TIP Strategies is a privately held Austin-based economic development consulting firm committed to providing quality solutions for public and private‑sector clients.
This blog is dedicated to exploring new data and trends in economic development.
By: Irene Chapple
(CNN) — The global talent war is heating up as baby boomers begin their mass exodus from the workforce. But a new report reveals employers are not prepared for the new generation of emotionally intelligent, ethnically diverse workers.
“After the Baby Boomers, The Next Generation of Leadership” reveals what the next two decades of the global workforce will look like, as those born after the war make way for the so-called X and Y generations.
Organizations that fail to prepare for the evolution of the workforce “do so at their peril,” the report, from executive recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson and Cass Business School, found.
The report drew on surveys of 100 senior executives across 19 countries, and 24 nationalities, between 2010 and 2012.
Cliff Oswick,deputy dean of Cass Business School, said the “rock star” approach to chief executive leadership which has been prevalent in recent years will no longer work.
Oswick, speaking during the report’s launch in London Wednesday, pointed to different types of corporate structures, such as citizen-centric and servant leadership, as models for the future.
According to the report, the rise of women into positions of power will create a “feminization” of leadership which will be reflected in the increasing importance of emotional intelligence, people skills and flexibility.
The importance of the BRIC nations and other emerging markets will also ensure more culturally diverse workers are employed around the world.
This, the report found, will mean knowledge of other languages will become more important. However, English is cementing itself as the language of business, with executives regarding fluency for non-native speakers more important than native speakers speaking a foreign language.
According to Oswick, the demands of the X and Y generations are aligned to the skill-set of female leadership styles. However he noted high-flying corporate women of today’s world are not necessarily showing more feminine attributes, such as emotional intelligence and aversion to risk.
Oswick said the shift in leadership styles that generations X and Y will bring was yet to flow through to workplaces. Ingrained discrimination against woman in remained an issue, he added.
The generational change mean executives seek a new crop of leaders who can inspire others “across geographic and age barriers,” and who were comfortable with uncertainty as well as being curious, educated, well read and traveled.
The report noted: “This list makes sense: emotional intelligence and flexibility are essential skills in an environment where generations, cultures and gender are all in flux.”
However, the new generation is also focused on work and life balance, rather than just corporate progression. This attitude can be seen particularly with working women, who want to be intellectually stimulated and valued as part of a team, the report found. This desire was more prevalent than pushing through a perceived glass ceiling.
One of the interviewees noted: “In general we are nurturing individuals, while the baby boomers are more generalists.”
The biggest single challenge will be recruitment, as the world’s population ages and companies seek specialists in fields such as technology.
However, the report reveals only 41% of the respondents believe organizations are ready for the changes the influx of X and Y generation leaders will bring to the workforce.
One respondent said the company was “actively trying to get in front of the change and lead.” However, “I find it difficult to say that we are ready. I doubt many organizations are.”
The report suggests organizations should ease the transition by allowing senior executives to use the last years of their career to mentor up-and-coming leaders. Respondents were split on whether a move away from full executive responsibilities should mean a reduction in pay.
Organizations should also adapt to the different mind-sets of the new generations, who looks for a work and life balance and the opportunity to work smarter rather than harder. Flattening the organizational structure and ensuring companies are culturally aware will be vital, the report said.
By: Mike Maciag
Click for interactive map with data for each county.
Not many people live in rural Renville County, Minn., home to a scattering of farming communities along the Minnesota River. Far removed from any sprawling metropolis, its population has gradually dwindled for decades.
County Commissioner Bob Fox, like other officials in rural areas, is accustomed to seeing young adults move away. As families continue to leave for growing metropolitan areas, and as rural towns age, he wants to ensure the county still thrives. “We hope to provide opportunities for people that like this way of life,” he says.
Most U.S. counties are rural, and recent Census estimates indicate the majority of them are losing population as Americans migrate to cities and suburbs. Two-thirds of counties that the Census considers majority-rural based on population density lost residents last year. By contrast, only 31 percent of more urban counties registered population declines.
