This past month, RealTime Talent research strategist Erin Olson had the opportunity to collaborate with Minnesota Compass’ research scientist Justin Hollis to author an article focusing on Minnesota’s workforce shortage. The article highlights the early warning signs found in high job vacancies around 2016 as well as the potential ways our state could chip away at this shortage. This article, along with other great content from Minnesota Compass can be found HERE.
Minnesota Compass is a social indicators project that measures progress in our state and its communities. Led by Wilder Research, Minnesota Compass provides nonpartisan, credible information and tracks trends in topic areas such as education, economy, workforce, health, housing, and a host of others.
Imagine. A powerful magic box. Inside this magic box is information – and this information has the ability to influence your knowledge of job market trends by presenting the most current and in demand jobs, skills, and certifications, in any area of the state of Minnesota. Remember, the box is magical – so feel free […]
As Career and Technical Education awareness month comes to an end, we acknowledge our many partners that play a vital role in CTE and thank you for all your hard work in this space. RealTime Talent has long collaborated with many of our CTE partners to provide labor market and career data aimed to inform students and job-seekers. In 2017, through Perkins federal funding, we created a series of reports offering insight into three career clusters through the lens of employer demand including Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources, Business, Management, & Administration, and Finance. These reports, along with a series of career pathways reports, were distributed among CTE coordinators and educators throughout Minnesota. To view or download these reports, click HERE.
Last November, RealTime Talent developed career pathway handouts for the White Bear Lake area school district, highlighting four key areas including Healthcare, Manufacturing, Construction, and IT pathways in Ramsey County. “These youth-friendly handouts were created to inform students on the career building jobs they may qualify for now or in the near future,” said Erin Olson, RealTime Talent Research Strategist. “By using school colors and images like emojis, these reports are appealing to the reader and can spark great conversation about these careers.”
Jenny Moore, the Career Pathways Navigator for the White Bear Lake Area Schools said, “I love everything about these reports” as she distributed them at a career expo attended by over 300 students and more than 70 industry partners. “It is truly amazing what RealTime Talent has done for our local community.” After Jenny shared these reports with secondary educators in her district, Shannon Grant, a Health and Physical Education Teacher at White Bear Lake High School, used the reports for a unique classroom assignment. Her students used the data provided on the career pathway handouts to gain insights and do further research on a career they may be interested in. These students experienced a fun way to engage in career exploration and developed some creative handouts of their own as well.
As we continue to promote the use of tools that address labor force needs and support our education system, RealTime Talent has been working with multiple CTE consortia, providing training and data consultation with TalentNeuron – a real-time job post data tool. Recently, RealTime Talent trained 30 career counselors and educators from the Wayzata area high schools. We look forward to how these educators will incorporate real-time labor and career information into their own classes. If you are an educator who’s interested in our research services or real-time labor market tools, reach out to us today!
If you have any questions about the work of RealTime Talent with Career and Technical Education, please contact Phil Arellano.
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.
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, email@example.com.
Content contributed by Phil Arellano and Erin Olson, RealTime Talent.
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.
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.
As a Program of the Minnesota Chamber Foundation, RealTime Talent Joins the Newly Created Center for Workforce Solutions
St. Paul, MN (05/08/18): The Minnesota Chamber yesterday announced the creation of the Center for Workforce Solutions, an innovative initiative under the leadership of the Chamber Foundation. Through collaboration and key partnerships, it offers research and programs to confront the state’s growing worker shortage and will help solve critical workforce challenges to sustain and grow Minnesota’s economy for the long term.
A key component of the Center for Workforce Solutions will be the work of RealTime Talent. RealTime Talent seeks to increase workforce alignment throughout the state of Minnesota by bringing together education, workforce, economic development and private sector leaders. RealTime Talent provides real-time labor market data to inform and affect market-oriented decisions made be these key stakeholders in Minnesota’s workforce and education system. Recently, RealTime Talent published a series of reports detailing sector-specific occupations with high growth, middle skill, and livable wage opportunities. These sector analyses have become critical data points used in workforce solutions conversation across the Twin Cities, and RealTime Talent is working to scale this work state-wide.
Along with RealTime Talent, the Center for Workforce Solutions will consist of three other solutions-focused components:
- MN Job Match is a job-to-candidate matching platform that helps employers find the right fit in qualified candidates. This platform’s unique capabilities matches modern skills with the changing needs in the marketplace, helps bridge the gap among job-seekers and employers, and identifies new opportunities.
