Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Chuck Knebl, Communications Manager, WorkOne Northern Indiana (photo provided).
Talent roadmap for Northern Indiana charts course for economic stakeholders to strive for regional prosperity

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on March 22, 2013 at 2:25 p.m.

Amid accelerating global competition, Northern Indiana’s economic, education and workforce stakeholders have taken noteworthy measures to boost regional competitiveness, yet additional, aggressive and long-term steps are necessary to match — and hopefully exceed — economic advances of other regions in the United States and worldwide, concluded a new coalition report, Talent Roadmap for Northern Indiana.

Region has opportunity to create profound, positive impacts by collaborating to strengthen workforce talent

“Northern Indiana has the opportunity to create profound and lasting impacts within the region and greater workforce watershed. This area is rich in diversity and has dedicated stakeholders who are committed to solving problems today and into the future. It is through this collaborative and cooperative approach that Northern Indiana possesses great opportunity to enhance the quality of life and talent within the region,” the report said. Talent Roadmap was a collaborative research effort by a coalition including the Corporate Partnership for Economic Growth (CPEG) WorkOne Northern Indiana, , Fulton Economic Development Corporation, Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation, Marshall County Economic Development Corporation, and The Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County. The report was prepared by Thomas P. Miller and Associates, Indianapolis.

Four programmatic recommendations stood as pillars of the report’s forward course: common regional assessments and credentials; professional recruitment; local promotion and recruitment efforts; and expand three educational areas — Science, Technology, Engineer & Mathematics (STEM); project-based learning; and career & technical education (CTE).

“Northern Indiana is in a global race for talent. Major structural changes are occurring in our economy as businesses adapt to globalization and digitalization,” said Shawn E. Peterson, president & CEO of CPEG, an Elkhart-based non-profit organization seeking to engage regional business leaders and promote the long-term prosperity of Northern Indiana. “Employers find themselves needing a few, well-educated people with both soft- and technical-skill sets. Unfortunately, the demand for talent and the supply of workers with these desired skills are out-of-balance, not only in Northern Indiana but also all over the country,” he added. The Talent Roadmap report was issued Jan. 16, 2013.

Talent roadmap recommendations-pillars for prosperity

Common regional assessment & credentials

Implement and utilize common assessments for both open positions and potential job candidates using a common profiling system — such as WorkKeys Job Profiling — and industry recognized credentials in a more aggressive and organized fashion, create a Work Ready community, and partner with organizations like the Manufacturing Institute to promote the value of credentials and assessments as needed.

Professional recruitment

Attract and retain degreed talent in Northern Indiana to meet the high-skill demands of employers through regional internship programs, fellowship programs, awareness campaigns, networks, and other initiatives that focus on young and/or international professionals and their families.

Local promotion & recruitment efforts

Develop a local pipeline of talented individuals for in-demand* careers by engaging in efforts to change current manufacturing perceptions, to implement advanced workplace practices, to enhance regional talent, and to provide regional wage/salary and open position surveys. (* In-demand careers include jobs with significant current or projected openings and/or growth. For a list, go to current openings Job Postings Analysis. For a list of Indiana’s Hot 50 Jobs, go to Hot 50 Jobs.)

Expand stem, project-based learning & CTE

Provide vision and overall direction for education initiatives, including a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Project-Based Learning, and Career and Technical Education (CTE), and the use of complimentary metrics and measures. From this regional vision, county coalitions and organizations implement and initiate change.

Talent roadmap features labor market analysis, survey of employers, job-posting analysis, others

In order to more fully capture an understanding of the workforce requirements of Northern Indiana employers, the coalition hired Thomas P. Miller and Associates (TPMA) to execute an extensive analysis and planning process, including quantitative labor market data analysis, a survey of regional employers, job-posting analysis, focus groups and interviews.

The quantitative data analysis of both publicly available data as well as proprietary data sources, conducted by TPMA in partnership with the Indiana Education Roundtable, found several key areas of needs and opportunity for Northern Indiana. Those needs and opportunities were unearthed in the economic components including:

Ÿ per capita income

Ÿ poverty and earnings

Ÿ unemployment

Ÿ educational attainment

Ÿ postsecondary education

Ÿ in-demand occupations

Ÿ WorkKeys