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Reflections on the Past Year

Did 2018 fly by for you?  It did for the RealTime Talent team.  About this same time last year, we were welcoming our new Executive Director, Deb Broberg, to RealTime Talent and we had just finished moving into the Chamber Foundation location.  We adopted the mantra, “new year, new location, same mission.”  As the year moved on and we settled into our new home, we continued to focus on our mission: to help create more informed, market-oriented decisions throughout the Minnesota workforce and education ecosystem to ensure the state’s economy has the talent it needs to help Minnesotans prepare for well-paying careers.  We also continued our aim to create a movement toward workforce alignment, support sector-based collaborations for quality employment opportunities, increase cross-sector collaboration, and ensure daily decision-making is guided by strong data in the workforce and education ecosystem.  Phew!  That’s not only a mouthful – that’s a big task at hand!  It’s a great thing we have so many great partners dedicated to Minnesota’s workforce and economy. 

In 2018, RealTime Talent developed 113 data driven reports.  From occupation snapshots and industry overviews, to labor market analyses and custom-built surveys, we offered just-in-time insights to decision-makers and encouraged data-informed planning in our workforce and education systems.  Many of these reports are available on our website at http://www.realtimetalent.org/research.

We also gave 85 presentations and trained 310 participants on real-time labor market data tools both in the education and workforce space.  95 organizations and institutions of higher education that work with students, job-seekers, or employers currently had access to TalentNeuron Recruit and training and about 335-400 people currently use TalentNeuron Recruit on a regular basis in service to students, job-seekers, or employers. Between 6,400 and 7,350 job-seekers statewide received job search assistance that included data from TalentNeuron Recruit in FY2018, doubling the reach of the tool in 2017.

An estimated 7,200 students were advised using data from TalentNeuron Recruit in FY2018, with many more being reached with modified curriculum, programs, and materials that introduced them to high-demand career pathways.  Approximately 60% of users working directly with students said use of TalentNeuron Recruit “increased the relevance of job opportunities to student needs” between April and October 2018.

RealTime Talent continued to use its unique position as a public-private partner to bring creative solutions to Minnesota’s labor shortage, skill misalignment, and labor market inefficiencies. 

In K-12 education, we expanded TalentNeuron access and training, developed customized career pathway reports, and provided data consultation to Career and Technical Education (CTE) consortia across Minnesota, leading to in-depth engagement and increased use of labor market data in the classroom.  For Higher Education, RealTime Talent created customized reports or provided consultation around program development, expansion, modification, as well as regional workforce data for institutions including, but not limited to, The College of St. Scholastica, St. Cloud State University, Normandale Community College, and AgCentric Center of Excellence.   Some of RealTime Talent’s contributions to the workforce system include engagement with the Greater Metropolitan Workforce Council’s workforce planning efforts, supporting the sector committee, data work team, and the strategic partnership team in employer engagement and securing appropriate labor market data.  RealTime Talent also supported the curriculum and delivery of the GMWC Sector Skills Academy, focusing on data-informed decision-making and employer engagement strategy.  We were privileged to collaborate with the DEED Workforce Strategy Consultants and the Center for Economic Inclusion to support the GMWC and local Workforce Development Board employer engagement needs in the six key industry sectors. 


Left to right: Tawanna Black, Center for Economic Inclusion , Peter Frosch, GREATER MSP, Laura Beeth, Fairview Health Services, Shawntera Hardy, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development , Deb Broberg, RealTime Talent

This past year,  RTT established a Business Talent Initiative, with the support of GreaterMSP, MSPWin, the Minnesota Chamber, MN Business Partnership, and the Itasca Project, to facilitate employer involvement in partnership with key sector team leads: MPMA, Hennepin County, AgriGrowth, and MHTA.  This Business Talent Initiative is now a working group within RealTime Talent’s Advisory Council.  We continued the development of diversity reports and talent sourcing strategy consulting for private companies and business associations, provided labor market data for industry membership organizations, and solidified relationships with the commercial building trades associations, offering demographic and workforce data for four quarters to help guide apprenticeship program enrollment planning.

We look forward to the work ahead of us in 2019 and collaborating with our partners in the great state of Minnesota. 

If you have any questions about the work of RealTime Talent, please contact Phil Arellano, phil@realtimetalent.org.

