Team NEO Updates Efforts to Improve Talent and Equity in Region

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Gains in post-secondary education, wage growth and young adult population in Northeastern Ohio are part of improvements reported by Team NEO’s Vibrant Economy Talent and Equity Update.

However, the report, released today, also notes there area needs continued work to bridge the equity gap in several key areas, including access to in-demand jobs for women and people of color.

“In order to have a vibrant economy, we must have a workforce that is educated and trained to fill in-demand jobs in our region; all individuals in the region must have access to the resources, education and training opportunities that are needed to succeed,” said Jacob Duritsky, Team NEO vice president of strategy, research and talent.

Vibrant Economy Talent and Equity Update builds on the Vibrant Economy Index launched by Team NEO in February 2022, to measure six pillars required to build a vibrant Northeastern Ohio region, which includes the Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana Counties.

This report focuses on two of the pillars – talent and equity.

Some highlights of the most recent update include improvement in the overall ranking for numbers attaining a bachelor’s, associate or graduate degrees. Compared to the 12 peer markets, Northeastern Ohio rose from 13th to 8th.

The region also saw a small amount of growth from 2018 to 2021 in the population of those ages 25 to 34, which is a key to reversing the region’s population.

Additionally, from 2020 to 2021, most demographics saw wage growth, including black or African Americans, who saw a 16% wage growth, whites at 6% and Hispanics at 4%.

However, the report also noted some more areas for improvement. Northeastern Ohio ranked in the bottom third of VEI markets in areas of broadband internet access, which is crucial for education, training and more.

People of color are 50% less likely than their white counterparts to obtain their bachelor’s or graduate degrees. Additionally, non-whites continue to be underrepresented in jobs in healthcare, manufacturing and technology, according to the report.

“These insights shared in the Talent and Equity report present us with a tremendous opportunity to align economic development strategies across the network in a way that addresses the challenges we have and creates a more competitive and prosperous regional economy,” said Duristsky.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.