Topics Of Interest
NTIA Announces Update to the National Broadband Map
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has provided this July 25, 2012 update on the National Broadband Map:
Today we again updated the National Broadband Map, the unprecedented interactive map that shows what high-speed Internet service is available in the United States. The map is powered by a new set of data from 1,865 broadband providers nationwide - more than 20 million records - and displays where broadband is available, the name of the provider, the technology used to provide the service, and the maximum advertised speeds of the service. Since its launch last year, the National Broadband Map has attracted more than 650,000 users who are employing the map to meet a variety of needs. For example:
- The map is helping consumers and small businesses who are unaware of their broadband options. In Utah, for instance, a mid-sized company in the health care field was losing time and money due to frequent broadband outages at a rural office. The company considered moving these jobs to their headquarters in an urban location. However the company was able to use the National Broadband Map to identify other broadband providers in this rural county - and retain hundreds of jobs in this rural area.
- Businesses are using the map to identify and analyze potential employment locations. For instance, the Kansas Department of Commerce and a customer service company used the map to identify communities with the broadband necessary to support home-based workers. As a result, the customer service company hired about 200 workers in the state, providing much-needed jobs in small towns that may have otherwise been overlooked for this work. Similarly, an online training company used the map to identify South Dakota towns where they can locate new offices, which will support more than 100 professional jobs in these rural locations.
- The map has supported academic research at more than 1,000 colleges and universities and been used by more than 500 city and county governments. And developers are using the data from the map to create new applications. In the past nine months, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have been called more than 20 million times.
Trade Adjustment Assistance: ETA Issues Revised Instructions for Reporting
The Employment and Training Administration has issued revised instructions for implementing the 2012 Trade Adjustment Assistance Trade Activity Participant Report (TAPR).
Aspen Institute Workforce Strategies Initiative Announces New Class for Sector Skills Academy
The Sector Skills Academy has announced the selection of 25 workforce development leaders as the eighth class of Marano Fellows. The Academy operated by the Aspen Institute's Workforce Strategies Initiative, provides emerging leaders in the sectoral workforce development field with a unique professional development opportunity. Major support for the Academy is provided by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
Over a 12-month period, this group of 25 fellows will participate in peer and classroom learning, site visits, and workshops, during which they will be encouraged to acquire new skills, engage in experiential learning, connect with peers, and build relationships with mentors and leaders. Academy faculty and mentors are drawn from experienced leaders in the field of sectoral employment development. Participants are expected to apply the lessons of the Academy to enhance their work in their chosen sector.
Marano Fellows are so named in honor of Cindy Marano, a key leader in the field of sectoral workforce development and head of the National Network of Sector Partners until her death in April 2005. Cindy, who played a major role in creating the Academy, believed the Academy would make a significant contribution to the field's growth and development. Today, nearly 175 leaders have graduated from the Academy representing over 32 states, the District of Columbia, and national organizations who operate across the United States.
O*NET 17.0 Development Database Now Available for Download
The O*NET database contains several hundred variables that represent descriptors of work and worker characteristics, including skill requirements. For clarity and distinction, the database used in O*NET OnLine is called the production database. It is currently O*NET 16.0 and is available for download from the Production Database page. Those wishing to utilize the database currently in use in O*NET OnLine should use this version.
The database summarized below is O*NET 17.0 and is referred to as the development database. This is the version of the database that will be implemented in the next update of O*NET OnLine scheduled for fall 2012. However, an application developer or other user may choose to begin using the O*NET 17.0 database at any point. The 17.0 files can also be used in planning for any future update of existing products or in developing new products.
;Highlights of the New O*NET 17.0 Database
The O*NET 17.0 database features the O*NET-SOC 2010 taxonomy, which is compatible with the 2010 SOC standard. In addition to its traditional availability as tab-delimited text files, this database is also available as SQL files for use in Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle. Both versions are available from the Download section.
This thirteenth major update from the O*NET Data Collection Program brings the number of comprehensively updated occupations to 900. Highlights of this update include:
- Addition and update of Task Statement ratings (importance, relevance, and frequency) for 108 occupations
- Addition and update of Abilities, Skills, Work Activities, Knowledge, and Work Context data for 108 occupations
- Addition and update of Training and Work Experience and Education data for 108 occupations
- Addition and update of Work Styles data for 108 occupations
- Addition and update of Job Zones data for 108 occupations
- Addition and update of Work Values data for 83 occupations
For those in the workforce community interested in a list of the 108 occupations updated with this release, the files below provide such a list.
