More on Sequestration’s Effects on the Private Sector

August 10, 2013

By: Catherine Rampell
Via: The New York Times

Back in June I wrote about the private industries whose employment was most dependent on defense funds, and which were therefore most likely to suffer from sequestration.

Over at the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis blog, Josh Lehner has taken this analysis further. He calculated the share of the work force in each state that is employed in five defense-sensitive industries.

Chart courtesy of Josh Lehner, Oregon Office of Economic Analysis. “Military dependent” employment refers to employment in top five private industries whose employment is sensitive to changes in defense spending (facilities support services; ship and boat building; aerospace product and parts manufacturing; scientific research and development services; and navigational, measuring, electromedical and control instruments manufacturing).

He found that Washington State is ranked first in terms of share of employment reliant on military-dependent industries, followed by New Mexico. (In sheer numbers of military-reliant employees, California and Washington State are the top two.)

He also charted the changes in the private sector over all versus those in just the defense-sensitive industries:

Chart courtesy of Josh Lehner, Oregon Office of Economic Analysis. “Military dependent” employment refers to employment in top five private industries whose employment is sensitive to changes in defense spending (facilities support services; ship and boat building; aerospace product and parts manufacturing; scientific research and development services; and navigational, measuring, electromedical and control instruments manufacturing).

Of course, these numbers alone will not capture the full extent of the employment consequences of the sequestration.

First, there are layoffs and furloughs within the federal government itself, which has ripple effects on the spending done by those affected workers.

Second, the nondefense portion of Congress’s budget cuts will also affect employment at private companies, although the effects are probably not concentrated in as few industries as the defense-side spending cuts are, and so will be harder to isolate in the data. For example, cutbacks in federal employee travel would affect the hotel industry, but a vast majority of hotel guests are not government employees, so the overall effect on that particular industry would be small.

Veterans’ Jobs Programs Close Unemployment Gap

August 1, 2013

By: David Weinberg
Via: Marketplace


In 2011, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans was 12.1 percent. For non-veterans, it was 8.7 percent. But new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that the unemployment gap between veterans and non-veterans is gone.

Matt Maxon was a mechanic in the Navy. He worked on diesel engines. After 20 years and 14 days of service, he retired in July of 2010 and started looking for work. He sent out 800 resumes, and got just a single job interview.

He eventually ended up working at a grocery store. “Basically I got $25 a week stocking shelves when I led up to 150 men at one time,” Maxon said.

But three years later, he is poised to become a fully employed forklift mechanic. His journey illustrates one factor that has led to the drop in unemployment among veterans: education.

“We recommend that people coming out of the military after enlisting in high school take advantage of the GI bill. Now that is a program that has been enhanced significantly,” said Brian Zawikowski, who manages the military transition programs at the recruiting company Lucas Group.

Matt Maxon listened to Zawikowski’s recommendation and completed a two-year engineering degree at a community college. Maxon says it was a huge factor in helping him land his job.

And then there are the factors on the employer side. Tax credits have created incentives for companies to hire vets.

“So a Walmart, for example, they can offer anyone coming out of the military a job there and take advantage of that credit,” Zawikowski said. “But most employers aren’t looking at hiring people on that scale and they need to hire people with certain skill sets.”

Yet another possible factor in the drop in veteran unemployment is improvements in the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Programs. “Historically they were actually voluntary they’ve been made mandatory. It’s more widespread. They’ve been trying to improve the content of the instruction” said Paul Heaton, a senior economist at Rand Corporation.

In the short term, data suggest that there is a period of difficult transition for veterans, but in the long term, Heaton says, “serving in the military in terms of your financial well being the evidence suggests it’s a good decision and most people end up economically better off.”

And today with more veterans working, the economy is better off too.

Veterans’ Jobs Programs Close Uunemployment Gap


By: David Weinberg
Via: Marketplace


In 2011, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans was 12.1 percent. For non-veterans, it was 8.7 percent. But new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that the unemployment gap between veterans and non-veterans is gone.

