Team NEO Releases 2021 ‘Aligning Opportunities’ Report

CLEVELAND – The fifth annual Aligning Opportunities report, prepared by Team NEO and released Thursday, reveals 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 here. It follows two supplemental talent reports developed by Team NEO and released earlier this year: Lost Opportunities, which examines gender inequities in the region’s talent pool and the significant impacts that the pandemic had on working women; and Misaligned Opportunities, a deep dive into how racial inequity impacts northeast Ohio’s talent pipeline. 

Reflecting on five years of “Aligning Opportunities” reports, Bill Koehler, CEO of Team NEO, said, “We are pleased to provide insights that our region’s education, talent and workforce ecosystem leverage to help bridge the talent gap. …By deepening and broadening our talent pools, we can create a more vibrant economy, one where our businesses and region are more competitive and where all [residents] have an opportunity to participate in the prosperity we create together.” 
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.

The findings focus on occupations in three high-growth industries — computer and IT, health care and manufacturing — and provides 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 skill, the report finds. Northeast Ohio falls short of this mark, although postsecondary credentials have grown from 33% to 37% in 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.

The report also features stories from companies that are adapting their talent attraction and retention strategies with creative and innovative solutions.

For instance, the report cites Park Place Technologies, an IT infrastructure service and solutions provider based in Cleveland. Park Place has established relationships with Case Western Reserve University and John Carroll University to help fill its pipeline, the report states. The company works directly with professors to recruit and hare future talent needs and emerging skill sets needed to fill these needs.

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.

To read the full report, CLICK HERE

Image: Team NEO ‘Aligning Opportunities’ Report.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.