Content contributed by Phil Arellano and Erin Olson, RealTime Talent.

RealTime Talent featured twice this month in local news

RealTime Talent has been featured in the StarTribune twice so far this month, along with several organizational partners that make use of our data tools. In the Viewpoints interview with Neal St. Anthony that ran on May 6th, Project for Pride in Living and Jason Bruns, director of the Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence at Minnesota State University Mankato, were highlighted for how they use TalentNeuron Recruit with students and job-seekers.  Among those partners featured in the second article were the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the Itasca Project, and Aaron Corcoran who has supported the work of the many workforce centers and Minnesota State partners in the Twin Cities.

May 6th: RealTime Talent Believes Information Sharing can Help it Improve Minnesota’s Workforce

May 16th: Employers Getting Creative in the Hunt for Good Workers in Good Economy

Top Trending Entry-Level Healthcare Positions Focus on In-Home Care

It’s no secret that there is huge demand for Home Health Aides across the United States.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics put out a report early last year, and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) followed suit in June 2016 with their article, “H is for Home Health Aide.” But will these positions be attractive to future workers who will have increasingly more choice in our nation’s job market and are looking for opportunities that offer a living wage and professional advancement?  Maybe not, unless employers start changing what they offer.

As many Minnesotans age and require additional medical attention (the population of Minnesotans over 65 years of age will increase by more than 400,000 people between 2014 and 2024), the need for Healthcare Support Professionals is increasing rapidly. Couple that with a growing preference to receive care in the home rather than in a care facility, the demand for Home Health Aides is skyrocketing.  In 2016, there were approximately 27,550 Home Health Aides working in the state and 4,457 Home Health Aide job openings advertised online; the occupation ranks as the 21st most in-demand position and the 20th most common occupation in Minnesota today.  Demand is projected to grow by 30.1 percent (9,254 jobs) between 2014 and 2024–the third highest growth rate of any occupation in Minnesota. However, these positions offer some of the lowest salaries of any occupation in the healthcare industry, with a median wage of $24,944 and currently advertised positions only offering $20-26k as a starting salary–just barely hitting the threshold for a living wage for a single adult ($11.39 in Hennepin County).  There may be little incentive to encourage workers to take on these roles as the number of job opportunities begins to exceed the number of available workers in the laborforce.

We are already observing high rates of job vacancies in entry-level healthcare positions that require an Associate’s degree or less.  Online job postings in the Twin Cities Metro for low-experience, low-education Licensed Practical Nurses and Home Health Aides have increased more than 7% since 2015, dramatically greater than other entry-level healthcare opportunities.  Hennepin County was home to 24% of the state’s total entry-level healthcare positions in 2016.

As Minnesota continues to face changing demographics, how will employers respond to ensure that they attract the candidates they need? Hopefully, we will start to see rising wages for entry-level healthcare positions.

For more data on healthcare occupations at the Twin Cities and Statewide level, check out our reports page.

Twin Cities Healthcare Report, March 2017

Minnesota Healthcare Report, March 2017

Central Minnesota

The 13-county Central Minnesota planning region had a population of 693,108 in 2014, almost 13% of the state’s population. With a larger population, yet a similar volume of jobs posted compared to other Greater Minnesota regions, the number of people in the labor force per job opening (potential candidates indicated below) is very high. This is the result of the region’s highly mobile labor force, with over 40% of the region’s working residents commuting outside of the region to get to their place of work according to one DEED analysis of the commute shed. Central Minnesota is a net exporter of labor with only 198,956 workers both residing and working in the region in 2013 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to DEED’s Occupational Employment Statistics, about 16% of all jobs held in Central Minnesota are in production manufacturing, whereas production comprises only 11% of all jobs statewide. Healthcare and social assistance jobs are expected to increase in demand by over 28% through 2022, while production manufacturing is expected to increase by only 3%. In 2014, DEED identified ten industry sub-sectors that define the region by having significantly higher concentrations of jobs and firms than seen statewide. Overall, Central Minnesota has 9.7% of the state’s total employment, but is home to 25% of the state’s employment in animal production, furniture, and related product manufacturing. The projected slowed growth of manufacturing and production in the region is of particular concern for the local communities that rely on these economic niches, which are extremely diverse across the eastern and western subregions of Central Minnesota.