Matt Maxon was a mechanic in the Navy. He worked on diesel engines. After 20 years and 14 days of service, he retired in July of 2010 and started looking for work. He sent out 800 resumes, and got just a single job interview.

He eventually ended up working at a grocery store. “Basically I got $25 a week stocking shelves when I led up to 150 men at one time,” Maxon said.

But three years later, he is poised to become a fully employed forklift mechanic. His journey illustrates one factor that has led to the drop in unemployment among veterans: education.

“We recommend that people coming out of the military after enlisting in high school take advantage of the GI bill. Now that is a program that has been enhanced significantly,” said Brian Zawikowski, who manages the military transition programs at the recruiting company Lucas Group.

Matt Maxon listened to Zawikowski’s recommendation and completed a two-year engineering degree at a community college. Maxon says it was a huge factor in helping him land his job.

And then there are the factors on the employer side. Tax credits have created incentives for companies to hire vets.

“So a Walmart, for example, they can offer anyone coming out of the military a job there and take advantage of that credit,” Zawikowski said. “But most employers aren’t looking at hiring people on that scale and they need to hire people with certain skill sets.”

Yet another possible factor in the drop in veteran unemployment is improvements in the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Programs. “Historically they were actually voluntary they’ve been made mandatory. It’s more widespread. They’ve been trying to improve the content of the instruction” said Paul Heaton, a senior economist at Rand Corporation.

In the short term, data suggest that there is a period of difficult transition for veterans, but in the long term, Heaton says, “serving in the military in terms of your financial well being the evidence suggests it’s a good decision and most people end up economically better off.”

And today with more veterans working, the economy is better off too.

In U.S., 24% of Men, 2% of Women Are Veterans

November 12, 2012

By: Frank Newport
Via: Gallup Politics

PRINCETON, NJ — On this Veterans Day 2012, about 13% of U.S. adults overall are veterans, including 24% of men and 2% of women. Veteran status among men is highly related to age, moving above the majority level for those aged 65 and older. By contrast, 12% of men aged 25 to 34 are veterans.

These data are based on more than 293,000 interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking from January through October of this year.

Percent Of Americans Who Are Veterans - Age and GenderThe impact of the military draft is evident in the trends across age groups among men. The percentage of men who have served in the military jumps from about 20% among 45- to 59-year-olds to 39% among those aged 60 to 64, and then exceeds the 50% level among men who are older. The highest percentage of veterans (80%) occurs among men now 85 to 89, who would have been just entering their late teens during World War II and its immediate aftermath. The draft effectively ended for men in the early 1970s, helping explain the rapid dropoff in veteran status among those who are now aged 55 and younger.

Veteran status is very low across all age groups of women, but, unlike the case with men, it is slightly higher among women aged 25 to 54 than it is among older women. This no doubt reflects the changing gender composition of the nation’s military forces.

Veterans Fairly Evenly Distributed Across Regions of the Country

Veterans are spread out across the country in a way that is roughly proportionate to the overall adult population.

Percent Of Americans Who Are Veterans - RegionA slightly higher percentage of those living in the Southeast and in the Rocky Mountain regions report being veterans, with slightly lower percentages in New England, the Middle Atlantic, and the East Central/Great Lakes regions.

Implications

Veteran status in the U.S. is highly related to both gender and age, reflecting historical patterns relating to mandatory military service, and the continuing highly male skew of service members. The significant majority of American men aged 75 and older are veterans, compared with no more than 12% of those younger than age 35. Younger women are slightly more likely than older women to be veterans, but veteran status does not rise much above 3% in any female age group.

These demographic facts indicate that today’s veteran population, estimated at about 13% overall and 24% among men, will gradually decline in the years ahead as older cohorts of men die off.

