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LVEDC to Unveil Findings of New Talent Supply Study

By Colin McEvoy on July 5, 2018

A meeting of the LVEDC Education and Talent Supply Council.

A meeting of the LVEDC Education and Talent Supply Council.

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) is preparing to unveil the findings of a new talent supply study that will allow the Lehigh Valley to blaze new trails in how we grow, recruit, and retain talent for the region.

The study will be released and discussed at a July 12 event at Blue Grillhouse in Bethlehem. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Visit here to pre-register or learn more about the event.

“The availability of skilled labor and the gap between the existing workforce and the skills employers need are key economic challenges, not just in the Lehigh Valley, but in most growing economic regions across the United States,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham.

“That’s why the Lehigh Valley is taking a proactive approach to bridging this talent gap,” Cunningham said. “The regions with a workforce with the right skills and necessary experiences are the regions that will win the battle for new jobs and business growth.”

LVEDC and the Workforce Board Lehigh Valley (WBLV) commissioned MDB Insight to conduct a regional study involving interviews, focus groups, and surveys with businesses from five targeted industry sectors and other stakeholders across the region.

That study has resulted in the development of a strategic action plan that will guide strategies to improve the Lehigh Valley talent market, create new approaches for developing workplace skills, and prepare students and adults to compete and succeed in high-demand careers.

“Access to talent is one of the driving influences when businesses consider where to establish new or expand existing operations,” said Karianne Gelinas, LVEDC Director of Talent Supply. “This study and our ongoing talent supply initiative will help us sustain a world-class talent pipeline and establish the Lehigh Valley as a new best practice in growing and recruiting talent.”

The study will be available digitally on the LVEDC website after the July 12 event, and hard copies can be made available upon request.

It is part LVEDC’s ongoing talent supply initiative by LVEDC to identify talent supply and demand issues and create strategies that result in a broader, ongoing understanding of the Lehigh Valley workforce among employers, educators, and other stakeholders, and an increased alignment within the talent pipeline.

These efforts are taking place in conjunction with the LVEDC Education and Talent Supply Council, the establishment of which was one of the innovative first steps in solving the talent gap issue. Much of this initiative is made possible by state funding to make the Lehigh Valley a pilot program for all of Pennsylvania, establishing the region as a leader in developing, retaining, and attracting talent.

“The Lehigh Valley has a network of strategic partners collaborating to address skills gap challenges,” said Nancy Dischinat, WBLV Executive Director. “We also have a strong pool of talent from which to draw, including more than 10,000 postsecondary graduates from regional colleges and universities on an annual basis.”

The study focuses on five target industry sectors for the Lehigh Valley: manufacturing (advanced and food & beverage), high-value business services, life science research & manufacturing, health care, and transportation, warehousing, logistics & wholesale.

The report provided key findings in the area of hiring, labor availability, employability skills, talent strategies, education, and opportunities. It also provided three dozen recommendations as part of its strategic action plan to guide talent supply communication and implementation strategies for the Lehigh Valley over the next five years.

New LVEDC Report Assesses Regional Talent Market, Identifies Strategies

This story originally appeared in the August 2, 2018 issue of “Quarterly Connections,” a quarterly newsletter LVEDC distributes to municipal officials in the Lehigh Valley[...]

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