This divide is most apparent across the Great Plains and rural Appalachia, which experienced some of the largest rural population losses in recent years, along with Michigan and pockets of the upper Midwest. The Census Bureau estimates Renville County’s population dropped 2 percent since 2010 to about 15,400.
Part of this stems from Americans flocking to urban centers. But much of rural America’s shrinking population has to do with natural decreases, says Ken Johnson, a senior demographer at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. Rural counties are home to older white residents whose fertility rates are lower than other demographic groups. Many counties reached a tipping point in 2012 when annual deaths surpassed births. In all, 1,135 counties recorded a natural decrease — the most in U.S. history. “With the coming of the recession, the tipping point was accelerated because birth rates dropped,” Johnson says. And now that natural decreases started, they’ll likely continue in these areas for years.
But it’s not all bad news for rural America. While many areas took their hits during the Great Recession, agriculture largely sustained rural communities and newer industries, such as organic foods, cropped up. “When you look at the economic output of these counties, they’re actually growing,” says Matt Chase, the National Association of Counties’ executive director.
However, there just aren’t as many jobs as before in many farming communities. The mechanization of commodity agriculture — a major driver of rural economies — pushed down the number of available jobs. Accordingly, most rural counties will find it difficult to reverse years of population declines, but this doesn’t mean they can’t improve their quality of life.
Chase says broadband and access to airports are top priorities for rural counties. Well maintained roads and bridges are also essential for businesses wanting to curb transportation costs. But these investments often prove difficult for rural local governments, Chase says, with their aging populations and declining tax bases.
In Minnesota, Fox is working on a project to lay the foundation for a fiber network linking residents to high-speed Internet. Renville County also plans to expand a freight rail line and build a solid waste transfer center, further boosting the region’s economy. For each project, officials are working with other jurisdictions or private companies to achieve results that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. “It’s using taxpayers’ money wisely and producing better results by partnering with your neighbors,” Fox says.
This type of collaboration is needed if rural communities are to grow, says Chuck Fluharty, president of the Rural Policy Research Institute. Instead of thinking about two- or three-county areas, governments must set policies encompassing much larger regions — rural areas must better align themselves with nearby urban hubs and vice versa. “We need to rethink how we govern,” Fluharty says. “The old feudal silos have to go away.” Whether it’s economic clusters, distributed food and water systems, or tax sharing, there are ample opportunities for regional partnerships.
Although rare, some rural counties have seen their population climb. Loudoun County, Va., for example, experienced rapid population gains with its proximity to Washington, D.C., expanding from about 57,000 residents in 1980 to more than 300,000 today. In recent years, some of the fastest growing rural areas can be found in communities wedged between Raleigh and Fayetteville, N.C. Neighboring Johnston and Harnett counties added the most residents of any majority-rural county in the U.S. since 2010, according to Census estimates.
Some rural counties boasting recreational opportunities, such as ski resorts in the West, have also fared well. Other regions benefited from a natural gas boom or recent manufacturing growth.
It’s for these reasons that rural counties can’t all be treated the same — both their demographics and economies vary greatly, says Fluharty. “There are amazing dynamics going on from central cities to remote rural areas.”
By: Jennifer Medina
Via: The New York Times
SAN MARINO, Calif. — Beneath the palm trees that line Huntington Drive, named for the railroad magnate who founded this Southern California city, hang signs to honor families who have helped sponsor the centennial celebration here this year. There are names like Dryden, Crowley and Telleen, families that have lived here for generations. But there are newer names as well: Sun, Koo and Shi.
A generation ago, whites made up roughly two-thirds of the population in this rarefied Los Angeles suburb, where most of the homes are worth well over $1 million. But Asians now make up over half of the population in San Marino, which has long attracted some of the region’s wealthiest families and was once home to the John Birch Society’s Western headquarters.
The transformation illustrates a drastic shift in California immigration trends over the last decade, one that can easily be seen all over the area: more than twice as many immigrants to the nation’s most populous state now come from Asia than from Latin America.