Survey Methods

GE, Manufacturing Institute, Alcoa Inc., Boeing And Lockheed Martin Launch Coalition To Train U.S. Veterans For Jobs In Advanced Manufacturing

October 16, 2012

GE Press Release
Via: Business Wire

Goal is to Train and Match 100,000 Veterans by 2015

• Accelerated skills training program offered in ten states


• Online “badging” helps veterans translate military experience to civilian job opportunities


• GE and Institute for Veterans and Military Families to create employer toolkit to expand and enhance hiring


• Hands-on trainings at five TechShop locations enable veterans to use advanced manufacturing technologies



NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GE (NYSE: GE) joined with business, digital, academic and not-for-profit partners today to launch a new coalition that aims to train military veterans for jobs in advanced manufacturing, bolster the talent pipeline and enhance American competitiveness.

The Get Skills to Work coalition will focus on: accelerating skills training for U.S. veterans; helping veterans and employers translate military skills to advanced manufacturing jobs; and empowering employers with tools to recruit, onboard and mentor veterans.

Get Skills to Work will be managed by the Manufacturing Institute and supported through financial and in-kind commitments from GE, Alcoa Inc., Boeing and Lockheed Martin. These initial investments will help 15,000 veterans translate military experience to corresponding advanced manufacturing opportunities and gain the technical skills needed to qualify for careers in this growing sector. The coalition is seeking additional partners to meet its goal of reaching 100,000 veterans by 2015. Companies and veterans interested in joining this effort or learning more can visit www.GetSkillstoWork.org.

“A strong manufacturing industry is central to the long-term health and success of our economy,” said Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE. “But as technology advances, skillsets must be upgraded to ensure companies like GE have the talent to continue to fuel innovation. Today, many veterans are out of work, despite the nation’s growing industrial sector and increased demand for skilled workers. Through this initiative, we have an opportunity to help veterans with extraordinary leadership capabilities better compete for good paying jobs with a long-term future.”

Reportedly 600,000 high-tech manufacturing jobs remain open in the U.S. and more than 82 percent of manufacturers report they cannot find people to fill their skilled production jobs. Meanwhile, one million veterans are expected to exit the armed forces over the next four years and will be transitioning to civilian careers.

The coalition commissioned an online survey of more than 1,000 veterans and active duty military members preparing to transition to the private sector. The survey found that while 76 percent of respondents are confident they will be as successful in their careers as they were in the military, one-third do not feel equipped to overcome the challenges of the transition to civilian life; the percentage rises to nearly half (48 percent) when surveying active duty military who are scheduled to transition in two years or less.

Paula Davis, president, Alcoa Foundation, said, “Veterans offer the technical, leadership and critical thinking skills that advanced manufacturing demands. Forming the Get Skills to Work coalition and coordinating with nonprofits to train, recruit and develop veterans is an exciting model that has the potential to change lives and produce a significant competitive advantage for U.S. manufacturers. Alcoa is proud to invest in this worthwhile endeavor.”

Rick Stephens, Boeing senior vice president of human resources and administration, and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, said, “Based on our experience recruiting and training veterans to work at Boeing, we believe the Get Skills to Work initiative could have a major impact on the hiring of veterans nationwide. Using many of the same tactics and tools, such as a website for transitioning veterans that includes a military-to-civilian skills translator, we have hired and trained nearly 3,000 veterans in the past 21 months for jobs at Boeing. It’s a proven approach for matching the skills of those who have served our country to the hiring needs of American businesses. We’re honored to be part of Get Skills to Work, and look forward to integrating our efforts with the coalition.”

Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO, said, “America’s veterans want and deserve the opportunity to contribute to our society and provide for their families. At Lockheed Martin, we believe it is our duty to give them that opportunity. There is no greater way to say ‘thanks’ for all their service and sacrifice, which enable all of us to live safe and secure lives, and pursue our dreams every day. The investment this coalition makes in training will provide them this opportunity, and strengthen tomorrow’s workforce.”

Today, the four founding companies employ approximately 64,000 U.S. military veterans.

