The Indiana Career Council says a work force supply and demand study shows a strong need in the state for workers in areas including information technology, manufacturing and health care. The organization says it will share the data with educators, employers and students and use it to develop demand-driven programs. You can see the full report by clicking here.
November 18, 2014
Indianapolis, Ind. — The Indiana Career Council (ICC) today was introduced to a first-of-its-kind statewide analysis of occupational supply and demand data. Detailed by industry sector, the report demonstrated the dichotomy in high employment demand versus talent supply around the state. The ICC will use this data to create strategies and policies that align with the Council's Strategic Plan, which focuses on three organizing pillars of transformation, including system alignment, worker- and student-centric services, and demand-driven programs and investments.
“We need to share this information with employers, educators, CTE directors as well as parents and students,” said Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, who chairs the Career Council. “Without a sense of this data, they're essentially throwing a dart at a wall to make career choices.”
The real-time report demonstrated an imbalance in the high employment demand of several industry sectors, such as information technology, manufacturing and health versus the current number of students engaged in career and technical training, industry certifications, and post-secondary education. The report's goal, noted Jackie Dowd, special assistant to the governor for career innovation, is to more specifically inform the Regional Works Councils of potential skills gaps in their regions, and to work with educational institutions to better align class offerings with future job opportunities. Educational training includes career and technical education (CTE) in area high schools and career centers, industry certifications and post-secondary institutions for both 2- and 4-year degrees.
“We still tend to think of post-secondary as only 4-year degrees, which is not always what’s needed for students to master significant job skills,” said John Hoops, the study's author from FutureWorks. Lt. Governor Ellspermann added that the goal is not just getting students to graduate with relevant degrees and skills, it’s also encouraging them to remain in Indiana.
Hoops noted some schools are adapting, citing Ivy Tech's awarding of more than twice its previous number of IT degrees, but overall alignment with sector needs across the state is important to future Indiana economy and identifying workers.
Dowd and Hoops presented the report to the council and led a discussion on key findings within the analysis. Notably, they reported that engineering, healthcare services, agribusiness and education were among the most popular CTE pathways for secondary student enrollment/completion. Data was reviewed for 96 occupational categories, and organized by key sectors identified by the regional Works Councils, such as manufacturing, health care, transportation and logistics.
Dowd said the goal of the report is to drive state and regional conversations, and encourage a deeper dive into meaningful statistics. The region-specific information can assist in focusing alignment efforts among business, education and training partners. Hoops pointed to the information technology area as high need in the state, crossing many of the industry sectors, with not enough current enrollees in CTE or post-secondary education classes to meet the current and future needs of employers.
“Indiana is ahead of the game. This project focused on aligning supply and demand is the largest of its kind in the U.S.,” said Hoops. “The data is generating a picture that not many other states have considered to this point.”
In other business, the Council heard an update from the Pathways Taskforce, which held its monthly meeting yesterday. Lt. Governor Ellspermann noted that the group had collected successful examples of work-to-learn programs and was working to broadly share the information. Ellspermann also thanked Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz for her staff sharing new recommendations to bolster career counseling for the Taskforce’s consideration. A review of the submitted information may lead to ICC recommendations to the legislature.
ABOUT THE INDIANA CAREER COUNCIL
The Career Council was created by a unanimous vote during the 2013 General Assembly to focus on coordination of various participants in the education, jobs skills development and career training system, and to match education and skills training with the jobs market. Over 40 meetings, and 500 man hours were invested in the creation of the Career Council’s Strategic Plan, “Align, Engage, Advance: A Strategic Plan to Transform Indiana’s Workforce.” The Council is comprised of education and industry leaders committed to aligning learning with workplace needs. The Career Council’s recently released strategic plan focuses on expanding business engagement, linking education, training and career pathways, and supporting the efforts of the Indiana Regional Works Councils.
Source: Indiana Career Council