September 18, 2009 by Joshua Wright
Client Snapshot: Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, Atlanta, GA
Cultivating a robust regional workforce for Georgia’s fastest-growing industries is the crux of the Work Ready Regions program developed by the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development. The initiative identifies the needs of businesses in regions of all sizes throughout Georgia and seeks to match those employers with appropriately skilled workers.
A key element of the grant-funded program is EMSI’s labor market data and occupational skills analysis. Steven Wilson, Work Ready Region Coordinator, uses EMSI to locate emerging and declining occupations inside the six fastest-growing industries in the state — aerospace, advanced communications, advanced manufacturing, bioscience, energy, and logistics. He also analyzes occupational competencies (knowledge, skills, and abilities) to see where displaced workers could transfer from struggling to healthy occupations with extra training and what programs exist in the area to accommodate that training. “Our main focus has been looking at occupations that are declining overall,” Wilson explains. “Textiles have been declining for four or five years now. And in those areas, we have a couple auto manufacturing plants that we’re trying to look to transition those textile workers into advanced manufacturing jobs.”
With EMSI’s region-specific data, Wilson has a starting point to work with technical colleges and the Georgia university system. Depending on the grant awarded, he could be partnering with a three-county region or 14-county area. Wilson says local practitioners throughout the state verify EMSI’s labor market data is accurate, even in remote parts of the state. “It’s uncanny with the more rural areas,” he says.