Transportation services are in high demand in Central Minnesota, accounting for 17% of all jobs advertised online to date in 2016. Healthcare positions are the second most sought, with 14% of all postings pertaining to this sector. When health support occupations are included (3.2% pf the postings), the total healthcare function positions lead as the most-sought positions in the region. These types of jobs are typically advertised online whenever openings are available, and counts are a relatively strong representation of regional labor needs. However, a number of critical industries continue to post job openings in very low volumes and may under count actual need. Some of these industries include forestry and logging, paper manufacturing, electric power generation and transmission, and mining. Highly unionized industries and temporary or seasonal positions are also not advertised online in large volumes, and other data sources might capture the true number of vacancies better.

For the full report and a list of additional relevant data sources, see our Reports page.

 

Northeastern Minnesota

Home to 326,649 people in 2014, just 6% of the state’s population resides in Northeastern Minnesota–the beautiful Arrowhead Region. St. Louis County is the region’s largest county by size and population with approximately 61.5% of the region’s population. Jobs are highly concentrated around the region’s largest city, Duluth, which is located in St. Louis County. South and western counties of the region are growing at the fastest rates (Carlton and Itasca), while northeastern counties have seen steadily declining populations since 2000 (Koochiching and Lake).

Healthcare jobs account for 29% of the 41,516 jobs advertised online in the region this year to date. The second most common types of job advertised in Northeast Minnesota were transportation-related, specifically for heavy tractor trailers and heavy truck driving. Manufacturing, construction, engineering, and marketing each saw notable decreases in job posting volume between 2015 and 2016. Some unique industry niches of the region, though not significantly represented in online job postings, include forestry and logging, paper manufacturing, electric power generation and transmission, and mining.

For more information on the Northeast’s unique labor market, view the report here.

 

Minnesota’s 7-County Twin Cities Metro Area

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The 7-County Twin Cities Metro Area is the most densely populated region of Minnesota. With 2,985,405 residents, it composes over half of the state’s population (54.7%). Similarly, 54.6% of the state’s currently advertised jobs are found in the Metro region. It contains five of Minnesota’s most populated counties and two (Scott and Carver counties) of the fastest growing. The population is generally younger than the rest of the state, with only 11.8% of its population being over the age of 65, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (2014 estimates).

The Twin Cities has become a hub for Information Technology, accounting for 15% of all jobs advertised in the region to date in 2016 (90,888 jobs out of 601,920 total). Information technology positions span a number of industries and verticals, with healthcare IT rising as a clear need in the region.

The table below highlights the top hiring employer, most in-demand occupation, median advertised salary, and number of people per job in the Metro’s ten largest communities.

For the full report on the 7-county Twin Cities Metro, visit our Reports page.

 

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Southwestern Minnesota

 

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Today we released the report on Southwestern Minnesota’s online job market.

Southwestern Minnesota’s economy is dominated by production manufacturing–particularly in agricultural production–and healthcare.  About 25 percent of jobs in these industries were held by workers 55 and older in 2015.  Home to 7 percent of the state’s population, the Southwest is sparsely populated.  Mankato (pop. 41,040) is the largest city in the region, ranking as the 22nd largest in the state in 2014 (US Census Bureau Population Estimates).

The top five job titles advertised online in the Southwest since 2012 are 1. Registered Nurse, 2. Class A CDL Truck Driver, 3. Physical Therapist, 4. Owner Operator, and 5. Licensed Practical Nurse.  Of the 6 major regions, the Southwest had the second highest median advertised salary  in 2016 at $56,100/year.  No major local or regional job boards could be identified in our research, and overall job posting volume is low in the region, but proportionate to its population similar to the Southeast and Northeast. In contrast, the Northwest and Central regions have many more people competing for fewer jobs, and the Twin Cities Metro has fewer people per job opening.

Recruitment for truck drivers is booming in the Southwest, with 30 percent of jobs advertised in the first three quarters of 2016 being transportation and shipping positions–tripling in number since 2015. Healthcare practitioners are also in high demand, making up 12.5 percent of the total 51,464 jobs advertised in the region between January and the end of September this year. The number of job postings seeking sales, business development, and information technology professionals declined since 2015. In demand certifications include a commercial driver’s license, HAZMAT, nursing certifications, and CPR.

