How to incentivize training investments for small businesses in critical sectors of Pennsylvania’s economy and improve the market responsiveness of the State’s higher education system? At the request of the Governor’s office, my team developed one of the first in the U.S. policy and program to incentivize training for the state’s small businesses in retail and ICT clusters while improving the responsiveness of the State’s higher education institutions. Pennsylvania’s small businesses could not afford training for their employees. To improve the performance of the retail and ICT clusters, my team helped Pennsylvania develop a program that would fund workers training. A fund that follows workers would be set up, with the State, the small business, and worker each paying 1/3 on a monthly basis. The money could be used for training purposes at the States’ higher education institutions.
Does North Carolina’s higher education system support the needs of businesses in high growth clusters in the State’s economy? At the request of the State Legislature, RTI assembled a team that could answer this question. My team conducted qualitative and quantitative research and found significant gaps between University and community college graduation requirements and skills needed by the State’s employers in Advanced Manufacturing, biotech, furniture, art and design, and logistics.