ISSUE 103 | April 13, 2021
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Pandemic reveals need for unemployment system upgrades
High demand for unemployment compensation has highlighted the flaws in the capacity of state unemployment systems to process claims quickly and to minimize fraud (estimated at $40 billion since the onset of COVID-19).

The federal government is responsible for the administrative costs, affecting state ability to upgrade IT systems.

The pandemic has forced the state to review and begin some modernization of IT and call center operations.

White paper explores the value of corporate social innovation
Corporate Social Responsibility refers to the ways companies elevate communities and strengthen the environment while growing their own business activities.

Historically, companies have largely focused their efforts on the regions where their headquarters are located.

This has been a challenge to NEPA, because it is home to operating divisions or subsidiaries instead of headquarters.

Data indicates that times are changing, however, as employers see corporate responsibility not only as an imperative to good business – but also a tool to attract young workers. 

Efforts underway to educate public about vaccination cards
Organizations throughout Northeastern PA have been working diligently to ensure that at-risk populations understand the importance and safety of vaccinations, and to assist with scheduling appointments.

The next step is to educate the community about the value and function of vaccination cards.

Vaccination passports and boosters may be needed in the future, so those cards are meaningful personal health documents.

It is critical for individuals to know that they must contact vaccine providers if these cards have been lost and replacements are needed. 

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Workforce shortage forces businesses to get creative
Employers must re-evaluate recruitment and retention strategies if they want to identify the best and the brightest talent amid a workforce shortage anticipated to last decades.

United Airlines decided to develop its own pipeline by opening a flight school for pilots and offering scholarships.

This initiative was launched in concert with J.P. Morgan, a business partner looking to improve diversity. 

Companies take a stand against controversial voting rights
Last weekend over 100 CEOs of major corporations gathered to discuss how they can show support (or lack thereof) for potential voting bills.

This meeting was prompted by Georgia’s latest restrictions and Senator McConnell’s indication that businesses have no roll in public policy.

The consortium considered many strategies, including halting campaign contributions and delaying investments in states. 

California county secures a win for mental health care
Another community is moving toward a mental health crisis response to 911 calls, in lieu of or in conjunction with police dispatch.

Law enforcement in Sacramento County, CA are working with leaders to develop the program.

Potential use of department funding was initially a concern, but federal and state dollars for mental health care will now support nearly 80 percent of the cost, reducing impact on local budgets. 

Research Spotlight: Interested in learning more about workforce needs in Northeastern Pennsylvania? Use the link below to click on the red tabs labeled Education and Workforce Development and Jobs, Economy, and Economic Development. Then scroll down to find research on economic competitiveness, skills shortages, the trades, labor demand, automation, and more!

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