- Business Education Networks (BEN) seek to narrow the skills gap by helping students understand the career opportunities and complete necessary degree and certificate programs, thus helping employers find highly-skilled workers. BEN is already connecting businesses and local chambers with students, educators and workforce training programs in Winona, Brainerd, Waconia and White Bear Lake, with plans to accelerate networks throughout the state.
- Educational opportunities bring together community and business leaders facing these challenges and offering solutions to ensure long-term economic success. The center offers resources and information that can expand employers’ knowledge base and offer new, innovative approaches to recruitment and retention. On May 9, the chamber will host the “Workforce Solutions Forum: Growing through Hidden Talent and Automation.” This half-day program will help employers tap the underutilized segments of our workforce and delve into how automation impacts all levels of production, and adapts how business is done to stay efficient with a shrinking workforce.
RealTime Talent is a public-private collaborative with a goal of increasing workforce alignment in Minnesota. We introduce tools and innovation to address labor force needs and support our higher education and workforce systems. Our partners provide services to employers, job-seekers, planner and educators, using the tools and research we provide. In January of 2018, RealTime Talent became a program of the Minnesota Chamber Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that shares in the mission of driving workforce solutions. For more information, contact Phil Arellano, RealTime Talent Training & Communication Specialist
651-201-1774 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask employers what they seek in new hires and “soft skills” rise to the top. Yes, it is a squishy buzz word but it covers a lot of what matters, including communication, teamwork, creativity and problem solving. For the new grads from our colleges, this is good news — they can show that they’ve got what today’s hiring managers want.
Don’t buy it? Start with the hard data. Sara Johnson, employer and alumni relations manager at Concordia College, has looked at full-time job postings from the last two years for new bachelor’s degree holders in our five-state area. Using TalentNeuron Recruit, a big-data tool that pulls together and analyzes job postings, Johnson’s search identified more than 390,000 postings in that period. She looked specifically at the skills required.
“When you look at the most listed skills, both hard and soft ones, almost all are soft skills,” she said. “These are really people skills. Employers are looking for a good quality candidate with problem solving abilities who can be creative, who can be analytical and who can take that information and articulate it.”
The top sought skill was oral and written communication. “That’s always number one. Looking at our data from job postings, we see demand for communications skills is two times more in demand than any other skill,” Johnson said. “It is about that ability to articulate ideas and information; it is extremely useful across all industries. If you dive in to what it means, it gets at expressing yourself in all sorts of ways.”
|Ten of the top skills sought in new hires with bachelor’s degrees
|# of postings that mentioned skill|
|Oral and written communications||148,238|
|Self-starting / self-motivated||34,784|
|Source: TalentNeuron Recruit
Data for period from May 31, 2015 to May 31, 2017 for full-time, entry-level positions for those with bachelor’s degrees in Minnesota and bordering states
Good news for grads
For college students who’ve been immersed in coursework and campus experiences and apprehensive about moving into the job market, this is a rare view into what employers are seeking. “For a student, they often don’t give themselves enough credit for those skill sets that they bring,” Johnson said. “So it is important to see the value of those skill sets — ones like integrity, working independently and working in a team.”
From Johnson’s perspective, students at Concordia College and Minnesota’s other private colleges have benefitted from educations focused on the liberal arts with opportunities for invaluable hands-on experiences, from internships to undergraduate research.
“The liberal arts colleges really have an advantage in helping students develop these high demand skill sets and preparing them for the workforce,” she said. “There’s always a transition — when you’re a new employee. These soft skills, they’re people skills and they give an advantage to liberal arts students, helping them be productive sooner. That’s a huge value to an employer, they’re a quick learner.”
And looking down the road, with the labor force expecting significant changes as more Baby Boomer retirements happen, the importance of these soft skills will only grow, Johnson predicts. With her analysis of the recent job postings for new college graduates, she also looked for where expectations are changing. The strongest increase was in management and leadership skills.
When employers hire new grads they worry about what soft skills are missing, as research has shown. Hiring managers were most concerned about a lack of critical thinking skills in recent grads. Next up was attention to detail and then communication. So as students apply for those first post-graduation positions, these data about the importance of soft skills can help them prepare. Johnson recommends students highlight these skills on their resumes and prepare to speak up during interviews about their experiences using these skills.
New graduates have what employers are seeking — now’s the time to be sure they let the decision makers know.
By John Manning
John Manning is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Minnesota Private Colleges Council, a partner of RealTime Talent.