IT and computer related skills have been identified as a high demand skillset for the EcO region. Local employers have expressed great challenges in hiring and retaining employees with these types of skills. To begin to understand this issue, a project has been launched using Skill UP funds to complete a regional workforce needs assessment and labor market analysis on employer demand for Information Technology (IT) skills, and to identify the educational pathways leading to those high demand skills and degrees.

 

The scope of the project is to understand what skills are in highest demand by our region’s manufacturing, technology and healthcare employers, across the ten EcO Network counties in Economic Growth Region 9 located in southeast Indiana. Additionally, this project will work with our region’s high schools and postsecondary partners to understand the programs in place in our region to support the needed skills. A consultant has been hired to lead this initiative, and the project is well underway.

 

Upon completion of the analysis, those identified high-in-demand IT careers would be added into DIDI career awareness outreach activities for students in all high schools throughout the region. The analysis work will expand the DIDI network into a new and emergent industry sector and help further develop the talent pipeline/increase enrollments in targeted high school classes leading to postsecondary degrees within the fields related to Information Technology. It is likely this analysis will include better coordinated and aligned educational programs, increasing the pipeline of students and workers through the development and expansion of dedicated seamless pathways.

 

Work Completed

  • A small team of employers and educators from across the ten county region has been recruited to establish a project guiding team
  • A project plan has been developed, and work teams established to gather data and develop the survey
  • The project leader is working with our partners in the Department of Workforce Development to gather workforce labor market data

 

Work in Progress / Work Planned

  • Develop a regional IT workforce needs assessment survey, identify the key employers to target for completing the survey
  • Complete face to face employer surveys with manufacturing, technology and healthcare employers
  • Compile and analyze results to summarize the high demand skills and position identified through the survey
  • Review results with education and employer partners
  • Map the high demand skills with the required educational programs or degrees that deliver those skills, including K-12, certifications, 2 year and 4 year degrees
  • Identify the existing educational programs in our region that deliver the high demand skills, including K-12, certifications, 2 year and 4 year degrees
  • Deliver a report summarizing high demand skills for manufacturing, technology and healthcare, the associated educational programs supporting those skills, and the programs in place today across the region that deliver those skills
  • Provide approximately 18 hours per week of work toward the above deliverables during the contract period