And the change here is just one example of the ways immigration is remaking America, with the political, economic and cultural ramifications playing out in a variety of ways. The number of Latinos has more than doubled in many Southern states, including Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina, creating new tensions. Asian populations are booming in New Jersey, and Latino immigrants are reviving small towns in the Midwest.
Much of the current immigration debate in Congress has focused on Hispanics, and California has for decades been viewed as the focal point of that migration. But in cities in the San Gabriel Valley — as well as in Orange County and in Silicon Valley in Northern California — Asian immigrants have become a dominant cultural force in places that were once largely white or Hispanic.
“We are really looking at a different era here,” said Hans Johnson, a demographer at the Public Policy Institute of California who has studied census data. “There are astounding changes in working-class towns and old, established, wealthy cities. It is not confined to one place.”
Asians have become a majority in more than half a dozen cities in the San Gabriel Valley in the last decade, creating a region of Asian-dominated suburbs that stretches for nearly 30 miles east of Los Angeles. In the shopping centers, Chinese-language characters are on nearly every storefront, visible from the freeways that cut through the area.
Monterey Park, a middle-class city that began attracting Asian immigrants more than a generation ago, is still widely seen as the area’s center and retail hub. But as Asians have continued to arrive in Southern California, they have moved into some of the most exclusive cities in Los Angeles County, making up more than 60 percent of the population in San Gabriel and Walnut, along the county’s eastern edge.
Many of the immigrants come here from China and Taiwan, where they were part of a highly educated and affluent population. They have eagerly bought property in places like San Marino, where the median income is nearly double that of Beverly Hills and is home to one of the highest-performing school districts in the state. The local library now offers story time in Mandarin.
But the wealth is not uniform, and there are pockets of poverty in several of the area’s working-class suburbs, particularly in Vietnamese and Filipino communities.
“This is kind of ground zero for a new immigrant America,” said Daniel Ichinose, a demographer at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. “You have people speaking Mandarin and Vietnamese and Spanish all living together and facing many common challenges.”
The children of the immigrants who began transforming the area a generation ago are beginning to come of age, becoming cheerleaders for the region, running for political office and creating businesses that cater to a distinctly American-born audience.
There are countless stores that display signs in Mandarin, sell restaurant supplies and Chinese herbs, or advertise acupuncture or brokerage services. But perhaps the most common storefront is the boba tea shop, where young patrons spend hours drinking cold milk tea with jellylike tapioca balls. Nearly every one of the region’s hundreds of strip malls boasts a cafe — or even two — offering a dizzying number of variations on the sweet drink.
Andrew and David Fung, who grew up in Seattle, were surprised to see the pervasiveness of Chinese and Taiwanese culture in the San Gabriel Valley.
After moving to the area a couple of years ago to try to break into the entertainment industry, the Fung brothers created several hip-hop videos celebrating what they termed the “boba life,” to embrace the area where, as their lyrics explain, “kids drink more milk tea than liquor.” The videos became so wildly popular on the Internet that local leaders began showing them in official meetings.
“People here think it’s normal, hanging out to drink boba all day long, but this culture doesn’t exist everywhere, and we’re trying to tell them to embrace it, to own it,” said David Fung, 26. “We’ve got to teach ourselves to be proud of who we are and tell others about it.”
The Fung brothers have helped create a local ethnic pride that would have been unimaginable a generation ago, said Oliver Wang, a professor of sociology at California State University, Long Beach, who grew up in San Marino in the 1980s and returned to the area three years ago. The area could become central to Asian-American identity in the region in the way East Los Angeles is to Latinos or South Los Angeles is to African-Americans, he said.
“It wasn’t cool to be Chinese or cool to be Asian,” he said. “The idea that the San Gabriel Valley could be the locus of some kind of cultural movement or identity is fascinating. They are asserting cultural capital to create Asian-American identity that wasn’t there before, and one that is homegrown, not imported from Taiwan or Hong Kong.”
