Director of Institutional Research and Planning
Salt Lake Community College
Salt Lake City, Utah
With significant state budget cuts looming in Utah, Salt Lake Community College is using EMSI’s analysis to make data-driven decisions on which programs to keep and which are expendable. Ray Emett, director of institutional research and planning at SLCC, is able to map the college’s offerings to specific occupations with EMSI’s web-based tool. He then can see which occupations are in demand, growing, and offer competitive wages versus the ones that are lagging behind. With EMSI, “We can get an idea of the increases and decreases in the expected job opportunities in those program areas,” Emett says. The integrated and up-to-date labor market figures are valuable during a national and statewide economic downturn, he says. “We will probably be, to be quite honest with you, cutting some programs. . . . When we make the cuts, what will be the impact? What would happen?” Another key use of EMSI for the college is analyzing the best parts of the Salt Lake City metro area to expand its services. Emett and others at SLCC are able to bring together demographic and labor market ZIP code-level information to determine what the job outlook is in different parts of the region. If a specific area has a need, the college is more likely to move a vocational program there, Emett says.