Nowadays it seems like everything we do online must have a concept of “social” or social networking associated with it. I belong to a virtual online learning community that allows me to take online courses in a multitude of online media and marketing topics. The other day, the website notified me that a colleague is now “following” me on this website. So now, my learning activities are public allowing colleagues (and competitors) to know what classes I take and when I take them?? I don’t get it. This has gone too far:
That is how Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation drives.
Sad. Absolutely sad.
I believe that “employment” is the best indicator of the economy. I also believe we need to proactively measure everything. This dashboard (employment) should be the first gauge we look at as we recover from the great recession. The problem is – the dashboard does not work. We have not found windows to look out of to see where we are going and we have become dependent on driving with the rear-view mirrors….in other words we look at employment numbers that are several months old and consider them current.
So every time that the State releases our unemployment statistics, I just cringe. I cringe because they are not very accurate. Actually, they are never accurate.
A recent article in the Las Vegas Review Journal does a pretty good job of pointing out the problem. Simply put – the numbers presented do not reflect the current employment situation. As quantifiable jobs are clearly being added in the State (more than any other month), the unemployment level does not change?
There has to be a better way.
The New York Times inked an interesting piece here:
John Smith, from the Las Vegas Journal contributed his opinion here:
What happens when two elephants get into a fight?? A whole lot of grass gets trampled. And we have two elephants (Las Vegas Review Journal and Las Vegas Sun) that are starting that fight.
This is about to get real interesting, real quick. I would not want to be the grass underneath this battle. It is sure to get trampled.
Two Newspapers – wrapped up and delivered as one. At war with each other. And using each others arsenal to deliver the next shot.
On the front page of the Las Vegas Review Journal reads:
Las Vegas Sun publisher sues, alleges family conspired with Stephens Media.
On the front page of the Las Vegas Sun reads:Sun publisher sues to block R-J from gaining newspaper monopoly
Uhhhhh…..I feel sorry for the grass. And the gardener who has to repair the mess later.
Set standards. Don’t chase them.
For some reason, most compete to be mediocre. They continuously strive to meet standards set by others rather than setting their own improved standards. Why strive for mediocrity? That is boring.
If you keep doing what you do, you will continue to keep getting what you got.
Most entrepreneurs battle some level of Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) They say A.D.D. is what allows us to look at complex problems and solve them, because our mind cannot not just focus on one area. Entrepreneur thoughts bounce around freely breaking down a multitude of barriers until an entrepreneur discovers the one true barrier that stops an effort from moving forward. Then the entrepreneur hones in on the big problem and solves it.
With that being said, entrepreneurs often solve problems only to move on to the next, and many times forget the problems previously solved.
I have to admit that I battle A.D.D. I believe I do a good job of managing mine and do so with a series of ‘to do lists,’ keeping a journal and documenting/mapping the paths I have previously traveled. And when I am digesting a new problem, I often refer back to my journals to see what ‘paths’ I had previously taken in similar problem solving.
It is frustrating, yet satisfying, when I solve a problem that I already solved. First I feel like a dummy for not remembering. Then I feel feel satisfied because I came to the same conclusion. It is much easier to act on a problem when you have solved it……twice.
It is very similar to the carpenter’s credo of “measure twice, cut once.”
“Cost Per Job” is probably the easiest way to measure the return on investment (ROI) of any workforce program.
Cost Per Job is the lowest common denominator. Take the overall investment and divide by the number of jobs created. Yes, other variables matter such as wages, sustainability (length of employment), over all quality and return on community from the job. At the end of the day, cost-per-job is used by most. President Obama used it in his campaigning establishing a target of $18-20K per job. Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, set a target of $20K per job with his Create Jobs for USA campaign.
Unfortunately, in Southern Nevada we don’t use this measurement. Our local workforce investment board, Workforce Connections, measures “Cost Per Training” and worse yet, measures the success of service providers by their rate of spend (or ability to spend money fast). Sad, I know.
In 2009, Nevada was the recipient of nearly $24 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds (ARRA). These funds were distributed to workforce investment jobs to “stimulate” the economy by creating jobs. So you would think that Southern Nevada would measure the ROI. We did not. Below is a chart of the two funding sources (Adult & Dislocated Worker) presenting the amounts awarded, the amount spent, number served and the number of jobs created.
I took the liberty of calculating the cost per job. That is the number in red.
Yes, you read that right. $478K was spent to create one, yes one, job. And the wage of that job was more than likely $10-12 per hour.
These reports can be found if you poke around online for a while. As a courtesy, I have blurred out the names of the service providers to protect their identity.
Mind you, the above does not present the quality, pay or sustainability of the job.
Health Care 20/20 – a program that I was deeply involved in developing created jobs for $7,750 per job. Each job paid in excess of $26 per hour, came with a 2-year employment contract, was a job for life and contributed to the long term health of all Nevadans.