But the growth has not come without some backlash. While there is rarely overt tension in the area these days, there is a history of clashes over English-only ordinances, and some people still speak in hushed tones about Chinese immigrants taking over the region.
More recently, there have been renewed complaints of “maternity tourism,” a cottage industry that brings Chinese women here to give birth so their children can have American citizenship. Residents, including immigrants, have complained to officials about large houses that host dozens of pregnant women at a time.
Jay Chen, 35, a member of the Hacienda Heights school board in the San Gabriel Valley, recalled a 2010 controversy over a plan to create a Chinese-language class at a local middle school. Last year, when Mr. Chen challenged a longtime Republican congressman, Ed Royce, to represent a newly drawn district, he received a handful of messages using anti-Asian slurs.
“There’s still this conservative element that said teaching Chinese meant you were teaching communism,” said Mr. Chen, who lost the race. “Meanwhile, people are fighting to get into our district so their children — of whatever ethnicity — can take these classes.”
Food often draws outsiders to the region, which is packed with mom-and-pop restaurants where a feast can cost less than $20.
Last summer, Jonny Hwang, 32, a son of Taiwanese immigrants, created the 626 Night Market. (Its name is play on the region’s area code.) At the first event, with dozens of local food vendors, more than 15,000 people clogged the streets to get in. “It surprised everyone,” Mr. Hwang said. “All of the sudden we had a community and something that even other people wanted.”
By Kathleen Baireuther
TIP recently completed a Talent Report Card for the Maury County (TN) Chamber and Economic Alliance. The project consisted of (1) developing a set of indicators to track talent as it relates to economic vitality, (2) identifying benchmark counties, and (3) comparing the benchmark counties to Maury County across these metrics. The Talent Indicators Snapshot (below) highlights some of the key findings from this analysis.
Our methodology around indicator identification, benchmark selection, and qualitative analysis is summarized here. Our approach to the Talent Report Card reflects our holistic perspective on talent development, retention, and attraction and illustrates how a range of data sets can be analyzed and displayed to tell a compelling story about a community.
The Maury County Alliance initiated this project to gain a better understanding of the factors and trends shaping the population of young professionals in the community. As it is used in this context, talent refers to the population between the ages of 20-39 who have attained a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
This group is not necessarily more “talented” than other demographic cohorts, but it is important to a region’s economic vitality for a number of reasons. From the ages of 20-39, individuals pursue education, begin and develop a career, and, in many cases, start a family and anchor themselves in a community. A higher degree of mobility is also associated with this phase in life. This increased mobility can expose some communities to the risk of losing local talent to other, often larger, cities.
The share of residents ages 20-39 is also critical to maintaining a sustainable economy because it replenishes the workforce as older workers retire. Communities that have trouble retaining and/or attracting young, educated individuals may be at an economic disadvantage over the next twenty years as the Baby Boomers retire and a robust labor pool continues to shape business location and expansion decisions.
Economic vitality measures are also included in this analysis because the overall health of the economy strongly influences how attractive a community is to talent, as well as the breadth and depth of the professional opportunities available in the area. Quality of place describes how attractive a community appears from outside the community. Like economic vitality, quality of place also drives relocation decisions among young, educated professionals and should be considered in tandem with economic and demographic characteristics.
For our Maury County work, a set of nine benchmark counties were identified based on total population, share of population ages 20-39, the presence of higher education, and geography (proximity to a metropolitan or micropolitan area). An in-depth analysis of how the counties compared to one another across each of the talent indicators was also provided to the client as part of the Talent Report Card. The resulting document highlighted Maury County’s relative strengths and opportunities for improvement.
Qualitative Benchmarking: Assets & Amenities
The presence of certain amenities is also relevant in a discussion of what draws people to a community. To capture the “softer side” of talent development, attraction, and retention, TIP also performed a thorough qualitative benchmarking analysis around key amenities and assets in each benchmark county.
