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Great recent Convergence-related articles May 30, 2006

Posted by Tom in Community, Economic Development, Education, Innovation, Media, Technology, Workforce.
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I'm back from a long holiday weekend and found a number of fascinating discussions of alignment-related issues.  Take a look at these articles and post your thoughts on them in the comments:

Ulster's Economy Needs Innovation and Imagination

"We need to be very sure that we are skilling our workforce in the correct way " in a way which directly relates to the work of the venture capital and research and development arms.'

"If we could create a channel linking that venture capital to the manufacturing potential created by research and development advances in our universities, then we would have achieved something worthwhile for Northern Ireland PLC.

"If we backed that business creation model with an appropriately skilled workforce then we would be taking the first step to reversing the decline of manufacturing.'

3 more articles after the break…

RTRP Reports Strong Economic Recovery for Research Triangle Region

Workforce development agencies that serve the Research Triangle Region, led by the N.C. Department of Commerce Division of Employment and Training, are developing a plan to better align and coordinate workforce and economic development effort across the region to support the needs of new and existing businesses, particularly those in clusters targeted by the Staying on Top plan. The Kerr-Tar Hub project, an innovative rural economic development effort of Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren counties, officially launched in December. The nonprofit Kerr-Tar Regional Economic Development Corp., formed to own and develop the hub, is working to buy or control the hub property; develop the marketing plan with the help of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, and coordinate workforce development resources for companies that locate in the hub.

IBM and Appalachian College Association Help Students Pursue Careers in Technology: Academic Initiative Program Encourages Open Standards Skills, Collaborative Innovation

"We are enthusiastic about joining IBM's Academic Initiative," said Martin Ramsay, Instructional Technologist, Appalachian College Association. "By having access to the latest open technologies, ACA's member colleges in this region can help recruit and develop technology talent in Appalachia. Technology can spur innovation and development to help drive our local economy."

The U.S. Department of Labor reports an enormous opportunity exists in all technological fields. By year end, the department predicts this country will need 1.5 million more Information Technology (IT) professionals and, that one out of every four jobs in this decade will be in IT. The Labor Department notes, however, that colleges and universities will have to quadruple the number of their graduates by 2008 in order to meet this demand. This situation exists at a time when schools nationwide, including schools and universities in the Central Appalachia region, are witnessing dwindling enrollments in computer science and related engineering courses.

'Red Zone' Orange County at Risk For Deterioration, Reveals 18-Month Technology/Economic Development Study: Technology Assessment Tool Developed as Model for Nationwide Replication

"Many Orange County cities lack the resources to launch and maintain innovative technology investment strategies," said Walrod. "Beyond the macro perspective of business attraction and retention of higher-paying, technology-dependent companies, individuals are deeply affected by ICT infrastructure. It influences their housing, shopping, schools and investment into their neighborhoods. It reflects the core of who and what a community is, and what it can become."

Some specific recommendations and strategies resulting from ICT CEDS include:

  • Require all new residential developments to include fiber optics
  • Work with the County to actively pursue development of WiFi technologies
  • Further refine the O.C. Balanced TECH Index and use as a benchmark for tracking change/progress
  • Create a voucher system for individual ICT investment in Red Zones and within low-income populations/schools
  • Align ICT corridors with transportation corridors, a proven success strategy
  • Persuade universities and non-profits to coordinate community outreach and training on the importance of technology and how to use it
  • Encourage community colleges to partner with County and Workforce Investment Boards to establish community technology centers and training programs
  • Design and implement public and private business incubation programs
  • Develop a County-wide strategic technology development plan that emphasizes multi-city cooperation.
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