The O*NET database is being updated on a regularly scheduled basis (see Data Publication Schedule). These updates occur as a result of the Data Collection Program currently underway. Updated data for the thirteenth subset of occupations is now included with this 17.0 release. A fourteenth subset of occupations will be updated as a part of the next major database release, expected in July 2013.
Commerce Department Declares Winners in the Commerce Business Apps Challenge
An online application that allows businesses to compare themselves to their competitors, locate their competition, customers, and suppliers, and find the best places to advertise and their developer team of four won the Commerce Department''s first prize and $5,000 in the nationwide Commerce Business Apps Challenge sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The winning apps use at least one Department of Commerce data set that assists businesses and/or improves the service delivery of Business.USA.gov to the business community. BusinessUSA is a centralized, one-stop platform to make it easier than ever for businesses to access services to help them grow and hire. All of these winners equip businesses with tools to be more competitive around the world, while creating jobs here at home.
The First Place winner, SizeUp, is a business intelligence tool that uses data from hundreds of sources including the Census Bureau, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, IRS records, county courthouse filings, Yellow Pages and White Pages, business publications, the U.S. Postal Service, and corporate annual reports to provide a comprehensive overview to small- and medium-sized business about their competitiveness and where to find resources to improve. This will improve the success of small businesses so they can prosper and create new jobs.
The $10,000 contest challenges app developers to find innovative ways to utilize Commerce and other publicly available data and information to support American businesses. 22 entries were submitted to the high-profile judging panel that included Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google; Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media and Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook among others who selected the three winners.
The Commerce competition awarded a First Place winner ($5,000), a Second Place winner ($3,000) and a Third Place winner ($2,000).
The Second Place winner, ZoomProspector.com, is a website that provides a way for new and expanding businesses to find, compare and deeply analyze communities and available properties nationwide. This tool will be valuable for American companies looking to expand their operations inside the United States or companies choosing to bring jobs back from overseas. ZoomProspector.com's online map-based search can greatly simplify and speed up the site selection process, freeing companies to be able to quickly and accurately make informed decisions based on numerous data sets including demographic, business, transportation, and property information unavailable in any other single website. They used data from the Census Bureau, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The Third Place winner, MyBusiness Toolbox, is an iOS (iPhone and iPad) app that helps small business owners find helpful information and resources related to growing (or starting) their business. The app helps small business owners find articles, data, events, programs, services, stories, tools, funding sources, license information, and helpful sites related to owning a small business by utilizing the BusinessUSA Resource Access API and the SBA API.
Building upon this successful contest, the Census Bureau has opened up a beta API to ensure that American entrepreneurs and businesses can compete, win, and create jobs here at home.
New Ten State Alliance to Provide Quality Benchmarks and Measures of Success for Career Pathways Initiatives
From the Center for Law and Social Policy:
Ten states, in conjunction with CLASP, the Center for Law and Social Policy, are launching the Alliance for Quality Career Pathways, a national effort to create a framework of benchmarks and measures of success for career pathway initiatives. The participating states will draw upon their combined decades of experience with this promising approach to education and training.
Career pathways are a coordinated sequence of education and training services that enable students, often while they are working, to advance over time to successively higher levels of education and employment in a given industry or occupational sector. They typically target low-skilled adults and out-of-school youth to help them earn the postsecondary credentials they need to compete for higher-skilled jobs. This approach has been gaining popularity across the country for a number of years, but until now, there has been little research on what constitutes a high quality initiative and how to best measure program successes. The Alliance will identify benchmarks that signal high-quality systems and programs.
Alliance state members Arkansas, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin are national leaders in the design and implementation of career pathways. The Alliance is supported by the Joyce and James Irvine Foundations.
Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012 (November 12 - 18, 2012)
Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012 will be held Nov. 12 - 18, 2012 for the fifth consecutive year to encourage existing and aspiring entrepreneurs to unleash innovative ideas, using the marketplace to improve lives and make their mark.
An initiative of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, GEW connects people through activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters. National campaigns in 123 countries are in full swing as more than 24,000 partner organizations are expected to hold activities, events and competitions that help form and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystems that are responsible for job creation and economic growth.
Highlights for GEW 2012 include
- Startup Open: Startups launched since GEW 2011, from more than 60 countries, compete for a free trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Rio de Janeiro and mentoring prizes with experienced entrepreneurs such as Michael DeLazzer, founding partner and creative mind behind Redbox.