Download the full report here: rtt-2016-regional-labor-market-southwest

 

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Foundational Research on Minnesota’s Regional Labor Markets is Released

RealTime Talent has been busy developing a series of regional strategies to help academic, workforce, government, and economic development professionals across Minnesota better use data to respond to local job markets and labor force needs.  The executive summary of the 40-page report on Minnesota’s diverse landscape of job opportunities was released publicly today, November 30th, after being shared with colleagues and stakeholders closest to the data.  Throughout the month of December, RealTime Talent will post segments of this larger report that highlight each region in its own blog post.  At the end of the month, we will close with the full, 40-page report and a special statewide workforce gap graphic that we have been developing for several months with support from our partners.  We can’t wait to share the insights we have uncovered in this rich online job posting data from TalentNeuron Recruit, and hope this work supports your own professional practice wherever you work in our wonderful state.

We encourage you to get excited for the release of these unique reports by reviewing the executive summary and tuning in December 2nd for the first regional installment on Southeast Minnesota!

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AgriGrowth Highlights RealTime Talent Research in Agriculture’s Labor Force Needs

An article was published in AgriGrowth’s member newsletter on the recent findings of a study done by RealTime Talent on trends in agriculture hiring and recruitment.  The article, written by Erin Olson of RealTime Talent, notes that data suggests an industry-wide shift in hiring demand as well as supply of available workers.  Below you will find the text of the article and some graphics depicting the findings:

All signs point to a need to elevate the agriculture related workforce needs and opportunities that exist in Minnesota as well as the United States. Dramatic mechanization in agriculture has increased efficiency and reduced the need for farm labor over the past century and opened the door to new types of jobs in agriculture, including more high-tech and high-wage opportunities. Agriculture companies, trade associations, and higher education in Minnesota have witnessed this shift, but in many cases theses employment opportunities have not effectively reached the general public.

According to the USDA, the nation will see an average of 57,900 food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment job openings every year between 2015 and 2020—that’s about 231,600 openings over the next four years—the result of a wave of retirement that has begun to roll through the U.S. labor force.  Unfortunately, we only expect to see an average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates trained in food, agriculture, and natural resources. If they all go straight into work, only 61 percent of those expected openings will be filled.[i]

This job gap is already presenting workforce challenges for many companies, which started to post job openings online in greater numbers starting in the summer of 2013. Job posting volume in this sector has been creeping up ever since, with agriculture industry job banks, like AgCareers.com, seeing posts in the Midwest rise as much as 49 percent between 2014 and 2015.[ii] graphicsfornewsletterarticle1

In the first six months of 2016, AgriGrowth member organizations had 47,837 open positions that required experience or knowledge of food, agriculture, farming, the environment, or natural resources, matching similar counts from 2015.[iii] About 7,000 (or 15 percent) of these jobs were in Minnesota.  While AgriGrowth members consistently sought drivers, sales workers, production supervisors, and engineers over the past decade, the majority of job postings in Minnesota during the first six months of 2016 were for marketing managers, management analysts, and financial positions.  The demand for these kinds of workers is growing.

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This increasing need for management and financial professionals is consistent with the message AgriGrowth has heard from the companies it works with. This summer, AgriGrowth partnered with RealTime Talent in a comprehensive survey of member organizations. The survey sought to identify the greatest challenges and opportunities in agriculture hiring, recruitment, and workforce planning. When asked to indicate their top three most difficult positions to fill, the word “manager” was the most frequent.  Service technicians, animal care providers, and sales associates ranked as the most challenging positions to fill, with 23 percent of all organizations anticipating hiring new employees in sales, business development, management, or information technology between April and October.

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More than half of companies said the biggest problem is that there are simply not enough applicants to fill vacancies, and that those who do apply lack either the soft skills, character traits, or experience in agriculture necessary to do the work. Most companies feel neutral or satisfied with their ability to find candidates with relevant education or certifications, but candidates still tend to lack necessary experience and skills.

There is consensus on the reasons positions are difficult to fill, but the workforce challenges faced by agriculture companies are extremely diverse. The concerns expressed by companies vary by size, type, and whether or not the company has staff designated to human resources activities. The top three workforce concerns among large companies—particularly those with human resources departments—are employee acquisition, perceived drops in youth interest in agriculture jobs, and employee retention. Agribusiness and food companies of all sizes are also particularly concerned about local non-agriculture competition when it comes to finding future candidates. Farms and smaller companies without human resources professionals on staff are less focused on future recruitment and tend to focus on current workforce gaps, targeting efforts in employee retention, compensation and benefits, and training.

