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Erin Olson Graduates from U.S. Chamber Foundation Education and Workforce Fellowship Program

Fellowship Provided State and Local Chambers with Opportunities to Engage Nationally on Critical Education and Workforce Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today announced Erin Olson, Research Strategist of the Minnesota Chamber Foundation graduated from its premier business leadership program. The inaugural Business Leads Fellowship Program trained and equipped leaders from state and local chambers of commerce with resources, access to experts, and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.

“The business community is the key to solving our state’s talent shortage and skill misalignment,” said Erin Olson. “Chambers of Commerce are uniquely positioned to help infuse the critical skills of tomorrow’s economy into our educational system from early childhood through postsecondary.” Olson provides labor market research, consultation, and employer engagement support to higher education, high school CTE programs, employer associations, workforce development, and career pathway initiatives across Minnesota.

“As clearly displayed throughout this program, state and local leaders know better than anyone the critical link between education and economic development,” says Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the Center for Education and Workforce. “Not only did the Fellows gain a network of peers and experts in the field, the program is designed to help these leaders find opportunities to develop initiatives that will continue to advance the growth of their local economy and put education policy into practice.”

Following a competitive application and selection process, Olson was selected along with 34 other state and local chamber executives across the nation to participate in the inaugural class. The four-month program, which ended this week, covered the entire talent pipeline, including early childhood education, K-12, higher education, and workforce development.

Upon completion, Business Leads Fellows join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s dedicated network of 200 chambers of commerce and statewide associations from around the nation who regularly engage on education and workforce initiatives.

Given the overwhelming interest in the program, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host a second cohort in spring 2019.

For a full list of participants in the Business Leads inaugural class, visit the U.S. Chamber Foundation website.

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Insights For Action

How the MSP Region is Addressing the Growing Talent Crisis with Analysis of Real-time Labor Market Data

In the last few years, a range of online analytical tools has enabled a clear view of our dynamic and constantly changing labor market. For the first time, this data is available to job counselors and planners not just as information for reflection, but as a real-time action tool to direct jobseekers to the best opportunities. This report outlines our approach to taking the first step in addressing this crisis: documenting the labor shortage and skills gap, identifying the impact that our programs and initiatives could have on closing those gaps, and building a strategy for a more systematic and employer-led long-term solution.

We believe workforce development must now be based on a real-time feedback loop. Without a clear line of sight into the current labor market realities, it is impossible to advise job-seekers effectively, meet employer talent needs, or plan effective educational systems. We have learned that in a program-rich, systems-poor environment, context in real dataand short-term outcomes can help move out of the spin-cycle of planning and into systems change.

However, a strong report alone will not lead to systematic change, better programs, or improved outcomes without engaging the necessary leaders to take the next step. Even after reviewing the wealth of LMI, job postings, and educational data at our disposal, it is still essential to get out in the field and talk to employers, training program managers, K-12 educators, and postsecondary directors get their take on the accuracy and relevancy of the data and your conclusions from it.  Only then can we identify solutions that ensure employers have the workers required to sustain and grow Minnesota’s economy.

Real Time Talent and MSPWin will continue to promote and expand demand-driven solutions that are grounded in the realities of talent supply limitations and opportunities. We hope that this implementation guide is an important step toward building the next generation of cross-sector, employer-led education and workforce collaboratives to address the workforce challenges of our time.

Click HERE to read the full report.

Successes of 2017

RealTime Talent closed 2017 with a large and growing impact on Minnesota’s education-workforce ecosystem. Here are a few of the accomplishments from 2017 that we are proud of:

