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LVEDC Talent Supply: Employers See Rising Need for Employability Skills

By Colin McEvoy on November 5, 2018

LVEDC Director of Talent Supply Karianne Gelinas

LVEDC Director of Talent Supply Karianne Gelinas

Each week, Karianne Gelinas, Director of Talent Supply with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), will provide an update or additional information from its ongoing initiative to identify talent supply and demand issues in the region and create a strategy that results in a broader, ongoing understanding of the Lehigh Valley workforce. (See past updates.)

The LVEDC talent study asked employers about their levels of satisfaction in finding employees with the right skills for their jobs. Employers noted various levels of satisfaction with different skills.

Specifically, employers were most satisfied with employees’ levels of education (66 percent) and less satisfied with each employees’ levels of career experience (52%) and levels of employability or soft skills (47 percent).  Our employers see an increased need for employability skills training to improve job readiness and retention.

This concern is not unique to the Lehigh Valley but rather common across the nation.  This need is so pervasive that even LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, has spoken about it. As this article from Quartz notes:

As head of the world’s largest professional-networking site, Weiner presumably has access to more, and more detailed, employment information than any government. He knows what jobs people post, what jobs people have, and what jobs people want. And the biggest skills gap he says he sees in the United States is soft skills.

What most employers want, Weiner says, are written communication, oral communication, team-building, and leadership skills.

As a result, the LVEDC will move forward with a recommendation to increase students’ and community awareness about the importance of developing employability skills to find success in the workplace.

Click here to read more about LVEDC’s ongoing talent supply initiative. Click here to see previous talent supply initiative updates.

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