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Emsi Conference 2018 Recap

September 18, 2018 by Gwen Burrow

Last week, the eighth annual Emsi conference took place September 10-12 in beautiful Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. It was our best (and largest) conference to date, with exciting updates on Emsi innovation from CEO Andrew Crapuchettes, several keynotes from our new partner Strada Education Network (Strada), and nearly two hundred professionals hailing from education, business, and economic and workforce development gathered together to share ideas on how to use labor market data to build more prosperous communities.

Download presentations here. Check out highlights from the conference below.

Day 1: Monday, September 10

The conference kicked off with a full day of workshops led by Emsi team members and esteemed Emsi clients. Our reps took attendees on deep dives into the nitty-gritties of Career Coach, Analyst, and Emsi Developer, while our client presenters gave detailed demonstrations of how they’ve used Emsi data to develop new programs, boost statewide labor market data capacity, identify businesses for industry attraction, and understand local and regional talent pipelines. An evening reception on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene gave guests ample time to socialize and enjoy the early fall weather.

Day 2: Tuesday, September 11

Emsi CEO Address: The New Data Age

Emsi CEO Andrew Crapuchettes began by honoring our youngest ever conference attendee: six-week-old Rowan Williams. Traveling across the country with a newborn would be daunting for most of us—but not the intrepid Bethany Williams, strategy and intelligence director from Lake County Partners, who took a hiatus from maternity leave to speak at the conference!

Andrew Crapuchettes, Emsi CEO. PC: Bob Hubner.

In his presentation, Andrew Crapuchettes recapped just a sampling of Emsi’s many cool updates and innovations the past year, including the program development and review report in Analyst, the company talent profile in Developer, and the employer portal in Career Coach. He also discussed Emsi’s strong mission alignment with our new partner Strada Education Network, and the brilliant possibilities created by teaming up with Strada affiliates.

Keynote – The Future of Work & Transferable Skills: Exploring the Labor Market for Liberal Arts Grads

Dr. Michelle Weise, senior vice president of workforce strategies at Strada, presented the initial findings from Strada and Emsi’s groundbreaking exploration of the liberal arts degree in today’s economy. Attendees got an exclusive look at months of research delving into the attitudes of liberal arts grads’ toward their degrees, the ways they use their education in the labor market, and the transferable skills that give them unique mobility.

“From first job to third job, there’s huge mobility for liberal arts grads,” Weise commented. “That first job is not their destiny. This presents a powerful case for investing in liberal arts education. But rather than growing, it’s on the decline.”

Following the keynote, Dr. Weise was joined by representatives from the worlds of business (Richard Rosenow, Facebook), economic development (Todd Nielsen, Denver’s Office of Economic Development), and higher education (Darcy Richardson, ASU) in a lively roundtable discussion of these issues.

Note: Emsi and Strada plan to publish a full report on liberal arts this fall. Stay tuned!

L to R: Todd Nielsen, Darcy Richardson, Andrew Crapuchettes, Michelle Weise, Richard Rosenow. PC: Bob Hubner.

Breakout Sessions & Dinner Cruise

Breakout sessions were organized into three basic tracks: higher education, economic and workforce development, and private sector talent analytics. But conference guests didn’t silo themselves. Higher ed professionals sat it on talent analytics, while talent analytics listened to workforce and economic developers.

“Roaming will give you an encouraging reminder of how we’re all part of the same mission to build a more prosperous economy,” as Andrew Crapuchettes noted, “and bring fresh perspective on how you can use data to drive prosperity for individual workers.”

Breakout speakers included Emsi power users such as Dr. Cher Hendricks (University of Idaho), Barb Tucker (Southwest Wisconsin Technical College), and Alana Olschwang (California State University-Dominguez Hills) presenting on “How Emsi Data Can Seal the Deal for New Programs and Establish Your Niche;” Todd Nielsen (Denver’s Office of Economic Development) and Greg McBoat (Adams County Workforce & Business Center) presenting on “Establishing Best Practices: Collaboration Between Workforce Partners and Emsi for Data Analysis;” and Adrian Malatesta (Amazon) and Dr. Wayne Gearey (Emsi) discussing “Talent Wars on a Global Level.”

One of our clients’ favorite elements about the Emsi conference is the pacing. There’s crazy, but then there’s calm. After drinking from the firehose for a few hours, attendees took a two-hour lunch break to catch a breath, dine with Emsi reps, and rejuvenate outdoors.

That evening we enjoyed our traditional dinner cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene—one of our clients’ favorite events year after year. A fantastic opportunity to make new friends and reconnect with old ones.

PC: Bob Hubner.

PC: Bob Hubner.

PC: Bob Hubner.

Day 3: Wednesday, September 12


This year we hosted a prize drawing in which three randomly selected winners won Yeti coolers of various sizes, stocked with mystery goodies. Congrats to our winners! (No, our clients didn’t have to fly home with their Yetis crammed in the overhead bins; we shipped them instead. The Yetis. Not our clients.)

Keynote – Two Cool Datasets You Need to Know About

Our second keynote, “Two Cool Datasets You Need to Know About,” featured speakers from both Strada and Emsi. In the first half, Dr. David Clayton, senior VP of consumer insights at Strada Education Network, and Anna Brown, director of higher education consulting at Emsi, presented findings from the 2017 Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Survey. The study shows that only 34% of students believe they will graduate with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the job market, and only 54% believe their major will lead to a good job. Clayton and Brown discussed how labor market data can help address these problems by giving students critical information about their education’s return on investment.

In the second half, Dr. Yustina Saleh, Emsi’s senior VP of analytics, and Luke Jankovic, Emsi’s executive VP of higher education, shared Emsi’s new, skills-based data model for defining the labor market. This new model gives unprecedented insight into the unique shape of roles as defined by skill rather than job title or occupation, and thus overcomes the weakness of historic approaches. This is the revolutionary model we’re using to explore the skills and labor market outcomes of liberal arts degrees.

What’s Next at Emsi?

A panel of Emsi executives shared some trail-blazing projects and updates we hope to create in 2019, including:

  • Historic wage data – Historic wage data should be available next year!
  • Skill cluster methodology – We’re developing new data and research that can identify emerging jobs in real-time and help students and the underemployed identify strategic opportunities for re-skilling and  career transitions.
  • New and improved reports – We’re constantly adding and updating reports within Analyst, Career Coach, and Emsi Developer to give our clients the best possible data: quick, accessible, and easy to understand.
  • International data – Starting with India, we’re on our way to developing job posting and profile data for the global economy.

Workforce Wednesday

Emsi’s John Hawkins hosted a special post-conference roundtable on Wednesday afternoon. National, state, and regional thought leaders explored key topics such as strategies for adapting to labor market change, the effects of automation on businesses and workforce, and the importance of career pathways to retain, develop, and attract talent.

Emsi Conference 2019

We are stoked about the resounding success of this year’s conference—all thanks to our magnificent clients. Save the date for the ninth annual Emsi Conference taking place in Coeur d’Alene, September 16-18, 2019. See you there!

Download presentations here. Contact Gwen Burrow: gburrow@economicmodeling.com

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