The program will consist of three elements:

• Accelerating Skills Training


To help prepare veterans whose military service experience doesn’t immediately qualify them for available manufacturing jobs, coalition partners will work with local community and technical colleges to establish the Manufacturing Institute’s “Right Skills Now” program, which fast-tracks industry-recognized certifications and offers training in core manufacturing technical skill areas. Partners will engage their regional supply base to ensure the certifications being offered meet the immediate skill needs of local employers, and will work with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, as well as local military transition offices and bases, to recruit veteran participants.

The first class of veterans will be enrolled in January 2013 near GE Aviation’s manufacturing hub in Cincinnati, Ohio at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Additional training sites will open throughout 2013, servicing: Ft. Worth and Houston, Texas; Schenectady, New York; Greenville, South Carolina; Durham, North Carolina; greater Los Angeles, California; and Evansville, Indiana. Boeing will continue to train its workers in the Puget Sound area of Washington state, Charleston, South Carolina, St. Louis, Missouri and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania through existing partnerships with Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center, readySC, a division of the South Carolina Technical College System, St. Louis Community College and Delaware County Community College.

“The Manufacturing Institute is proud to be partnering with GE and other committed employers to make their investments in veterans and manufacturing workforce training have a real impact in communities across the country,” said Jennifer McNelly, president of the Manufacturing Institute. “Working with our partners, we will help create real opportunities for veterans to get the skills they need to access in-demand manufacturing jobs.”

• Translating Military Experience into Civilian Opportunities


Many veterans and employers have difficulty recognizing and translating the skills gained through military training and experience into civilian workforce skill sets. The Manufacturing Institute, working with Futures Inc., has created a digital badge system to help translate applicable Military Occupational Specialty codes (MOS), the U.S. military’s system for identifying jobs, to civilian positions in advanced manufacturing. Skills matching and badge distribution will be supported by the US Manufacturing Pipeline, a centralized online hub that connects manufacturing employers with veterans and transitioning military personnel. Get Skills to Work will also leverage LinkedIn to enable veterans to build their professional profiles and relevant skills on LinkedIn. To boost the number of job opportunities available to credentialed veterans, GE will sponsor an advanced manufacturing “job-posting drive” on the LinkedIn platform. Military veteran participants and employers can access these platforms at www.GetSkillstoWork.org.

• Empowering Employers


GE and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) will develop and deploy a toolkit for employers focused on creating meaningful, lasting career opportunities for veterans in the advanced manufacturing sector. The toolkit will leverage work begun by the IVMF, with support from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Robin Hood, New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization. It will share research and proven best practices from more than 40 businesses to deliver processes, resources and programs that will enable more employers to effectively recruit, on-board, support and mentor veterans in the civilian workforce. The toolkit will be available to employers participating in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative and the 100,000 Jobs Mission, as well as the broader business community. For more information please visit www.GetSkillstoWork.org.

Additional support:

Education and promotion: To help drive further industry participation, the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan organization that promotes constructive U.S. leadership and engagement in international affairs, will lead efforts to educate and engage potential corporate partners. On a parallel track, GE has partnered with the Gary Sinise Foundation to help raise awareness among military communities and drive veteran recruitment into the training program. Founded by award-winning actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, the Gary Sinise Foundation is dedicated to supporting veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities.

Sinese said, “After the events of September 11th, I just felt compelled to serve the needs of men and women in uniform and people that are serving our country. Through this work, I’ve had the opportunity to visit with veterans who are returning home from combat without a clear path for how they will succeed in civilian life. This program will give them an opportunity to begin laying a foundation for satisfying, long-term careers as they transition back to the civilian workforce.”

Advisory Council: A Get Skills to Work Advisory Council comprising active and retired military leaders will be engaged to ensure coalition partners understand the unique needs of veterans and transitioning military personnel, and that the program effectively delivers solutions to help close the manufacturing skills gap and bolster the talent pipeline.

Get Skills to Work Advisory Council member and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said, “As our nation’s heroes transition back into civilian life, I applaud these employers for finding effective ways to hire them, while ensuring these extraordinary young men and women, disciplined and eager to make a difference, get the job training and career counseling they need to succeed. Our veterans have sacrificed much for us and we must do all we can to support while seeking to repay the debt we owe them as a country as they start new and successful careers.”

