May 15, 2009 by Luke Mason
Carrboro, North Carolina
Bethany Chaney uses EMSI’s data analysis to help leaders and low-income students in local YouthBuild programs get a feel for high-growth, high-demand occupations in their area and understand the skills and competencies needed to fit those jobs. Chaney works as a program advisor from Carrboro, NC, for YouthBuild USA, a national youth and community development program headquartered in Somerville, Mass. One of her current YouthBuild sites is in Lancaster, SC, a community south of the Charlotte metropolitan area that has been hit hard by the economic downturn. With EMSI’s suite of web-based tools, Chaney has shown staff and participants of the Lancaster program the top 10 highest-ranked jobs and economic overview for the Lancaster area. The labor market figures were well-received, and the youth there are starting to understand that there are a host of potential careers tied to construction — and other sectors. “What YouthBuild is challenging local programs to do is dig a little deeper and to find connections between competencies they are teaching young people and the job and industry trends in their communities,” Chaney said. “I think that’s what EMSI’s database is good for. You can walk around your own community and you think you know what the main jobs are, but the truth may be a little different. … Sometimes there are a few hidden gems.” The Lancaster group is already seeing terrific success with GED completions and now it’s working on improving the job-placement rate of its students.
For more on YouthBuild, click here for its web site.