Customer Snapshots: Real-World Solutions with EMSI’s Analyst

UPDATE: See even more client snapshots here.

Current and prospective clients sometimes ask EMSI how their peers are using Analyst. To help with this knowledge-sharing, we’re pleased to publish a handful of customer experiences that demonstrate some of the real-world solutions enabled by Analyst in the fields of economic development, workforce investment, and education. We hope that current and prospective users find them useful and inspiring. [Disclaimer: EMSI has received permission to publish these case studies for informational purposes. They should not be interpreted as constituting an official or unofficial endorsement from the organizations listed.]

NOTE: Analyst was formerly called Strategic Advantage.

– Economic Development –

Sandra Steiner, Executive Director
Adams County Education Consortium / Adams County Economic Development
Westminster, Colorado

Sandy Steiner is currently bringing Strategic Advantage into two new high school planning discussions in order to encourage a balance of program development between student interest programs with those that support high growth industries. These programs are also based upon the Career Cluster model, as identified by the States’ Career Cluster Initiative. By identifying high growth, regionally competitive industries, these high schools can offer a wide range of opportunities for their students. Local target industries and higher education partners have agreed to work with these new schools to provide resources, curriculum development, internships, professional development and job placements. With a data-driven curriculum plan and strategic partnerships, these Colorado high schools have a promising future, thanks to a helping hand from their local EDC.

Jonathan Smith, Manager of Communications and Research
Grant County Economic Development Council
Moses Lake, Washington

To demonstrate the value of local businesses to the community, Jonathan Smith runs impact scenarios on every company that Grant County EDC recruits or assists. To accomplish this, he relies on the Economic Impact module in Strategic Advantage. This serves to both educate the community on how individual businesses are affecting their region, as well as help prioritize business retention by expressing the total value each business contributes to the economy.

Matt McCauley, Associate Director for Regional Planning
Northwest Michigan Council of Governments
Traverse City, Michigan

Matt McCauley uses EMSI data to educate regional stakeholders on the “big picture” by providing a yearly economic forecast report for his region. The Chamber of Commerce hosts a yearly breakfast for 500 participants, all of whom are eager to view the forecast. He uses EMSI’s Economic Forecaster to project employment data 4-5 years out, as well as using Career Pathways to show occupation growth in various careers. This yearly forecast has proven to be an excellent way to keep all regional stakeholders on the same page, as well as provide a forum for the data to be disseminated.

– Workforce Development/Investment –

Andy Zehner, Director of Research
Indianapolis Private Industry Council
Indianapolis, Indiana

Andy Zehner calls the Career Pathways module “A better answer to the question: How many people in your area are qualified for XYZ occupation?” This is a key question for both business recruitment and workforce development. Andy primarily uses EMSI’s application of O*NET data to transition displaced workers into compatible occupations. With Career Pathways, Andy has the ability to go beyond simply displaying the total number of workers in a given occupation. Because Career Pathways also analyzes worker competencies (knowledge, skills, and abilities), he is able view all occupations that have compatible skill sets. With this knowledge, the IPIC can form a pathway to transition workers into high growth, high wage compatible occupations.

John Bass, Senior Analyst
Tulsa Area Workforce Investment Board
Tulsa, Oklahoma

John Bass uses EMSI data for a variety of workforce needs, but his current project involves the alignment of a 10-county workforce survey with the data available in Strategic Advantage. This involves combining the “why?” data (survey) with the “what?” data (EMSI). With the local knowledge from the survey and the regional, state, and national data from EMSI, John hopes to find new solutions for problems of his regional workforce.

Scott Sheely, Executive Director
Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

A recent recipient of a $250,000 Regional Innovation Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board and Scott Sheely used Strategic Advantage as a data resource for profiling the packaging industry, a hidden technology-driven industry that supports many consumer product manufacturers, as the Board staff put together the grant application. Scott plans to use EMSI’s occupational information and gap analysis tools to delve deeper into career ladders and industry supply chains as the project continues to roll out and the partners dig deeper into this new regional industry cluster.

– Education –

Kevin Fleming, Director
Center of Excellence, San Bernardino Community College District
San Bernardino, California

Kevin Fleming uses Strategic Advantage on a regular basis to provide the 11 community colleges in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties with necessary data for program identification and resource allocation. When Barstow Community College began to look at implementing a program for gym owners, the idea was taken to Kevin for a data analysis. By using the Economic Forecaster tool to provide the 5-year Industry and Occupation outlook for Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers, Kevin found that there would be a mere 11 estimated new gym owners in the next 5 years. With EMSI zip-code level data, Kevin had the freedom to define Barstow Community College’s service area in a way that is organic to the region and unimpeded by county lines. With this detailed, data-driven strategy, Barstow Community College can now allocate resources towards a more economically viable program.

Rose Pellatt, Institutional Effectiveness
Spartanburg Community College
Spartanburg, South Carolina

Rose Pellatt used Strategic Advantage to develop a Career Clusters report for the College’s three-county service area in South Carolina. The president of the College then presented the report at the College’s annual high school guidance counselors’ breakfast, which provided the counselors with data-driven career pathways for their students. With information on the top 10 careers for the next five years, area high school counselors now have solid information to give their graduating seniors.

Bruce Steuernagel
Labor Market Analyst
Office of the Chancellor, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
St. Paul, Minnesota

Bruce uses Strategic Advantage to help the Minnesota state colleges and universities make strategic decisions through program evaluation and Perkins grant planning. He finds that SA’s flexibility to create demographic, industry, and occupation profiles is invaluable to his work as a labor market analyst. For program planning, Bruce views regional trends in demographics, industry, and occupations, and he combines this SA data with institutional data on what programs students tend to enroll in and complete. With this information, he can inform the college or university of the viability of both existing and future programs. For Perkins grant planning, Bruce uses SA as a resource to identify programs of study that will lead to high growth/high wage jobs with an education level of bachelor’s degree or less. He combines all of these facts with local knowledge to find a data-driven strategy that makes sense for the region.

Kevin Long, PhD.
Senior Planning and Policy Analyst
Montgomery College
Rockville, Maryland

Kevin Long used EMSI data as the centerpiece of a recent college-wide SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis. He used historic, current, and projected data along with a secondary survey. This survey confirmed the EMSI data, and they both pointed to the vast changes occurring in the demographic landscape of the college and its service region. This SWOT Analysis will serve as a guide for strategic planning and college assessment.

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