- Startup Weekend: Founder teams in 100 cities go through an intense 54-hour boot camp to create their own startup-competing for local prizes and gaining valuable feedback from a panel of experts. Immediately following GEW, winners compete against one another in a virtual Global Startup Battle.
- GEW Policy Survey: The GEW Policy Survey assesses the most important public policies essential to encouraging startups to launch and scale. A report is planned for release just ahead of GEW.
- Get in the Ring: Hosted in the Netherlands, entrepreneurs present their business plans to investors in an effort to secure up anywhere from €100,000 - €1,000,000 in startup capital.
- Creative Business Cup: New and revolutionary business ideas with strong market potential in the creative industries from more than 25 countries square off in the global finals in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Global Student Entrepreneur Awards: Students who own and run businesses while attending a high school, college or university battle for the title of Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year and their share of more than $150,000 in business support services.
- Cleantech Open Global Ideas Competition: Finalists from more than 20 countries unveil potential breakthrough cleantech ideas in one of six industry categories; air water and waste, energy efficiency, renewable energy, green building, smart power and transportation. For the first time, a sub-competition is being held specifically for young cleantech entrepreneurs (from ages 10 - 24).
- Your Big Year: Roughly 50,000 people compete in a series of challenges and quizzes for a shot at the life-changing grand prize-a trip around the world working on projects and meeting global and community leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.
- World Series of Innovation: Fun, experiential learning is the focus of this global classroom activity that allows students to think creatively and invent new products that address every-day opportunities through one of five innovation challenges.
New Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement
The Federal government is starting the process of developing a new Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement.
Through a notice in today''s FEDERAL REGISTER, the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) invite public input and participation in shaping the Administration's intellectual property enforcement strategy.
Excerpt: "IPEC seeks written submissions from the public identifying the costs to the U.S. economy resulting from infringement of intellectual property rights, both direct and indirect, including any impact on the creation or maintenance of jobs."
The 2010 Joint Strategic Plan as well as information describing a number of intellectual property enforcement initiatives led by the IPEC can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/intellectualproperty.
Click here for today's notice. Comments are due by August 10, 2012.
Click here for the March 2012 report -- Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus - prepared by USPTO and the Economic Statistics Administration.
This report employs USPTO administrative data to identify the industries that most intensively use the protection offered by patents and trademarks. For copyrights, the report identifies the set of industries primarily responsible for both the creation and production of copyrighted materials. The report then uses standard statistical methods to identify which American industries are the most patent-, trademark-, and copyright-intensive, and defines this subset of industries as "IP-intensive." Using data collected from sources across the U.S. government, the report examines both the important trends and economic characteristics of these highly IP intensive industries and their meaningful contributions to the U.S. economy. There are several important findings contained in the report.
According to the analysis in this report, the direct and indirect employment in these industries is substantial: Direct employment in the subset of most IP-intensive industries identified in this report amounted to 27.1 million jobs in 2010, while indirect activities associated with these industries provided an additional 12.9 million jobs throughout the economy in 2010, for a total of 40.0 million jobs, or 27.7 percent of all jobs in the economy.
Click here for USPTO's Intellectual Property Awareness Assessment Tool, a web-based tool designed to assess intellectual property (IP) knowledge and provide personalized training resources for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and inventors. The assessment is designed to help evaluate a user's IP asset awareness and target areas specific to those related business needs. The tool provides access to educational materials based on the assessment results. The full assessment includes questions in five IP protection categories (Utility Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Trade Secrets, and Design Patents) plus five general IP categories- IP Strategies & Best Practices, Using Technology of Others, Licensing Technology to Others, International IP Rights and IP Asset Tracking. The questions presented in each category have been designed to discover the participant's overall IP awareness as they relate to their IP asset protection needs.
National Leagues of Cities Hosts July 26 Webinar on Cleveland's Evergreen Cooperatives
The National League of Cities will host a webinar on Thursday, July 26 on Cleveland''s Evergreen Cooperatives - a network of employee-owned companies that strive to create jobs and wealth that stay in and revitalize Cleveland, Ohio. The webinar begins at 2:30 p.m. (Eastern).
The Evergreen Cooperatives were launched in 2008 by a working group of Cleveland-based institutions and the municipal government to create jobs and wealth that would stay in the community and help transform six low income neighborhoods known as the Greater University Circle.
The effort aims to create self-sustaining, for-profit businesses that produce products and services that are needed by Cleveland's large anchoring institutions, like the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and Case Western University. These Cooperatives not only strive to turn a profit, but also create green jobs, build wealth (employees build equity in the companies), and keep dollars in Cleveland by substituting locally made products and services for those previously purchased elsewhere.
