Research / Workforce


Policy Analysis | August 2018

Apprenticeships in the South

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

Due to a lack of training and education among prospective employees, many businesses often have difficulty finding enough skilled workers to remain competitive in the global economy. This is particularly the case for positions that require moderate to high levels of technical knowledge, which are critical for sustained success in today’s job market.

Successful apprenticeship programs, which have proven valuable for both businesses and students, can help state and local leaders address the skills gap that exists in many industries. For businesses, apprenticeships can nurture student interest in careers related to their industry, potentially increasing the number of applicants in the future and improving employee retention and productivity. They also facilitate robust partnerships with schools, thereby ensuring that education standards include the skills and training necessary to succeed in growing industries. For students, apprenticeships offer the opportunity to apply content learned in the classroom to the workplace, allowing them to explore career options by gaining critical work experience. Apprentices also can interact with mentors who can assist them later when they are seeking career opportunities.

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The State of Retail in Southern States
Issue Brief | January 2018

The State of Retail in Southern States

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

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The retail industry, historically one of the largest and most important drivers of economic growth in the United States, is being challenged by technological advances and shifting consumer habits that are undermining sustained growth across much of the industry. The popularity of online retail — most prominently exemplified by the rise and dominance of Amazon and similar online shopping platforms — coupled with growing preferences for discounted shopping and experiences instead of material purchases, have profound implications for an industry that employs millions of people across the nation. According to many financial experts, the industry is confronting a so-called “retail apocalypse,” characterized by depressed profits, store closures and, in several instances, bankruptcy among some of the nation’s largest, most recognizable retailers.

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SLC Regional Resource | June 2017

STEM Teacher Preparation and Retention in the South

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

As technological advancements continue driving innovation and automation across much of the global economy, STEM subjects — including coursework in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — have increasingly become an essential component of educational standards at all levels, from as early as pre-kindergarten up to secondary education and beyond. Local, state and federal policymakers all have emphasized the importance of STEM coursework to America's students, appropriating hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to ensure the next generation of workers is equipped with the skills and knowledge to compete in the global workforce.

For the United States to remain competitive in the global economy, it will be important for states to address these shortages in the years ahead. Not to do so compounds the risks that students will fall behind in many critical skills that are essential to maintaining sustainable economic growth in today's globalized, automation-driven workforce. This SLC Regional Resource examines various initiatives in Southern states to increase the number of qualified primary and secondary teachers equipped with the skills and knowledge to successfully educate students in STEM subjects.

2018-2019 Chair

Representative
Manly Barton

Mississippi

2018-2019 Vice Chair

Representative
Nathaniel Ledbetter

Alabama

Immediate Past Chair

Representative
Jeanie Lauer

Missouri

Roger Moore
Committee Liaison

Roger Moore
Policy Analyst


The topics explored by the Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee include a number of critical issues relevant to the progress and advancement of the Southern region. As the Southern states continue to diversify their economies, the Committee has studied a number of issues to further its understanding of this diversification process. In addition, the Committee has focused on exploring the role of the arts as a catalyst for economic growth and the fact that a thriving cultural scenario is an important consideration in the relocation and expansion plans of corporations. Such issues as federal transportation plans and their implications for Southern states; competition among states to attract economic investment; attracting and retaining high-tech investment; promoting Southern state exports; high speed rail in the South; promoting biotechnology are recurring topics.