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All of these insights allow AgriGrowth to better understand the workforce needs of its membership. “This survey was extremely useful in helping AgriGrowth better understand the various workforce challenges facing our members in recruiting and filling their employment needs” said AgriGrowth Executive Director Perry Aasness.

Judy Barka, Program Manager at AgCentric, says that the survey findings remind her of conversations she has had with employers around the state. “I have been hearing from a variety of Agriculture Industry partners about the importance of soft skills. This report confirms everything that I have heard in the field,” Barka said. She asks agriculture companies “if lack of youth interest in jobs in agriculture was identified as a top workforce concern, what are you doing about it and how can we work together on this issue?” AgCentric and the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture have used the findings from AgriGrowth’s survey to guide discussions around what the agriculture industry wants from graduates, to help Future Farmers of America (FFA) encourage high school students to explore jobs in agriculture, and to develop new partnerships with the Department of Agriculture.

The Centers of Excellence and other academic partners were pleased to learn that about 80 percent of AgriGrowth members participating in internship or dual training programs report that candidates that come to them through these programs are “consistently better” than those who do not. It appears that internships, on-the-job experience while undergoing training, and direct referrals from schools lead to the greatest employer satisfaction with candidates—second only to internal employee promotions.

With these findings, the future work of RealTime Talent will focus on developing career pathways in agriculture that match changing industry needs, reviewing curriculum to incorporate important experiential and soft-skill elements, and improving the connections between employers of all sizes and skilled, experienced candidates. As a result of this survey, AgriGrowth has a stronger understanding of the talent needs of its membership and a renewed energy to drive the public message of the agriculture industry’s important place in our growing economy.

“I appreciate the time many AgriGrowth members took to fill out the Real Time Talent Survey”, said Aasness.  “Enhancing our awareness of the workforce recruitment and hiring challenges facing our members will enable AgriGrowth to better represent the needs of our sector as we continue to work with the Real Time Talent board and staff.  AgriGrowth looks forward to continuing to work with Real Time Talent and its other collaborators in support of private/public efforts to better align workforce development efforts that will benefit and support the needs of Minnesota’s agriculture and food sector.”

[i] The full article by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) can be accessed here: https://www.purdue.edu/usda/employment/

[ii] From the March 2016 edition of Agri Marketing: AgCareers.com report on agriculture candidates and job trends.

[iii] Counts of online job postings are from the real-time data source TalentNeuron Recruit, which extracts data on skills, certifications, salary, and other requirements from jobs posted online.  For further information on this data, contact erin@realtimetalentmn.org or visit www.wantedanalytics.com.

 

Download the original article here or view the full newsletter online on AgriGrowth’s website: http://agrigrowth.org/wp-content/uploads/AG-Newsletter-2016-October.pdf

RealTime Talent Closes FY 2016 with an Announcement of Funding for an Online Labor Exchange

Happy anniversary to RealTime Talent! One year ago, we embarked on a journey to bring partners across the state of Minnesota to build the world’s best workforce right here at home.  We started by building our team and providing hundreds of practitioners across the state with access to a robust real-time labor market tool called TalentNeuron Recruit (formerly Wanted Analytics).  We trained over 900 people in this tool and presented to over 1,500 on applications of new data sources in labor market research, planning, and development.

 

RealTime Talent is excited to announce that we are no longer a “one tool wonder.”  While we continue to work to expand the use and accessibility of real-time data by providing licenses, technical assistance and research using TalentNeuron Recruit, we feel very fortunate to be receiving legislative funds to pilot a new online labor exchange.  The goal of this pilot is to explore new technologies that bring efficiency into the job seeking and hiring processes while also impacting disparities.  Strategies include removing common sources of bias in the hiring process, increasing candidate access to information about the skills and certifications desired by employers, and providing employers with a tool that truly matches the most qualified candidates with their job openings. Look for a summary of our evaluation of current tools and technology coming in mid to late August.

 

RealTime Talent is looking for partners in this innovative work to better match candidates with the best opportunities. Our goal is to pilot regionally and / or with industry specific context, as well as with colleges and universities.  Contact Jess Niebuhr to learn more.

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