Findings from this research were catalogued in an Excel spreadsheet that itemizes over 200 assets and amenities related to talent retention and attraction. The results are summarized in Fig. 15 (below) and presented in an interactive online map, here.
Each asset on the map is labeled (mouse over) and includes a hyperlink to additional information. The interactive map denotes assets by category (identified by the icons above) for all ten counties included in the benchmarking exercise. Different categories of assets can be viewed by selecting them in the bottom right corner of the map. This format allows for a comprehensive scan of a wide range of characteristics that communities leverage to market themselves to young professionals and prospective employers. The geographic clustering of assets is also evident in this format.
This scan illustrates that Maury County possesses many of the key ingredients often associated with successful talent retention and attraction efforts. Enhancing and promoting these assets and amenities will further support local efforts around engaging young talent in the community.
By: David Leonhardt
Via: New York Times
Most low-income students who have top test scores and grades do not even apply to the nation’s best colleges, according to a new analysis of every high school student who took the SAT in a recent year.
The pattern contributes to widening economic inequality and low levels of mobility in this country, economists say, because college graduates earn so much more on average than nongraduates do. Low-income students who excel in high school often do not graduate from the less selective colleges they attend.
Only 34 percent of high-achieving high school seniors in the bottom fourth of income distribution attended any one of the country’s 238 most selective colleges, according to the analysis, conducted by Caroline M. Hoxby of Stanford and Christopher Avery of Harvard, two longtime education researchers. Among top students in the highest income quartile, that figure was 78 percent.
The findings underscore that elite public and private colleges, despite a stated desire to recruit an economically diverse group of students, have largely failed to do so.
Many top low-income students instead attend community colleges or four-year institutions closer to their homes, the study found. The students often are unaware of the amount of financial aid available or simply do not consider a top college because they have never met someone who attended one, according to the study’s authors, other experts and high school guidance counselors.
“A lot of low-income and middle-income students have the inclination to stay local, at known colleges, which is understandable when you think about it,” said George Moran, a guidance counselor at Central Magnet High School in Bridgeport, Conn. “They didn’t have any other examples, any models — who’s ever heard of Bowdoin College?”
Whatever the reasons, the choice frequently has major consequences. The colleges that most low-income students attend have fewer resources and lower graduation rates than selective colleges, and many students who attend a local college do not graduate. Those who do graduate can miss out on the career opportunities that top colleges offer.
The new study is beginning to receive attention among scholars and college officials because it is more comprehensive than other research on college choices. The study suggests that the problems, and the opportunities, for low-income students are larger than previously thought.
“It’s pretty close to unimpeachable — they’re drawing on a national sample,” said Tom Parker, the dean of admissions at Amherst College, which has aggressively recruited poor and middle-class students in recent years. That so many high-achieving, lower-income students exist “is a very important realization,” Mr. Parker said, and he suggested that colleges should become more creative in persuading them to apply.
Top low-income students in the nation’s 15 largest metropolitan areas do often apply to selective colleges, according to the study, which was based on test scores, self-reported data, and census and other data for the high school class of 2008. But such students from smaller metropolitan areas — like Bridgeport; Memphis; Sacramento; Toledo, Ohio; and Tulsa, Okla. — and rural areas typically do not.
These students, Ms. Hoxby said, “lack exposure to people who say there is a difference among colleges.”
Elite colleges may soon face more pressure to recruit poor and middle-class students, if the Supreme Court restricts race-based affirmative action. A ruling in the case, involving the University of Texas, is expected sometime before late June.
Colleges currently give little or no advantage in the admissions process to low-income students, compared with more affluent students of the same race, other research has found. A broad ruling against the University of Texas affirmative action program could cause colleges to take into account various socioeconomic measures, including income, neighborhood and family composition. Such a step would require an increase in these colleges’ financial aid spending but would help them enroll significant numbers of minority students.
Among high-achieving, low-income students, 6 percent were black, 8 percent Latino, 15 percent Asian-American and 69 percent white, the study found.
