Manufacturing is doing well in Tennessee, but growth is being held back by “the relatively low level of educational achievement of its adults,” according to a report released today by Ball State University.
Tennessee received a B for manufacturing and a B+ for logistics in the 2013 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card prepared by Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research.
In stark contrast,the report gave Tennessee a D- in Human Capital, a category that includes the level of high school and collegiate achievement, the number of associates degrees awarded annually per capita and other educational measures.
Knoxville fares better than most metropolitan areas nationwide in a new report by the Brookings Institution that examines how education effects unemployment.
Among the 100 largest metropolitan markets, Knoxville ranks 16th on the education gap index. (Ranking 1st indicates the top performing metro and 100th is the worst performer.)
“Narrowing the education gap is particularly important for improving the long-term health of metropolitan economies,” Jonathan Rothwell, senior research associate and report author, says in a news release. “Metro areas with wide education gaps have higher unemployment, but metro areas with narrow education gaps have lower unemployment, more job creation, and more job openings.”
The education gap index is calculated as “as the years of education required by the average job vacancy in a metropolitan area divided by the years of education attained by the average working-age person in that metropolitan area,” according to the report.
Competition will be intense when new college grads hit the job market this spring, but their chances of landing a job are improving, says a report from outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Some 1.7 million graduates are about to start the grand post-college job hunt. As is usually the case, new grads who are flexible about relocating and those in hot job fields will fare best.
Fields with the best job prospects include: accounting and finance, engineering, computer science, sales and marketing, education, and health care and social services among, according to Challenger’s annual look at the new grad job market.
Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to increase from three to five years the time it takes for new teachers to earn tenure seems reasonable. I’m glad Tennessee’s business community has stepped up to support the idea. However, a more important question is will the business community provide the same leadership on teacher compensation issues?
Talking about teacher pay isn’t going to be popular, given the budget cutting frenzy that grips Nashville — and other state capitals — these days. But it is a necessary discussion. The single, most important factor in providing a quality education is having a great teacher in every classroom. And to attract — and keep — the best teachers, we need to pay them like we mean it.
Manufacturing has suffered severe job losses since 2000, but it remains critical to the economy of some states, including Tennessee, according to a think tank report released today.
The report calls on states to rethink their economic development policies and to invest in “advanced manufacturing centers” that would provide research and education services for manufacturers.
“America’s manufacturing sector must be reinvigorated in order to build a healthy economy, and the nation’s states and metropolitan areas are strongly positioned to be the vanguard for this effort,” according to a report from the Brookings Institution.