Lowell, MA: Human Capital
Human capital focuses on individuals, but affects communities as a whole. This type of capital looks at education, the labor market, and skills/experience of the people. In Lowell, the most common jobs by number of employees are “administrative supervisors, operating & production managers” and “food & service supervisors” (Data USA, 2016). In terms of specialized fields, the most common jobs include nurses/health aids and health technicians. This could be due to Lowell General Hospital’s prevalence in the region. Unemployment has gone down from 4.8% to 3.6% this past year. This is significant compared to the steady national average of around 5%. (Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board, 2016)
Education is also an important component of human capital. 78% of Lowell’s population has graduated high school, and 22% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. (US Census Bureau, 2014). Another one of the city’s prominent institutions is the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, a large university renowned for its engineering and nursing programs. While UMASS Lowell has a great reputation, the city’s public schools don’t. Many families with children tend to move to one of the surrounding towns to enroll in their school district. There are also a few alternative, private schools in the city.
One community-based organization working to improve human capital is the Career Center of Lowell. This organization works with businesses to identify their needs, and connects job seekers to employers in the area. Additionally, the Career Center provides job training through various workshops. There are specialized programs for young adults looking to join the workforce. This CBO helps individuals gain the skills and job experience necessary to thrive in the labor market.
Career Center of Lowell (2016) Our Mission. About. Retrieved from http://cclowell.org/about-us/
Data USA (2016) Lowell, MA. Retrieved from https://datausa.io/profile/geo/lowell-ma/#education
Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board (2016) Recent Unemployment/Data Chart. Current Statistics. Retrieved from http://glwdb.org/labor-market-2/current-statistics/
Green & Haines (2016) Asset Building & Community Development: Fourth Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
US Census Bureau (2014) Educational Attainment. 2010-2015 ACS 5-Year Estimates. Retrieved from http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF