deliverables
  • Communicating and presenting findings to clients

Desired Skills and Experience

  • An understanding of how national/global trends impact economic development at the local/regional level.
  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a highly-related field (e.g., economics, public affairs, planning, economic development, or other related degree) and two-years of relevant experience is required.
  • A demonstrated ability to understand, visualize, and summarize in-depth economic data.
  • Excellent oral, written, and presentation skills.
  • An aptitude for writing both detailed reports and summary presentations.
  • Ability to manage priorities effectively and independently to meet project milestones in a timely manner.
  • Experience using GIS and data visualization software.
  • Proficient use of MS Office Suite—particularly Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

Since analytical skills are critical to this position, candidates may be asked to complete an analytical exercise and prepare a summary of findings as part of the interview process.
About TIP Strategies
Established in 1995, TIP Strategies, Inc. has worked with communities throughout the country to develop innovative, publicly supported economic development strategies. Our team members have experience with a variety of clients across the United States, including cities, counties, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, regional planning organizations, and workforce development boards. While our demographic and industry analyses serve as the foundation for our strategic plans, we pride ourselves on our ability to think creatively—we develop a vision that is supported by the data, but not driven by it. Our approach places a premium on well-informed decision-making, sound planning practices, and a commitment to the future.
Qualified candidates are encouraged to request application information from Lauren at