Emsi Case Study (See Full Archive)
When most people think of Goodwill, they think of the local, smiling G retail location or donation center—and the racks of clothes, the kitschy housewares items, and the blue-vested cashiers that have greeted them there. However, with the help of Emsi data, Goodwill Industries® has a reach far beyond its storefronts. The $5.19 billion-per-year nonprofit organization uses a data- and relationship-driven strategy called Aim, Ready, Hire to strengthen communities “through the power of work.”
A Closer Look
Many of Goodwill’s 3,000 retail locations across North America are more than just stores; they are multi-purpose access points and may include a retail location, computer lab, job training room, and donation processing center—all dedicated to helping people in need reach their full potential.
In order to effectively serve communities across all 50 states and 15 countries, Goodwill operates as a membership organization divided into different local and regional territories. This structure supports deep knowledge of local business needs and long-term business relationship development, which ultimately helps Goodwill lead more people to career-track positions in information technology, health care, welding, banking, and other industries. Once a trusting relationship is established, the same business may turn to Goodwill for a variety of needs.
This structure is working. In 2013, Goodwill helped 261,875 people find jobs. In addition, 9.8 million people accessed the nonprofit’s services to advance their careers and manage their finances.
Intimate knowledge of regional business needs, attained through Emsi labor market data as well as other sources, is the foundation for Goodwill’s Aim, Ready, Hire strategy and is the key to the organization’s success.
Aim, Ready, Hire!
Labor market data helps Goodwill predict and target specific needs in growing industries and occupations. This is the aim of Aim, Ready, Hire. Historically, Goodwill created in-house tools for its members to access labor market information. However, two years ago, Goodwill partnered with Emsi to broaden its access to this type of data and enhance its analysis.
“Now, with Analyst, which provides very specific and deep data in a [US] member’s territory, we have a triangle of data to put around a community: need, assets, and economy,” explains Brad Turner-Little, Director of Strategy at Goodwill Industries International. “That is a much more holistic, powerful way to look at a community, as opposed to just need, or as opposed to even just needs and assets. When you look at needs, assets, and the economic environment as a community in total, members can be much more strategic in the use of resources that are invested in Goodwill.”
“Now, with Analyst, which provides very specific and deep data in a [US] member’s territory, we have a triangle of data to put around a community: need, assets, and economy,” — Brad Turner-Little, Director of Strategy at Goodwill Industries International
In addition to the very detailed data in Analyst, which can zero in on a particular ZIP code or county, Emsi provides custom data reports to Goodwill. These reports give quick overviews and analyses of the economies in Goodwill territories, which are often helpful for planning purposes and facilitate broader conversations among Goodwill’s members.
Both the custom reports and the data pulled through Analyst offer projections, which help Goodwill make deliberate, informed choices about how to best use its resources and community partnerships to ready workers for growing career pathways. Emsi’s data, such as data on the typical education requirements for specific occupations, also helps Goodwill determine how to continue the process of Aim, Ready, Hire as workers continue throughout their careers.
Turner-Little emphasizes the importance of Emsi’s labor market data to the Aim, Ready, Hire strategy: “If you’ve narrowed your focus and have spot-on aim, and if you appropriately and effectively prepared people in the ready phase, the hire usually takes care of itself.”
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada with a presence in 14 other countries. Goodwill is one of America’s top 25 most inspiring companies (Forbes). Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,000 stores and online at shopgoodwill.com®. Local Goodwill agencies also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation, and document imaging and shredding. In 2013, more than 9.8 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill’s career services. Goodwill channels 83 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services. To learn more, visit goodwill.org.
Emsi turns labor market data into useful information that helps organizations understand the connection between economies, people, and work. Using sound economic principles and good data, we build user-friendly services that help educational institutions, workforce planners, and regional developers (such as WIBs, EDOs, chambers, utilities) build a better workforce and improve the economic conditions in their regions. For more information, email Josh Wright (email@example.com) or visit www.economicmodeling.com.