Monday, December 28, 2009

Jobs Business

"Providers report that both funding cuts and instability are resulting in staff reductions, program closures, cutbacks in client services, and number of clients served, as well as negatively impacting organizational operations and infrastructure."

Chicago Jobs Council, Economic Environment Survey of Employment and Training Providers, December, 2009.

The Chicago Jobs Council (CJC) surveyed 243 employment and training organizations in September 2009 and received 43 responses, a 19% response rate. Although we don't know much about the respondents, at least from this summary, nonprofits are certainly experiencing tough times -- and taking a variety of steps to survive while delivering quality services. ARRA funding is a mixed blessing. Many respondents received some -- but its time limited nature and related administrative and capacity burdens has made it difficult to use in many circumstances.

"Multiple respondents also indicated that the economic environment is making it difficult to place clients in employment and therefore impacting organizational performance outcomes."

This is the only real mention of the the labor market and the the impact of higher unemployment and diminished hiring. I wish more questions had been asked about this -- what seems to me to be one of the most important questions for employment and training providers.

Some questions I'm interested in: Are you placing clients in jobs? What kinds of jobs and industries? Are employers increasing job requirements? Are they lessening job quality? As a nonprofit provider, how are you adjusting your strategies -- more focus on retention, incumbent workers, job creation, new industries? What's your sense of emerging and long term labor market trends?

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