Hands-on Experience: To provide veterans with opportunities for hands-on experience with the technology found in advanced manufacturing, GE is developing, with TechShop, training tracks for veterans in Detroit, Michigan; Raleigh, North Carolina; San Jose, California; Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C. and New York.

Mark Hatch, CEO, TechShop said, “Many people have an outdated view of the skills required for jobs in today’s advanced manufacturing environment. Once they have a chance to discover modern prototyping and manufacturing processes and participate in a hands-on workshop they see the possibilities for channeling their creativity and interest in making things into a career.”

About GE

GE is honored to have over 10,000 U.S. military veterans continue their careers with the company and recently set a goal of hiring 1,000 veterans each year for the next five years. Through its partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program, GE has hired over 800 veterans in 2012 and has supported over thirty Hiring Our Heroes transition workshops, coaching over 2,000 veterans. GE is also an active member of and donor to several leading national military and veteran support organizations, such as Disabled American Veterans, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and the Medal of Honor Foundation, among others.

GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ge.com.

The “Green” Light for Military Energy

October 10, 2012

By: Mali R. Schantz-Feld
Via: Area Development Online

The Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard have each committed to deploy one gigawatt of renewable energy on or near its installations by 2025.

Military EnergyGoing “green” in the military means more than just multi-colored camouflage. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a Multiple-Award Task Order (MATOC) Request for Proposal (RFP) for $7 billion to procure reliable, locally generated, renewable and alternative energy through power purchase agreements. The Corps plans to award the delivery contracts for approximately 30 years for renewable energy plants that are constructed and operated by contractors using private-sector financing.

The Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard have each committed to deploy one gigawatt of renewable energy on or near its installations by 2025. Army Secretary John McHugh noted that the Federal Renewable and Alternative Energy contract is expected to provide the Army with the means to achieve its goals.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior noted, “Renewable energy, when combined with advanced micro-grid and storage technologies, can significantly enhance the energy security and reduce the energy costs of DoD installations.” Tonju Butler, the procurement contracting officer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, explained, “It is the intent of the government only to purchase the energy that is produced, and not to acquire any generation assets. The contractors will finance, design, build, operate, own, and maintain the energy plants…Project locations may be on any federal property located within the U.S. including Alaska, Hawaii, territories, provinces, or other property under the control of the U.S. government for the duration of contract performance.”

The new developments can consist of many different types of energy generation. The memorandum noted, “Offshore wind is an abundant renewable energy resource available to most DoD coastal installations on the Atlantic Coast, on the Pacific Coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in Hawaii.” Another bright green energy spot is in the solar sector. Solar panel producer Suntech Power Holdings, Co. Ltd., recently supplied 3.4 megawatts (MW) of solar panels for a solar installation at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California, with more than 12,000 solar panels manufactured at Suntech’s facility in Goodyear, Arizona. The installation was designed, financed, and installed by Borrego Solar, solar solutions provider, at no upfront cost to Edwards Air Force Base. Mike Hall, CEO of Borrego Solar said, “Looking ahead, we are excited to work with more military and federal facility managers to help them take full advantage of the financial benefits that come from using solar to generate clean sustainable energy and local jobs.”

In September, California-based SolarCity received a conditional commitment for a partial guarantee of a $344 million loan to help secure financing for its SolarStrong™ project that, in part, partners with military housing-privatization developers to install, own, and operate rooftop solar installations on as many as 124 military housing developments across 33 states. The first eligible project is already under way at Hickam Communities at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.

Pike Research estimates that the DoD currently spends approximately $20 billion per year on energy — 75 percent for fuel and 25 percent for facilities and infrastructure, and green energy is an important change. “The DoD is positioned to become the single most important driver of the cleantech revolution in the United States,” says Pike Research president Clint Wheelock in a company statement. “In particular, military investment in renewable energy and related technologies can help bridge the ‘valley of death’ that lies between research and development and full commercialization of these technologies.”