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Needed: Skilled Workers in Southwest PA

November 4, 2009 by Joshua Wright

High dropout rates and a low percentage of enrollees in postsecondary institutions have pushed local planners in southwest Pennsylvania (the city of Johnstown, specifically) to project that the region will be forced to bring in skilled workers from outside the area in the next few years to fill jobs. “The old statement — ‘There are no jobs here’ — that’s just not true here,” Debi Balog, workforce development director at Johnstown Area Regional Industries, told the Tribune-Democrat newspaper.

The question is, what are the key occupations that local planners in Johnstown should focus their training efforts on? As a starting point, here is a look at some occupational data projected a couple years out and job listings numbers via Indeed for the region (Cambria County, PA).

LARGEST OCCUPATIONS

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MOST CONCENTRATED OCCUPATIONS*

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* Using location quotient.

TOP JOB POSTINGS

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Clearly, the health care and social service industries are very prevalent throughout these data. In fact, social service occupations (Mental health workers, Social workers, etc.) are the most concentrated in the region. And when it comes to current available jobs, four of the top 10 are in the health care practitioner occupation grouping.

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