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October 7, 2016

In the recently released Talent Attraction Scorecard, Emsi rates and ranks more than 3,000 U.S. counties on a variety of measures—skilled job growth, overall job growth, annual job openings per capita, net migration, and regional competitiveness—for the period between 2011 and 2015. The study separates out 592 large U.S. counties (those with more than a 100,000 people) and 2,246 small U.S. counties (with 5,000 to 99,999 people). Green indicates talent winners and red indicates talent laggards; the map also identifies the top 10 talent winners for large counties and small U.S. counties. It shows pockets of talent attraction—not just in the usual places on the East and West Coasts, such as the Bay Area, Pacific Northwest, and the Bos-Wash Corridor—but across the nation broadly. It also shows where talent attraction has lagged within what we commonly think of as leading talent hubs.

A new approach is showing promise in reducing visits to the ER by what the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services calls “super-utilizers,” people who use emergency services four or more times a year. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that up to 27% of all visits to ERs are for nonemergencies. Under a Minnesota program, a hospital will identify a few super-utilizers who need a managed care approach. Then, community paramedics will go into those people’s homes to look at their overall health issues, and also at safety precautions and nutrition. Through the program, Minnesota has seen ER use by super-utilizers decrease by 60 to 70%. The success of the community paramedic model has many EMS directors encouraged that this could be the future of emergency care. On the federal level, U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota has introduced legislation advocating for community paramedicine nationwide.

One of the questions in this post-9/11, post-Hurricane Katrina world is how smaller counties and communities can be better prepared to meet emergencies. University of Illinois Extension is assisting some of these counties as they plan to face the uncertainties of disaster response. Extension has helped counties complete mitigation plans; protect small businesses and non-profits; organize community groups to assist in responding to disasters; provide guidance on cropland and landscape restoration; help residents cope with financial uncertainties; plan to care for children, the elderly and other at risk populations; assess structural and crop damage for aid applications; quantify economic impact; and address other related issues.


October 7 - Manufacturing Day
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