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Building Integrated Workforce Development Systems

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Getting America back to work to everyone's goal.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Labor Market Intelligence

Additionally, states should consider the value of workforce and economic information and use this information in implementing the Recovery Act. Now more than ever, this type of information should be the foundation of workforce development strategies. Workforce information will be particularly critical as states and local areas seek to identify those businesses and sectors of the economy that are still in need of workers, even in the economic downturn, and those that will begin to grow as the economy recovers. Workforce information is also central to analysis of transferable skills for workers who have lost their jobs in industries and occupations that are not likely to rebound and need to transition to new careers. States should consider utilizing a portion of Recovery Act funding to enhance workforce and economic information availability and use, with particular focus on supporting regional and local workforce investment board planning for the use of Recovery Act funds and creating linkages to jobs created through Recovery Act investments.

Geographic Solutions has been a leader in providing labor market information (LMI) services since 1994 and was the first company to release LMI products using ALMIS, a standard now adopted by all states. To date, Geographic Solutions has provided technical assistance in populating this database structure to over 30 state agencies. As LMI leaders we are constantly developing new tools for analyzing labor market data. We fully agree with the TEGL statement that workforce information "should be the foundation of workforce development strategies" and would further qualify that statement by inserting "quality" before workforce information.

With the impetus of the ARRA funds and the corresponding directives to move expeditiously it is still imperative to maintain quality standards for information collection and analysis. Our commitment to quality is evidenced by our job spidering methodology. We have a staff of over 25 full time researchers, developers, and quality assurance employees dedicated exclusively to spidering. This team ensures that spidered jobs are non-duplicative, accurate, and have correctly assigned O*NET codes, NAICS codes, and valid geo-location information.

Geographic Solutions has recently developed a new analysis tool that uses spidered job data to provide real time labor market analysis. The new system, National Labor Market Analysis (NLMA), provides users of the system a method to inspect current labor market data and trends. This adds a new dimension to understanding current market conditions and can provide useful information for planning and decision making. NLMA is an invaluable augmentation to our already well established Labor Market Information module for historical data.

Geographical Solutions' philosophy is that labor market information is valuable to job seekers as well as labor market analysts. Access to relevant labor market information during the course of a job search or career exploration provides additional data to allow job seekers to make informed, efficient career decisions. For this reason, "In context LMI" is a standard component of Geographic Solution's Virtual OneStop systems.

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