Currently, there are three Evergreen Cooperatives. The Evergreen Cooperative Laundry is an industrial green laundry. Evergreen Energy Solutions designs, installs, and develops PV solar panel arrays for institutional, governmental, and commercial markets and provides energy efficiency services. And Green City Growers, which should harvest its first crop of leafy greens this winter from its 3.25-acre hydroponic greenhouse.
The speakers include:
Steve Dubb, Research Director at the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland. Dubb helped conduct the strategic planning that led to the Evergreen Cooperatives and is adapting the model to meet the needs of other cities.
David Ebersole, Brownfield Program Manager for the City of Cleveland's Department of Economic Development. Ebersole is actively involved in the city's efforts to support the Evergreen Cooperatives.
ANSI and IREC Announce Pilot Accreditation Program for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Certificate Programs Underway
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system, and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) have announced the four certificate-awarding entities that are currently participating in the ANSI-IREC pilot accreditation program for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
- CalCERTS, based in California and focused on the training and certification of Home Energy Rating System Raters
- CleanTech Education, based in North Carolina with training solutions focused on solar photovoltaics, solar heating, energy efficiency, wind energy, green IT, and smart grid
- Building Science Institute, based in Illinois with education for energy and construction professionals
- Midwest Renewable Energy Association, based in Wisconsin with training for renewable energy and energy efficiency
These four organizations are in the final stages of an accreditation process that began in January 2012. Accreditations are expected to be announced for the pilot program by the end of August 2012. ANSI and IREC expect to re-open the program for general accreditation applications in late 2012.
Certificate programs are being evaluated against the IREC Standard 14732: 2012, General Requirements for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Certificate Programs. The standard describes curriculum, administrative, personnel, facilities, and equipment requirements for certificate programs involved in the training of the energy efficiency/weatherization and renewable energy workforce.
Assessment to this new standard will also provide third-party verification to students, funders, policymakers, and others that certificate programs have demonstrated meeting.
Department of Education Requests Comments on "Pell Grant Experiments Study"
The Department of Education has published a "thirty day" notice in the July 10, 2012 FEDERAL REGISTER requesting comments on a "Pell Grant Experiments Study."
The Pell evaluation is a two-part, five-year demonstration study that focuses on the effects of expanded access to Pell grants on students' employment and earnings. The primary outcome of interest is:
- The employment status and earnings of students who participate in the study while secondary outcomes include
- students' experiences with and participation in education and training,
- measures of student debt and financial aid, and
- the extent of participation in job search assistance services.
Comments are due by August 9, 2012.
Click here for the notice. The supporting documentation is available at
EDA Seeks Evaluation of University Center Program; Announces Solicitation for Competitive Applications
The Economic Development Administration's University Center Economic Development Program provides competitive grants to institutions of higher education, or consortia of higher education, to establish University Centers. These EDA-funded University Centers conduct applied research, provide technical assistance to public and private sector organizations, and conduct other activities with the goal of enhancing regional economic development. Institutions of higher education have many assets that can help address regional economic problems and opportunities such as faculty, staff, students, libraries, laboratories, facilities, and computer systems. The University Centers offer a full range of services tailored appropriately to their region's needs and each sponsoring institution's (or consortium's) strengths. University Center business solutions include basic and applied research, market research, feasibility studies, product development, strategic and financial planning, seminars and training, and management consultations.
EDA has announced it is soliciting competitive applications from organizations or consortia of organizations to review the University Center program, and identify best practices. EDA intends to award a single grant up to $300,000.
Eligible applicants include State governments, County governments, City or township governments, Public and State controlled institutions of higher education, Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized), Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education, Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education, and Private institutions of higher education.
Applications are due by August 2, 2012.
Department of Transportation Announces Grants to Improve Local Transportation for Veterans and Their Families
The Department of Transportation has announced $29 million in grants to provide improved access to local transportation for veterans and their families, wounded warriors and other military personnel, helping them find affordable rides to work, school, shopping, medical care and other destinations in their communities. The grants will support 64 projects in 33 states and the Northern Mariana Islands.
BLS Releases Report on Business Use of Green Technologies and Practices
About three-quarters of business establishments reported the use of at least one green technology or practice during August 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported Green technologies and practices (GTP) are those that lessen the environmental impact of an establishment's operations. About 854,700 jobs, representing approximately 0.7 percent of total U.S. employment, were held by workers who spent more than half of their time involved in green technologies and practices in August 2011. Over one-quarter of these GTP jobs were in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations or in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations.