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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.

Kalamazoo School District Superintendent Michael Rice - Official photo, courtesy of Kalamazoo Public Schools
Courtesy Photo / Kalamazoo Public Schools

Kalamazoo Schools Superintendent Michael Rice says he thinks a different school calendar with a shorter summer break is likely the way of the future. Two schools in the Kalamazoo district started this academic year in July as part of an improvement plan required by the state to stay open.

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Kalamazoo Schools Superintendent Michael Rice says the Kalamazoo Promise helped boost enrollment. But he says other programs have helped drive up the graduation rate. Rice says the increase in graduation has outpaced the rate of growth in enrollment. 

Two Kalamazoo schools started their academic year in July. Rice says he believes a different school calendar is likely the way of the future. He says both schools have the same number of days and hours of instruction, but don’t have the long summer break in the traditional school calendar. But Rice says any large scale change is still many years away.

Kalamazoo Promise sign - file photo from WMUK

Since the Kalamazoo Promise was unveiled in 2005, several communities across the county have launched their own college scholarship programs. But they vary in how they are designed, and that leads to different educational and economic benefits.

Researchers at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo examined the effects of "Promise" scholarship programs on prosperity in the communities where they are launched. Upjohn Institute Senior Researcher Michelle Miller-Adams and Research Fellow Ed Smith joined WMUK’s Gordon Evans for an interview that originally aired in November.

Courtesy of Tim Palmer and Jennifer Harrison / Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University Management Professor Tim Palmer says students from WMU’s Haworth College of Business and the College of Health and Human Services come at social corporate responsibility from different viewpoints. And he says “amazing conversations come out of that.”