Agencies Partner For Project Aimed At Aligning Higher Ed Supply, Business Demand
Employers will soon be able to turn to the web for workforce information that can help them make hiring decisions.
The Department of Higher Education, Office of Workforce Transformation and the Department Job and Family Services have teamed up to analyze state workforce and education data to demonstrate supply and demand.
Dubbed the State Workforce and Education Alignment Project, the grant-funded initiative is aimed at helping higher education institutions determine how their graduates are fitting into the workforce and providing employers with information about Ohio's supply of trained and educated workers.
"It will help (colleges and universities) identify areas of strength and expertise and if there is a positive demand for their graduates," John Magill, ODHE assistant deputy chancellor of economic advancement, said in an interview. "Our four-year institutions, it may also enable them to look across the field to areas and programs where they might want to respond to demand."
While the education data will be provided to colleges, universities and career technical schools, the workforce information will be searchable through a so-called workforce supply tool on theOhio Means Jobs website.
The website tool will allow users to search for region and state-wide in-demand job stats, such as how many employees are available to take on those jobs, average wages, institutions and career tech schools offering certificates and degrees, and unemployment claims for those fields.
All the aforementioned information is available separately, but states have struggled with bringing education and workforce data together and learning the impact they have on one another, said Joshua Hawley executive director of the Ohio Education Research Center, which was awarded an ODHE contract to lead work on the $180,000 National Skills Coalition grant project.
"What this supply tool is hopefully going to help with is show us those decisions - that information about the availability of jobs or the projected availability of jobs - how does that potentially affect what Columbus State or Ohio State should do with their programs?" he said in an interview.
In addition to compiling the data and analyzing it, the research center also plans to complete interviews at higher education institutions to determine which jobs are connected to which educational programs.
"We're hoping to help government make better linkages between what's available in the job market and what's supplied by the higher education institutions," Mr. Hawley said.
OWT Director Ryan Burgess said the workforce supply information can also be helpful in drawing new businesses to the state that, before making the move, want to ensure their needs will be met.
A focus group reviewing the tool "thought it would be very, very helpful," he recently told the Board of Regents.
"I think they see the value in it," he added. "I see us being able to expand this further...to make it easier for businesses to find the talent they need."
Mr. Magill said that the workforce supply tool is expected to go live by the end of the year.
Source: Gongwer News Service https://shar.es/1ZgZIs