April 20, 2009 by Joshua Wright
Here’s a nice example of stakeholders coming together and discussing their regional outlook from an economic and workforce development perspective. This article in the Daily Courier in Pennsylvania focuses on PA Prosperity Partnerships, which has a goal of “developing a long-term, sustainable, place-based economy, building on the existing strengths of the region by engaging the community at large.”
The piece cites EMSI labor market data to give a sense of the Fayette County economy — unemployment, wages, biggest and fastest-growing industries, etc. Fayette County is apart of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area.
With the aid of Penn State’s resources, including 24 satellite campuses and 113 outreach offices across the commonwealth, Osagie said they would like to see the community become engaged to come up with higher-paying jobs that bring and retain talent in the region.
According to the Census, Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information and Analysis and Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., Fayette County has 8 percent unemployment, which is greater than the 7.2 percent national average and 6.7 percent state average; the median hourly earnings in the county is $12.79, falling behind Pennsylvania and the nation’s $18; and only 12.8 percent of Fayette residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, falling behind the 25.6 percent in the state and 27 percent in the nation.
“We need to work closely together, but we also need a path,” said Craig Weidemann, vice president of Penn State Outreach. “We need to look how we can foster economic development.”
According to data from EMSI in a spring 2008 release, the strengths in Fayette include the largest industries by employment: local government, state government, general medical and surgical hospitals, full-service restaurants and hotels and motels, not counting casino motels.