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LVEDC Talent Supply Update: Increased Employer Training for Incumbent Workers Could Foster Career Pathways

By Colin McEvoy on January 23, 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 and additional information about 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.)

We’ve previously cited a recent report by the U.S. Federal Reserve System that recommends some of the exact efforts currently underway in our study, which validates and underscores the importance of our ongoing talent supply initiative.

A few more notable recommendations from the study, which is called “Investing in America’s Workforce: Report on Workforce Development Needs and Opportunities,” can be found below:

Changes in Employer Behavior That Improve Job Access and Quality: The adoption of skills-based hiring as an alternative to hiring based on educational attainment can remove what, in some cases, may be an artificial barrier to livable wage employment. Additionally, in order to increase workers’ chances for economic mobility, employers should be encouraged to improve job quality, especially for entry-level positions.

Increased Employer Training for Incumbent Workers to Foster Career Pathways and Create Access to Entry-Level Jobs: A career pathway identifies a series of steps by which an employee can progress through jobs requiring higher levels of skills and paying higher wages. Aside from the services and programs offered by training providers and educational institutions, employers have a role to play by encouraging and supporting incumbent workers to advance along a clearly defined career pathway. Training and advancing workers along a career pathway also improves job access for local job seekers by creating vacancies in entry-level positions. This strategy, known as “upskilling and backfilling,” not only creates new employment opportunities for job seekers but might also increase the productivity of staff and improve retention and employee satisfaction.

The full Federal Reserve System study can be found here.

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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