CSU System economic study shows impact on talent retention, jobs, revenue

The three Colorado State University System campuses – and the out-of-state students they attract – fuel nearly 23,000 Colorado jobs and more than $237.74 million in state income and sales tax revenue annually.

In its first-ever Systemwide economic impact study, a team of economists quantified the CSU System’s unique contributions to the Colorado economy in terms of jobs, research, and the contributions of the System’s more than 112,250 living alumni who are currently working in Colorado. Highlights and a full report are available here.

Among the report’s key findings: the CSU System is an important factor in Colorado’s workforce talent retention. About 50% of the students who moved to Colorado to attend a CSU campus since 2005 have stayed here after graduating. And 86% of Colorado residents who attended CSU institutions are still in the state. Nearly 1 in 25 Colorado workers has a degree from a CSU System campus, and their alumni income translates into more than $209 million in state income tax revenue and $128 million in sales, use, and excise tax revenue. In other words, about 3% of the state’s total collections can be attributed to CSU graduates.

The three CSU System campuses – the flagship research university in Fort Collins; CSU Pueblo, a regionally focused Hispanic-serving institution; and the fully online CSU Global – together enroll more than 60,000 new and returning students each year. The CSU System has nearly 300,000 living alumni worldwide.

“Clearly, CSU plays a critical role in our state’s future productivity and ability to remain an innovation hub in economically important industries,” CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank said. “We’re not manufacturing a product; we’re educating people who contribute to society in all the ways educated people do – as teachers, scientists, doctors and nurses, business leaders, manufacturers, technologists, artists, engineers, and the countless other roles that are typically filled by people with higher education.”

The study was conducted by CSU Fort Collins faculty Drs. Rebecca Hill of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Harvey Cutler and Martin Shields of Economics. They were supported by graduate research assistants Lauren Mangus and Kevin Crofton.

“The CSU System’s economic impact is felt statewide by bringing in money from federal agencies, out-of-state students, and by transferring knowledge to businesses and industries across Colorado,” the authors wrote in the report. “The CSU System’s economic impact in Fort Collins and Pueblo includes factors considered in the statewide impact, plus money injected into the region from both state government and students from across the state.”

Among the report’s other highlights:

  • 112,250 CSU System alumni working in the state earned an estimated $7.57 billion from their jobs in 2019 – roughly $2.9 billion more than they could have expected in wages if they’d only finished high school.
  • The overall statewide economic impact of the CSU System translates to roughly 22,785 Colorado jobs and $237.74 million in-state income (individual and corporate) and sales tax revenue that the state would not otherwise have had.
  • CSU Fort Collins’ massive mobilization around COVID-19 research has ranked it in the Top 10 universities in the world working on research and cures related to the virus. Last year, the university’s technology and intellectual property licensing office reported 23 COVID-related inventions.
  • In total, business spin-off and increases in regional productivity stemming from CSU Fort Collins translate into an additional 645 jobs and $25.3 million in household income for the Larimer County economy.

The study noted data from the American Community Survey showing that the average annual earnings for employed Coloradans with a four-year degree were around $70,000, compared to $36,000 average earnings for those with a high-school diploma. College-educated workers are also less likely to be unemployed, less likely to have seen their jobs impacted by the recession, less likely to access public assistance programs, and more likely to have employer-sponsored health insurance.

The study highlighted the tremendous impact CSU campuses have on their local economies.

  • The Fort Collins area receives more than $36 million in local sales and use tax revenues from economic activity related to CSU’s operations, student spending, and university related start-ups and business assistance. Total direct and indirect city employment impacts are estimated at more than 17,300 jobs, out of a total of 84,000 jobs in the city.
  • CSU Fort Collins students not originally from the city spend about $319.1 million dollars a year in the community, which supports 2,700 jobs and $7.9 million in local sales and use tax revenue, either directly or through multiplier effects. This represents about 5% of Fort Collins sales and use tax revenue.
  • CSU Fort Collins is an innovation incubator. In 2020, funded research exceeded $400 million for the first time ever. Start-ups and knowledge spillovers related to CSU Fort Collins generate significant additional local economic activity, translating into an additional 645 jobs and $25.3 million in household income.

The taxpayers of Colorado invest in state colleges and universities, Frank said. This report is a testament to the value those institutions give back.

“Universities contribute to the economy as employers and by spending money to keep our operations functioning, as well as by graduating skilled workers,” Frank said. “We also attract people to Colorado from out of state who spend their dollars here, whether as students, conference attendees, or visiting parents and family members. Thousands of jobs across Colorado that aren’t directly connected to a college or university still depend on these institutions to survive.”

