Team NEO Releases 2021 ‘Aligning Opportunities’ Report

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The fifth annual “Aligning Opportunities” report, prepared by Team NEO and released Nov. 18, documents the misalignment of workforce and job opportunities that offer family-sustaining wages in growing, high-potential industries.

The report charts job openings compared to the type and number of credentials awarded in the 18-county region. The findings focus on occupations in three high-growth industries – computer and IT, health care and manufacturing – and provide fresh insights into emerging high-potential careers.

In manufacturing, top occupations include robotics, automation technician, CNC machinist and 3D printing technicians. In IT, cybersecurity specialists, artificial intelligence engineers and data scientists are in great demand. Top health care careers include telehealth nurse, lab technician and respiratory therapist.

By 2025, 65% of Ohio’s workforce will need to have a two- or four-year degree, or certified marketable skills, the report finds. Northeast Ohio falls short of this mark, although postsecondary credentials have grown from 33% to 37% in the past five years.

Further adding to this misalignment is the 2001-2019 population drop of 173,000 and labor force drop of 156,000, according to the report.

Northeast Ohio retains less than 47% of its college graduates, “translating to 14,608 graduates annually. Growing retention to 57% would have an impact of 445 more health care college grads, 162 more IT grads, 263 more architecture & engineering grads, and 3,130 more total grads,” the report states.

Among successful job training learning models cited in the report is the IBM and Youngstown State University Skills Accelerator, and the Ohio To Work program that helps individuals become work-ready.

The report was produced in partnership with Delta Dental and with support from PNC, MAGNET, Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio Region, Alliance Solutions Group and Deaconess Foundation.