Author Archives: iqsadmin

TARC to keep trolley rides free through at least January

Date: September 6, 2012 | iqsadmin | News | Comments Off on TARC to keep trolley rides free through at least January

Posted on Coutier-Journal – See article in original source

By Sheldon S. Shafer in October 15, 2010

Rides on the Fourth Street and the Main-Market trolleys will remain free at least through Jan. 31, and the Transit Authority of River City and downtown interests hope to keep the no-fare runs permanent.

Trolley ridership has risen markedly since the 50-cent fare was removed and the frequency of runs was increased on the two circulator routes in early June.

“It was a successful summer. We want people to get downtown and enjoy what it has to offer,” said TARC Executive Director Barry Barker.

In April TARC proposed eliminating the Fourth Street line and cutting back service on the Main-Market line to help offset a projected revenue shortfall. But, TARC joined with four agencies a month later and put together about $50,000 to offer the trolley service free from June 7 to Aug. 15. Some additional funding was also made available from a downtown development agency’s reserves.

Ridership quickly soared. According to a survey, a weekday average of 318 passengers rode the 4th Street trolley in July 2009, compared with 621 in July 2010 when rides were free. TARC said 230 passengers on the average weekday in July 2009 rode the Main-Market line, compared with 1,050 in July 2010 after fares were lifted.

The free rides were so popular that Barker said TARC’s board decided to absorb the full cost of the service since mid-August, through at least Jan. 31. The cost is expected to be $30,000 to $35,000 a month, Barker said. Humana Inc. helps pay for the Main-Market trolleys through an annual contract with TARC worth about $350,000 that allows its employees to ride any TARC bus free.

In the meantime, Barker said TARC continues to negotiate with the four agencies on a permanent plan to subsidize the trolleys and keep the rides free. The agencies are; the Downtown Development Corp., the city’s point agency on urban projects; the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau; the Louisville Downtown Management District, which uses a property-tax levy that pays a crew to monitor downtown’s security and upkeep; and the Kentucky State Fair Board, which operates the Kentucky International Convention Center and the KFC Yum! Center.

Patti Clare, the Downtown Development Corp.’s deputy director, said the agency “definitely would like to see (the free rides) sustained. The question is how best we can support it. The trolleys are really important because of the (large) size of downtown.”

“I love them,” Deborah King said as she waited for a trolley near the Galt House. “I can’t walk as much as I used to, because of arthritis in my leg. I don’t have a car, and I need the trolley to get to work.”

King lives in Butchertown and rides the trolley to her two jobs at the Galt House and at The Brown hotel. “I wish it (the trolley) would run on Sunday,” when she sometimes works and has to take a regular bus, she said, adding that she is pleased that the trolley rides will remain free.

The Fourth Street trolley began running in 1987, while the Main-Market route began in 1996. Fares were imposed and raised several times, topping out at 50 cents in 2007. The Fourth Street route is from Theater Square near Broadway to the Galt House, while the Main-Market trolleys run between Campbell and Ninth streets.

The Fourth Street trolleys operate from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, while the Main-Market coaches run from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, with the earlier start intended to accommodate workers at Humana and other corporate officeson or near Main. Both routes operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, with no Sunday service.

Since the free rides took effect, the frequency of runs has been increased on both routes, with Fourth Street trolleys running every seven minutes most of the day and Main-Market buses running roughly every 10 minutes. Trolleys previously ran about 15 minutes apart on both lines during the week. TARC has 14 trolleys, each with a capacity of around 25 riders.

The convention bureau provided $8,000 and TARC $4,000 to hire IQS Research to survey trolley riders. The firm interviewed 186 riders between July 14 and Aug. 4; about half the people interviewed were riding the Fourth Street line and about half the Main-Market route.

The survey found that about 40 percent of trolley riders were visitors from out of town and that 90 percent of all the riders expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the trolley service. More than 70 percent said the trolley was essential or important in getting to destinations, and 53 percent said they would be more likely to ride a trolley if they were free.

The survey also included questionnaires filled out by nine downtown developers and telephone interviews with 16 downtown retailers. The majority of the business and commercial interests believed that the trolley provides exposure to business, adds to a sense of identity to downtown and enhances the ability of people to get around and see downtown.

Barker said the Medical Center Circulator trolleys that serve the medical complex east of downtown continue to cost 50 cents to ride and will not be brought into the no-fare program because they are “a different type service” and not intended to help promote tourism.

In a related development, Barker said TARC and other officials will monitor traffic before and after events at the new KFC Yum! Center and may develop a plan to tie in trolley service to arena activities.

Reporter Sheldon S. Shafer can be reached at (502) 582-7089.

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Student Misconceptions About College Life Can Undermine Success

Date: August 15, 2012 | iqsadmin | News | Comments Off on Student Misconceptions About College Life Can Undermine Success

Posted on Education Week  – See article in original source

By Caralee Adams on August 15, 2012

College readiness is about more than academic preparation.

New research released Tuesday finds that many students don’t have a realistic picture of the demands of college and that lack of knowledge can hurt their success once they arrive on campus.

Preparing Students to Transition from High School to College, compiled by IQS Research, based in Louisville, Ky., used information from telephone surveys, focus groups, and online surveys of students and parents to give a snapshot of expectations toward college. It found that many students believe college will just be a continuation of their high school experience and don’t anticipate the rigor they may encounter.

The report found:

• Only 11 percent of students believe that college will be “difficult.” Another 40 percent are not sure, and 49 percent anticipate it will not be difficult.

• Fewer than 1 in 5 students are concerned about how to begin their college experience.

• Nearly 70 percent of students don’t think that balancing school with their personal and work lives will be a real problem for them in college.

The authors note that if students don’t think college will be hard or a challenging adjustment, they may not adequately prepare themselves or adopt the habits needed in college to be successful. While academic failure is a major reason students drop out of college, the report suggests that it is important to be aware of the attitudinal and behavioral hindrances that contribute to poor performance.

Students who perform well in college are those who maintain a realistic attitude about the challenges of school, develop study habits that reflect the demands of the coursework, and use resources on campus, especially professors and advisers when help in needed.

To counter the widespread misconceptions about college, the authors suggests it will take a combined effort of parents, counselors, and teachers.

Parents need to convey the importance and rigor of college to children at an early age so they will be better prepared. More challenging math and science coursework has been linked to higher grades and college admissions chances, yet the report finds only half of parents support increasing the number of math classes a student must take and 41 percent think science requirements should be ramped up.

Counselors are the single biggest source of college awareness, but the survey found only 4 in 10 students said they received college information from their high school counselor. Students said they felt counselors were unapproachable and lacked adequate knowledge.

Finally, teachers can be a great influence on students’ aspiration to attend college and promote a realistic perception of what college will entail. To create this awareness, teachers and professors need to make themselves more accessible, particularly to lower-performing students who may be reluctant to seek out information, the authors concluded.

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IQS Research: High School Students Struggle Adjusting to College

Date: August 14, 2012 | iqsadmin | News | Comments Off on IQS Research: High School Students Struggle Adjusting to College

Posted on WFPL News – See article in original source

By  on August 14, 2012

Click here to listen

Despite rising college enrollment rates, a new study from Louisville’s IQS Research shows many students aren’t prepared for the transition to higher education.

The report released Tuesday shows while nearly every student intends on going to college, only two-thirds enroll within one year of graduating high school.

Of that group, only 42 percent graduate with a Bachelor’s degree within six years.

IQS Research president Shawn Herbig says the perception of college needs to change. The report shows only 11 percent of students believe college will be difficult and many others aren’t prepared for the financial, social and scholastic issues college brings.

Herbig says the sooner college can be introduced into a child’s life, the better.

“I would argue that it’s everybody’s job. It’s the job of the school. It’s the job within the schools, it’s not only the educators but it’s also the support staff and it’s also the job of the community and the job of the parents,” he says.

Herbig says there’s a disconnect between the reality and expectations that students that needs to change.