Public colleges and universities can be islands of stability and sustained employment for communities statewide, he added. “We learned from the Great Recession that communities that are home to a college or university rebounded more quickly – and that is a strength for all of Colorado, which has built a system of higher education that is geographically diverse and designed to serve all corners of the state.”

Read the full report here: https://csusystem.edu/economic-impact/

Bloomberg: Hard at Work: Prime-Age Americans in Workforce Hits Decade High

By

  • Labor force participation jumps for women ages 25 to 54
  • Prime-age participation peaked at 84.6% in January 1999

The percentage of people in the U.S. aged 25 to 54 who are employed or actively looking for work has climbed to the highest in a decade as demand in the health-care and education sectors lures more women into the workforce.

Labor force participation in the so-called prime-age group rose to 82.8% in October, matching the rate from August 2009, the Labor Department said in its monthly employment report on Friday. The rate was 82.9% in June 2009, and peaked at 84.6% in January 1999.

Some 76.6% of women in the group were employed or actively looking for work in October, up from 76.2% in the previous month. That was the highest participation rate since 77.3% in April 2000, according to the data. The percentage of similarly-aged men held steady at 89.1% in October.

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FORBES: The 5 Most Important Job Skills For The Future

Enterprise Tech

Our workplaces are changing, and the changes are dramatic. Professionals need to pay attention to and prepare for the workplaces of the future. An important aspect of this preparation is to develop the job skills that will help you succeed and thrive in the new reality of the next decade. Consider how your own career has evolved over the last five years, and you can imagine how much it may change in the next five. These are the most important job skills for the future, and there’s no better time than now to start building them.

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THRIVE GLOBAL: 10 Ways To Engage A Mature Workforce

With the growth of the multi-generational workforce, it’s essential that leaders ensure all team members are motivated to deliver their best, but how do you motivate the maturer members of your team?

By Janice Sutherland, Women’s Leadership Expert at This Woman Can

You can’t have escaped the news that people are both living and working longer, which in turn means the average workforce will consist of a number of mature workers. This in turns brings its own nuances when it comes to engaging your team. That outward bound team building exercise you had planned or the club night session may not (or may – let me not be judgmental here) be successful at motivating your entire workforce. This provides employers with a unique opportunity to get creative when motivating and engaging a more mature and experienced workforce further aiding staff retention. Keep these top 10 engagement ideas in mind:

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Harvard Business Review: The Case for Hiring Older Workers

By: Josh Bersin and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

There’s a lot of talk about gender bias, racial bias, and culture bias at work, and each are important for many reasons. But perhaps one of the biggest and most problematic types of bias we face is the bias of age: we often evaluate people based on their age, and this is now becoming a major challenge in the workplace.

Several years ago, through our research for Deloitte, we asked around 10,000 companies, “Is age a competitive advantage or competitive disadvantage in your organization?” The answer probably won’t surprise you. Over two-thirds of the companies considered older age a competitive disadvantage. This is consistent with data from the AARP that shows two-thirds of individuals age 45 to 74 have experienced age-related discrimination.

In other words, if you are older, you are likely to be considered less capable, less able to adapt, or less willing to roll up your sleeves and do something new than your younger peers.

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CNBC: LinkedIn says these 5 traits pose the biggest skills gap — and it’s a global problem

Karen Gilchrist@_karengilchrist

The impact technology is having on our daily lives is undeniable — and it’s being felt as much in the way we work as in how we communicate, shop and even travel.

By 2022, technology is expected to have displaced 75 million jobs globally, according to new research from LinkedIn. Yet, within that same time period, it says, those same forces will have created 133 million new ones.

It’s hardly surprising then that the top 10 rising workplace skills in Asia Pacific are all related to tech, according to the professional networking site’s new “Future of Skills” report.

Ranging from front-end web development capabilities to social media marketing know-how, the company says those skills “may be nascent now but will potentially see wide-scale adoption in the future.”

But while tech expertise may be useful for pursuing new career paths, the key professional traits that are likely to persist over time and across industries are actually soft skills, says LinkedIn.

And these are the skills that employers globally are finding it hardest to find, Feon Ang, LinkedIn’s vice president for talent and learning solutions in Asia Pacific, told CNBC Make It.

“The rising skills are of little surprise,” said Ang. “But the soft skills are also ones that will be highly important globally going forward.”

Specifically, the soft skills that are lacking include:

  • Critical thinking or problem-solving
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Innovation and creativity

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Harvard Business Review: Helping Stay-at-Home Parents Reenter the Workforce

As part of the Northern Colorado Prospers Goal #2: Align, Attract and Retain Talent, the Chamber and it’s Talent 2.0 partners have made it a goal to “Collectively address structural issues that serve as barriers to a secure talent pipeline.”

