Measuring Middle-Skills Gaps within the Finger Lakes Regional Economy


The past years have brought increased emphasis on the importance of a community college’s role as a key partner in a region’s overall economic and workforce development strategy. The increased awareness, both locally and nationally, of a growing skills gap within industry for occupations requiring less than a bachelor’s degree, but more than a high school diploma – the so-called middle-skills gap – has become a dominant theme in conversations within the business community, among public leaders and within the workforce development community of practice. In response to these changes and to better support Monroe Community College’s role as a provider of workforce and career oriented programs to the Greater Rochester area, MCC embarked on an ambitious data project to quantify and estimate the likely middle-skills gaps across five key workforce clusters within the Finger Lakes regional economy: Advanced Manufacturing, Skilled Trades, Information and Computer Technology, Hospitality and Tourism, and Health Care. In conducting this project, a variety of labor market and workforce intelligence sources were used including the incorporation of the latest in workforce oriented big data services integrating both traditional and real time labor market data. The primary goals of this project were to quantify skill gaps in business and industry and provide direction for the development of new programs and delivery methods in order to increase the number of graduates in occupations where more qualified workers are needed. A highlight of this work is the occupational grouping gap analysis dashboard. It is used to identify and measure educational attainment through certificate and associate degree completions against estimated annual openings for 23 middle-skills occupational groups. This is an attempt to measure the supply of workers being created through the region’s educational system against the estimated labor demand for occupations aligned to their respective programs. For a select number of occupational groups, we have been able to include a program-based economic impact

Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker