Hi, I've been working with United Way in my area on a program that assists students in hard-to-fill occupational programs (as defined by local surveys and BLS projections) at the local post-secondary education providers with financial resources to help keep them in those programs. These are education areas we know lead to good outcomes, living wage occupations, and have many openings in the region. My question is about measuring the impact of this program. We have good data on the grant recipients who've graduated in their respective fields, what their before and after incomes are, and what occupation they're in (which gives us a pretty good handle on industry around here). So while I'm sure we can just use an income change model, I'm wondering if it would be possible to use the industry change instead, to capture that indirect component? Otherwise, we get impacts on the community, but not really the impact to those businesses, which would directly impact donations related to these programs. I'd like to be able to say, here's the impact on these folks, the community, and the businesses who couldn't fill those positions. I realize IMPLAN is really designed more for industry expansion/contraction in terms of jobs. But I'm curious if we could use IMPLAN to somehow quantify what a difficult to fill position is worth to an employer. For example, how much is an open welding position worth to an employer in terms of lost or unrealized output? If a position is open for a long time, would it behave like an expansion when finally filled, if the business could serve more market demand with that position filled? Thanks for your help on this! Scott Hodek Economist - WI DWD
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