  • Created a movement to align talent development, workforce services and Minnesota’s labor market
    • RealTime Talent developed 21 career pathway guidance reports in Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources, Finance, and Business, Finance, & Administration for Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Perkins Consortia, rolling new demand-oriented approaches to career decision making across Minnesota State and CTE secondary programs. Over 2,000 students in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources career pathways across Minnesota State, in secondary CTE tracks, and participating in Future Farmers of America received reports filled with data from TalentNeuron Recruit to be used in career planning; 80% of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources educators across Minnesota State received the same CTE reports to use in their classrooms and were connected with local, trained TalentNeuron Recruit users.
  • Established RTT as a recognized leader and resource for driving the use of real-time data analytics to align talent development and workforce services with Minnesota’s labor market
    • 98 organizations and institutions of higher education that work with students, job-seekers, or employers received access to TalentNeuron Recruit and training.
    • Between 345-415 people currently use TalentNeuron Recruit regularly in service to students, job-seekers, or employers.  Broader reach of potential license use is estimated at about 800-900 people.
    • Over 75 unique training sessions in the TalentNeuron Recruit data tool have been held this year to date, with over 240 people participating.
  • Ensured the daily decisions and services of education and workforce providers are guided by current data and comparative analysis
    • Working with Job Seekers
      • 100% of workforce centers and employment services providers that shared data with us in our recent survey said that they use TalentNeuron Recruit data directly with job-seekers in the past 6 months.
      • Between 1,385 and 2,015 job-seekers statewide received job search assistance that included data from TalentNeuron Recruit in the past 6 months.
    • Working with Students
      • In the past 6 months, about 715 students (10% of all students served by partners sharing their usage) directly received career or academic advice from TalentNeuron Recruit data over the past 6 months.
    • Research, Curriculum, Program, and Economic Development
      • 68% of partners using TalentNeuron Recruit for research and workforce analytics found that it led to greater knowledge of local or regional workforce needs over the past 6 months.
      • 57% of users that are involved in curriculum development said use of TNR “increased alignment of curriculum to employer needs” over the past 6 months.
  • Improved the results and longevity of sector-based collaborations in meeting employer demand by integrating RTT tools and outreach
    • Working with Job Seekers
      • A reported 356 job-seekers developed an improved understanding of how to express their skills, experience, and education as a result of advice based in data from TalentNeuron Recruit in the past 6 months.
    • Working with Students
      • A reported 605 students developed an improved understanding of how to express their skills, experience, and education as a result of advice based in data from TalentNeuron Recruit over the past 6 months.
      • 66% of users working directly with students said use of TalentNeuron Recruit “increased student awareness of opportunities” over the past 6 months.
      • 53% of users working directly with students said use of TNR “increased the frequency of use of labor market data with students” over the past 6 months.
    • Research, Curriculum, Program, and Economic Development
      • 80% of partners in economic development said use of new labor market data “increased knowledge of current workforce trends” over the past 6 months.
      • 50% of partners in economic development said use of new labor market data led to “increased total number of employers engaged” over the past 6 months.
      • 56% of partners in economic development said use of new labor market data led to “improved knowledge of hiring needs of employers” over the past 6 months.

As Labor Shortage Looms, Metro Workforce Planning Ramps Up

The 7-county Minneapolis-Saint Paul region faces a worker shortage of over 62,000 by 2020. RealTime Talent and MSP Win are bringing new research to the table to help workforce planners mobilize around our current and future needs, an essential step if we are to maintain our region’s growth and competitiveness.

Workforce development professionals must be able to quickly support each jobseeker to identify and train for the career they aspire to; using data analytics on a regular basis creates stronger coordination between organizations and the best results for both jobseekers and employers.
In the last few years, a range of online analytical tools have enabled a clear view of our dynamic and constantly changing labor market. For the first time, this data is available to job counselors not just as information for reflection, but as a real-time action tool to direct jobseekers to the best opportunities.

We have developed a series of Sector Analysis Reports – a regional overview document and its one-page profiles of IT, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, business and financial services, and government – to provide an analytical methodology to know and react to demand, supply, and training program outcomes. In other words, these tools can help us more efficiently close the worker gap. We hope that you see value in this data and decide to replicate this kind of analysis in your own sectors and communities.

We believe workforce development must now be based on a real-time feedback loop. If you don’t know the analytics and if you can’t easily answer the top two jobseeker questions in an informed way, you can’t advise jobseekers well and you can’t help close the gap. So let’s start doing things differently.

Read, download, or print the full reports here, or take a look at the Information Technology sector overview report here.

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