Our Work – Workforce Strategy

Understanding future career opportunities
to better match supply and demand.

Our Workforce strategy is about connecting people to skills, connecting job seekers to employers and connecting skilled workers from inside and outside our region to opportunity here. The Conference seeks to meet the workforce needs of the region with two initiatives: one targeting demand and the other targeting supply. If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at our entire Agenda or visit the other two strategy areas: Economy & Community and Infrastructure.

Initiatives & Advocacy

Initiative 1 – Understand Demand

Identify current and anticipated (2015-2025) demand and identify growth occupations and sectors in the Pittsburgh region.

Program:

Initiative 2 – Ensure Supply

Attract and retain talent and align regional education and training programs to meet industry needs.

Programs:

  • Demand Analysis Findings: Develop and implement a communications strategy to disseminate Inflection Point demand analysis findings. Convene key public and private stakeholders to create an action agenda to address high-priority findings.
    See the Success

    • Engaged 3,700 stakeholders and gained eight million impressions through Inflection Point outreach and distribution.
    • Engaged 125 CEOs and HR directors as well as 60 education stakeholders to discuss Inflection Point’s findings.
    • Conducted focus groups with 60 K-12 classroom teachers, guidance counselors, superintendents and curriculum supervisors to determine the best practices for incorporating Inflection Point findings.
    • Based upon Inflection Point’s recommendations, approximately 10 school districts and post-secondary institutions implemented curriculum changes or incorporated the report into their strategic planning.

Elevate:

  • Technology-Enabled: Connect underserved populations to high-demand IT career pathways.
    See the Success

    • Supported the efforts of Partner4Work (formerly Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board) to develop the TechHire platform for IT training via coding bootcamps for underserved communities that will bridge the digital skills divide in the region.
  • Technology-Enabled: Build on successful ShaleNET training program for energy occupations by scaling and extending training to advanced manufacturing as part of the tri-state workforce collaborative.
    See the Success

    • As part of the Appalachia Partnership Initiative (with Chevron, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, The Grable Foundation and RAND Corp.), continued to advance education and training programs for regional energy and advanced manufacturing jobs. In 2016, API attracted an additional $8 million to these efforts.
    • With Chevron undertook strategic planning with the ShaleNET partners to determine how best to expand and scale the program for the energy and manufacturing jobs that will be in highest demand in the tri-state workshed surrounding downstream opportunities.
    • Completed a comprehensive curricular mapping of secondary and post-secondary energy and manufacturing course offerings in the tri-state area with the goal of identifying gaps that can be addressed through changes in public policy.
  • K-12: Ensure all students have access to occupational demand data with which to plan their education and training futures via a digital career awareness hub.
    See the Success

    • Completed a prototype for a “Digital Career Awareness Hub,” which will provide a compelling, interactive gateway to current and future job seekers. Business planning and engagement of partners for this tool was completed.

Retain:

  • Retain more college students in the region by engaging college presidents, career services and students with employers and quality of life opportunities here.
    See the Success:

    • Worked with 15 regional colleges and universities to pilot student retention programs, including hosting student tours of local employers and sharing regional talking points and collateral that was utilized during freshman orientations.
    • Published the “Bridging the Soft Skills Gap” survey and report with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation that illustrated the need for critical “soft skills” training in the workforce. Worked with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to develop a business plan for a potential pilot training program in soft skills at our colleges.

Attract:

  • Regional Jobs Portal: Market opportunity to high-demand talent utilizing the ImaginePittsburgh.com platform.
    See the Success

    • Launched a new version of ImaginePittsburgh.com and included data visualization from the Inflection Point report. In 2016, 2.1 million job views occurred on the redesigned website.
  • Build a collaborative regional effort among employers to market the region to talent from outside the region.
  • Create awareness of the Pittsburgh region employment opportunity among active duty and transitioning service members.
    See the Success

    • Service to Opportunity® continued to match ready-to-work veterans and military members with ready-to-hire employers in advanced manufacturing and energy. The website was rebuilt and relaunched for a better user experience.

Advocacy Efforts Supporting the Workforce Strategy

  • Support passage of comprehensive energy legislation that would foster DOE and NETL engagement in building the energy and manufacturing workforces of the future.
  • Support the passage of an immigration reform bill with specific emphasis on highly skilled immigrants.
  • Support better alignment of our career training curriculum with the needs of employers at the federal level via Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) reauthorization.
  • Support reforms to CTE policies and programs at the state level and other workforce policies as set forth in the workforce policy agenda.
    See the Success

    • Organized and hosted Select Subcommittee on Technical Education and Career Readiness hearing, and testified at two hearings, enabling us to help shape the subcommittee’s final report and recommendations released in November.

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