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Second Annual State of the Downtown

Date: May 1, 2012 | iqsadmin | News | Comments Off on Second Annual State of the Downtown

Posted on Louisville Downtown Development Corporation – See article in original source

SECOND ANNUAL STATE OF THE DOWNTOWN

The Second Annual State of the Downtown: Public Perceptions and Economic Realities, was held on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at The Galt House Hotel Grand Ballroom.  Presentations by Dr. Paul Coomes, Professor of Economics at the University of Louisville, Shawn Herbig, President, IQS Research, and Alan DeLisle, Executive Director, Louisville Downtown Development Corporation were given.  See the presentations below.
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Survey shows more than half of Kentucky manufacturers plan to hire in 2012

Date: October 31, 2011 | iqsadmin | News | Comments Off on Survey shows more than half of Kentucky manufacturers plan to hire in 2012

Posted on Education and Workforce Development Cabinet – See article in original source

Press Release Date: Monday, October 31, 2011

100th Annual Manufacturing Wage and Benefits Survey shows 98 percent of companies surveyed offer health insurance to employees

FRANKFORT, Ky.  — Fifty-eight percent of Kentucky manufacturers surveyed for the recently conducted 2011 Annual Manufacturing Wage and Benefits Survey said they are planning to hire between one and 19 employees in 2012, up one percent from last year’s results. The annual report, sponsored by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet’s Department of Workforce Investment and the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM), was released today.

The survey showed that the positions of manufacturing employees included in the survey made an annualized average of $48,609 in 2011 and that 98 percent of the companies that participated in the survey offer health insurance to their employees, while 89 percent of those cover family members as well. Questions about benefits showed that 68 percent of the companies provide nine or more paid holidays per year and 51 percent provide an annual bonus.

“In order for manufacturers to attract and retain highly skilled individuals in today’s more modern and very efficient workplace, manufacturing employees are compensated with very competitive wages and great benefits packages,” said Greg Higdon, KAM President & CEO.  “KAM’s 2011 Wage & Benefits reports confirm once again that more Kentuckians should obtain the appropriate technical education to secure one of these great employment opportunities in manufacturing.”

Fifty-four percent of Kentucky manufacturers surveyed are emphasizing education and training in green practices, such as reducing their energy use, making environmentally friendly products, reducing pollution, conserving natural resources and being more cost effective. New green products are being developed by 25 percent of these companies. 

“This study represents data collected from 228 companies in Kentucky,” said Beth Brinly, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Investment. “It gives us a valuable snapshot of what is happening and shows that manufacturers looking to rebound from the recession are facing higher demand for greener products and seeking to save money by consuming less energy and re-using materials.”

IQS Research of Louisville collaborated with KAM on the development of the wage and benefits survey for Kentucky’s manufacturing community. The Kentucky Career Center, Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield, Northwest Kentucky Forward, Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, South Central Kentucky Regional Economic Development Partnership and Greater Louisville, Inc., also supported the survey this year.

In addition to the statewide report, the Department of Workforce Investment worked with KAM to produce a set of regional reports. The information gives manufacturers timely and accurate wage and benefits information such as paid vacation and sick time, health insurance and overtime pay when making hiring and promotion decisions.

To conduct the survey, IQS Research e-mailed invitations to Kentucky manufacturers. Information was collected and compiled from July – September 2011. The number of companies participating in the report rose from 202 in the last survey to 228 this year.

Of the employers who participated, 48 percent said that they had fewer than 100 employees. All of the information provided in the report is in aggregate form, so as to not identify individual companies.

Companies were also asked about hiring temporary workers. About 67 percent of the employers currently use temporary staff as compared to 69 percent in the last report. Furthermore, 40 percent of the employers plan to maintain this level. 

The manufacturing sector employs about 214,700 people in Kentucky as of August 2011, according to the Department of Workforce Investment.

Visit www.KAM.us.com or call 502-352-2485 for information on how to purchase a copy of the 2011 KAM Wage and Benefits Survey report.

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