“If there are changes to how we define diversity,” said Greg W. Roberts, the dean of admission at the University of Virginia, referring to the court case, “then I expect schools will really work hard at identifying low-income students.”
Ms. Hoxby and Mr. Avery, both economists, compared the current approach of colleges to looking under a streetlight for a lost key. The institutions continue to focus their recruiting efforts on a small subset of high schools in cities like Boston, New York and Los Angeles that have strong low-income students.
The researchers defined high-achieving students as those very likely to gain admission to a selective college, which translated into roughly the top 4 percent nationwide. Students needed to have at least an A-minus average and a score in the top 10 percent among students who took the SAT or the ACT.
Of these high achievers, 34 percent came from families in the top fourth of earners, 27 percent from the second fourth, 22 percent from the third fourth and 17 percent from the bottom fourth. (The researchers based the income cutoffs on the population of families with a high school senior living at home, with $41,472 being the dividing line for the bottom quartile and $120,776 for the top.)
Winona Leon, a sophomore at the University of Southern California who grew up in West Texas, said she was not surprised by the study’s results. Ms. Leon was the valedictorian of her 17-member senior class in the ranch town of Fort Davis, where Advanced Placement classes and SAT preparation were rare.
“It was really on ourselves to create those resources,” she said.
She first assumed that faraway colleges would be too expensive, given their high list prices and the cost of plane tickets home. But after receiving a mailing from QuestBridge, an outreach program for low-income students, she came to realize that a top college might offer her enough financial aid to make it less expensive than a state university in Texas.
On average, private colleges and top state universities are substantially more expensive than community colleges, even with financial aid. But some colleges, especially the most selective, offer enough aid to close or eliminate the gap for low-income students.
If they make it to top colleges, high-achieving, low-income students tend to thrive there, the paper found. Based on the most recent data, 89 percent of such students at selective colleges had graduated or were on pace to do so, compared with only 50 percent of top low-income students at nonselective colleges.
The study will be published in the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity.
The authors emphasized that their data did not prove that students not applying to top colleges would apply and excel if colleges recruited them more heavily. Ms. Hoxby and Sarah Turner, a University of Virginia professor, are conducting follow-up research in which they perform random trials to evaluate which recruiting techniques work and how the students subsequently do.
For colleges, the potential recruiting techniques include mailed brochures, phone calls, e-mail, social media and outreach from alumni. Another recent study, cited in the Hoxby-Avery paper, suggests that very selective colleges have at least one graduate in the “vast majority of U.S. counties.”
by Karen Beard and Tom Stellman
The presumed mismatch between the skills of the workforce and the needs of employers, commonly referred to as the “skills gap,” has garnered the attention of politicians, employers, economic developers, and professionals in workforce and education. A number of authoritative sources—Manpower, Deloitte, McKinsey—point to statistics which show that, despite relatively high levels of unemployment, a number of jobs are going unfilled because employers can’t find candidates with the skills they want. This issue will be the subject of discussion led by TIP’s president and CEO, Tom Stellman, at the Texas Economic Development Council’s 2013 Legislative Conference this week.
Several factors are contributing to this gap, including an aging workforce, an education system focused on 4-year degrees, the growing use of automation, and distortions caused by the labor demands of the energy sector. Yet some argue the current situation is less of a “skills” gap than a “wage” gap. Manufacturing wages have stagnated as the value of goods produced per worker has soared. This lackluster performance can make it even harder to attract young workers to manufacturing careers, particularly in a culture that often perceives the industry as a less–than-desirable option for its children.
Even if we could agree on its existence, the question of how best to fill it remains. Focusing on education is at the heart of many initiatives. Yet even if education is the answer, the challenges of timing the flow of workers with the needs of industry remains. Trying to predict which skills will be in demand can result in well-meaning training programs that produce a number of workers in a particular industry only to find that the economy has moved on and left these newly minted skills in the dust.
So, reality or myth? Maybe, like many of life’s questions, the answer is a little of both.