An Educated Workforce Makes The DifferenceLeave a Comment
The Greater Cincinnati Workforce Network seeks to close the “skill gap” in three priority industries by developing career pathways that provide education and training programs to help workers advance in their careers and help employers meet their need for a skilled workforce. Together, our three priority sectors—health care, advanced manufacturing, and construction—represent nearly 1-in-3 jobs in our region and the majority of the middle-skill jobs that offer strong wages and advancement opportunities.
The health care industry is the region’s largest source of private sector employment and generates an economic impact of almost $14 billion per year, according to the Greater Cincinnati Health Council. Health care is also one of the fastest growing industries in our region; employment in hospitals increased by 36 percent in the past five years. By 2014, the industry is projected to add nearly 20,000 local jobs. Our health care employers offer good jobs with advancement opportunities, yet they struggle to find qualified employees to fill these positions, most of which require some post-secondary education or training. Cincinnati area hospitals reported a total of 3,160 unfilled positions in fiscal year 2007.
Advanced Manufacturing is a dominant industry in our region and provides the largest source of private-sector employment after health care. The industry offers strong wages and good advancement opportunities for low-skill individuals. While older manufacturing is certainly declining, high-tech manufacturing will remain a dominant source of employment and key economic driver in our region for years to come. Even in this economy, manufacturers are struggling to find the skilled workers they need to remain competitive, especially as older workers retire. Moreover, the manufacturing of tomorrow is increasingly technologically-driven, requiring a high-tech skill set. Emerging and growth sub-sectors of the industry—such as Aerospace, Biotechnology, Alternative Energy, and Chemical Manufacturing—all offer in-demand jobs for skilled workers.
Construction offers a significant source of employment, strong advancement opportunities, strong wages, and high projected future growth. Our region has multiple major construction projects currently underway, with more expected in the near future due to the federal stimulus package. Emerging areas of Green Construction and Energy Efficiency Retrofitting also require new training programs. Finally, the current construction workforce is rapidly reaching retirement age, which will lead to significant skills shortages.