As employers strategize the best ways to recruit, create employee incentives and provide opportunities, experts are encouraging employers to take a closer look at one certain pool of talent: parents reentering the workforce.

“When it comes to working families, employers and politicians tend to focus on new mothers and fathers. Yet parents who leave the workforce when their kids are young but later want to reenter it might be corporate America’s greatest untapped resource,” wrote Harvard Business Review author, Joanne Lipman, who recommends creating “returnships” and other ways of supporting these employees back to work.

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How Businesses are Feeling about the Area & Economy

You’ve seen it printed, it was discussed at the Northern Colorado Prospers (NCP) Annual Summit and your support helped with the creation of it. Now, here is your electronic version of the Northern Colorado Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) Annual Report 2018.

The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Business Retention and Expansion Partnership of Larimer County, released the report earlier this month. The report’s high points include year-over-year growth in gross regional product, low unemployment rates and strong job growth in the Larimer and Weld County region.

The Partnership, made up of the City of Fort Collins, City of Loveland, Town of Windsor, Town of Berthoud, Town of Wellington, Larimer County, Larimer County Small Business Development Center, Larimer County Economic and Workforce Development, Loveland Chamber of Commerce, Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, Estes Park EDC and One NoCo, has taken on the task of staying in close contact with the area’s primary employers to understand needs, expansion opportunities and the risk of losing key employers.

The partnership gathered 315 responses from regional businesses in 2018.

The final data showed a generally optimistic view of the economy, as well as positive reports of business growth and expansion. Most interviewees indicated they have added workers over the last three years and are planning to add more in the next three years. However, businesses consistently reported Interstate 25 and workforce as major challenges, citing key barriers of finding talent, employee retention, a lack of skilled labor, scarce resources and area cost of living.

“Economically, taking care of the primary employers already here is top priority. To do that we need to have strong relationships with them and be in regular contact. That’s what the partnership is about. The data from 2018 indicates employers are pleased to be here and are planning to add work and hire more people. They also made it clear that work force is a big issue we need to stay focused on,” said David May, President & CEO of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Partnership will continue to conduct primary employer interviews to engage with more businesses in the two-county region and publish a second annual report.

If you would like to participate in future data collection, please contact the Chamber at 970-482-3746. Also, stop by the Chamber office if you would like physical copies of the report.

Area Development: Who is Generation Z, the next workforce pool?

As Gen Z makes its mark in the labor force, forward-thinking companies will create workplace strategies to accommodate and support both generations’ work styles and preferences.

  • Brian Corde, Managing Partner, Atlas Insight

Millennials have long been the scapegoat for younger generations’ less desirable characteristics. With not-always-founded perceptions that millennials are unmotivated and self-centered, hiring managers across various fields have had plenty to consider when recruiting young workers. However, the era of the just-out-of-college millennial is over.

Enter Generation Z. With the oldest Gen Zers born in 1997, the first wave of this generation will graduate from college this year and officially enter the workforce. They may share some characteristics with millennials, but they’re in a class all their own. Gen Z currently makes up 20 percent of the U.S. population and they’re rounding out at 32 percent globally.

Generation Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse workforce generation to date, and they spend the most time online of any generation—six to nine hours daily. Gen Zers’ parents’ lives were rocked by the 2008 recession, so these young workers crave financial stability and take fewer risks than millennials. Their parents also avoided “helicopter parenting,” so Gen Zers are also generally more independent than millennials. They are more educated than millennials, too, as high school dropout rates decrease, and college enrollment rates increase. So how will Gen Z fare in the future of work?

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Workforce: Employers’ Blind Eye for Boomers Slowly Opening to Retirement Realities

There is no clear strategy for older workers’ retirement and phasing out of the workforce. That could cost employers in both the short and long term.

After 37 years of teaching high school English, Martha Taylor-Nobile wanted to wake up just a little later in the morning.

So at 60, she retired earlier than she had planned.

“I could’ve kept going, but it just felt right,” she said. “My energy level was down, so I questioned whether I was doing the best job possible.”

Taylor-Nobile said her employer, the Greenwich, Connecticut, Public Schools District, allowed her to transition out of full-time work by becoming a mentor to new teachers. She had fewer classes to teach and spent time observing and coaching other less-experienced instructors.

“It was invigorating,” said Taylor-Nobile, now 66. “I got to share my experiences, and they showed me new ways of doing things too.”

Transitioning from full-time work to full-time retirement isn’t always as flawless as Taylor-Nobile’s experience. Often, baby boomers — those born between 1946 through 1964 — need to retire earlier than they expect, have to take a job that requires a lower skill set or must work longer at their current job to save more for retirement.

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