Tim Bartik says employers should go beyond thinking of job training as a one-time program. The Senior Economist for the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research says if workers can stay on the job, companies won’t have to take on as many costs that come with job turnover.
Bartik and Senior Researcher Michelle Miller-Adams are two of the authors of the Upjohn Institute’s report called Building Shared Prosperity: How Communities Can Create Good Jobs for All. Bartik says job coaches can help find resources for workers to address problems like child care and transportation. Miller-Adams says large employers have their own people to do that, but she says employer resource networks can help spread out those costs for small and medium sized businesses.
The report examines other issues such as place-based scholarships and economic incentives designed to attract employers. Bartik says business tax incentives should be upfront – not for years down the road, and targeted for companies with “high multipliers” and at small and medium sized businesses. Bartik says services such as advice on how to find new markets can also help firms.
“Giving away cash is easy, there’s infinite demand for it…but providing these services for small and medium sized businesses can be a more effective long-term strategy.”
The report says communities can develop their own place-based scholarship programs, similar to the Kalamazoo Promise. Miller-Adams has studied how other communities have developed their own programs. She says Kansas City has launched a scholarship program that’s different in design from the Kalamazoo Promise. But Miller-Adams says the supporting program has acted as a catalyst for bringing together players, and encouraging collaboration among higher education institutions.