CREC Project News and Updates

Analysis: Addressing the Skills Gap Starts in Your Own Office

March 3, 2016

A survey from the Chronicle of Higher Education shows that government and nonprofit employers have a more-difficult time with recent-graduate hires. Most of the issues cited involve “soft skills.”

Of the 700 employers in the survey who offered feedback on specific troubles they experienced with recent grads, most mentioned communication and critical thinking. Specifically, the employers stated that they often find candidates who cannot put ideas forward, support those concepts, and build upon them. “Soft skills” don’t just stop with communication and critical thinking. They include collaboration and respect for diversity. All too often, these people skills are becoming the value-add for new hires.

As the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), a network managed by CREC, is in the midst of planning its largest-ever conference that hones in on the talent pipeline, industries, and the economy, it’s important for to ask how it and the LMI Institute are further helping managers adapt to entry- and mid-level employees’ needs and to understand key concepts that give the new generation of workers an edge inside of economic development and as labor-market specialists. Part of C2ER’s mission is to foster learning, and we do this by conducting training and developing networks. This works hand-in-glove with the LMI Institute’s approach to provide training and professional development to state and other Labor Market Information (LMI) professionals.

While this year’s conference looks specifically at the global impact of regional partnerships, the curricula is being developed to address:

  • Communication: The ability to communicate to non-technical people in the organization, understand the business needs and deliver that feedback clearly to appropriate audiences.
  • Problem-solving: The ability to understand complex business and governmental issues and solve them with new tools and collaboration.
  • Collaboration: The ability to leverage the strengths and unique perspectives of others within the organization, and work together toward an agreed-upon solution.
  • Team-orientation: The ability to work effectively and thrive as a member of various work groups to bring greater value to the overall organization.
  • Creativity: The ability to find new and innovative approaches to performing the business at hand.

For more than a half century, economic researchers and labor market specialists have added value to state and municipal agencies after attending the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) and LMI Institute’s annual conference provides insight into the U.S. talent pool and expand knowledge on industries and the economy. This year’s event takes place June 6-10 in Minneapolis. We invite you to visit the event site and view the preliminary agenda to learn more.

About This Project

Jobs and Employment Data Exchange (JEDx)
Start Date: Mar 2021 — End Date: May 2021

JEDx is an initiative to develop a public-private approach for collecting and using standards-based jobs and employment data. JEDx seeks to transform how job and employment data are organized, shared, and used to provide greater value to employers, workers/learners, government agencies, and others to improve the efficiency and equity of labor markets while protecting privacy. […]

Southwest Pennsylvania Defense Contracts Analysis
Start Date: Mar 2019 — End Date: Dec 2021

Given the rapid and ongoing changes within the defense industry, CREC is working with leaders in Southwest Pennsylvania to better understand the far-reaching assets, opportunities and impacts of its defense-related supply chains. Specifically, the CREC Team is conducting a defense contracts analysis and defense economy overview of the region’s defense industry. The research focuses on […]

DDAA Rural Broadband and EDA CARES Act Funding Peer Best Practices Research Report
Start Date: Oct 2020 — End Date: Mar 2021

The Development District Association of Appalachia contracted with CREC to gain insights about local development district efforts to improve their respective regions – specifically, to better understand local development district uses of CARES funding as well as to gain insights on best practices in promoting rural broadband.  The project will provide DDAA members with best […]

Early Childhood Education Pre-Apprenticeship Model Project
Start Date: Jan 2020 — End Date: Dec 2020

This report on the Early Childhood Education Pre-Apprenticeship Model was prepared for the 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund by the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and Center for Urban and Regional Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill with support from the Pennsylvania Key and the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development & Early Learning. Early childhood education (ECE) […]

Community Indicators Consortium
Start Date: Jan 2021 — End Date: Dec 2021

The Community Indicators Consortium (CIC) is a global network that supports efforts to use community data to improve quality of life. CIC provides resources and tools to help communities and practitioners advance the practice and effective use of community indicators. The includes increasing the use of indicators for monitoring community conditions and advancing sustainability, promoting […]

Texas Research Differentiation Report, 2021
Start Date: Jan 2021 — End Date: Jun 2021

CREC is working with the Austin Technology Incubator, Texas Foundation for Innovative Communities, The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas (TAMEST), and University of Texas at Austin to identify and document the state’s advantages in academic and applied research, including promising late-stage research relative to global innovation leaders. With this information, the project […]

Delta Workforce Program
Start Date: Jan 2021 — End Date: Oct 2021

The Delta Regional Authority’s Delta Workforce Program faces the dual challenge of developing new talent for the region’s leading industries while also supporting the retraining and reskilling of displaced and underutilized workers in distressed communities. With this Labor Market and Workforce Report, CREC aims to advance the Program’s goals of building a more prosperous Delta […]

Strategy Guidance Note on the Promotion of Public Sector Data Sharing
Start Date: Dec 2020 — End Date: Jan 2021

CREC developed a Strategy Guidance Note and related global case studies on data sharing as a principle of sound policymaking which can contribute to strengthening the effectiveness of institutions. The United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) has developed a set of principles of effective governance for sustainable development to provide practical, expert […]

Developing a Community Empowerment Scorecard
Start Date: Apr 2020 — End Date: Jul 2021

CREC is assisting the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) in promoting economic mobility among the individuals that are receiving employment assistance.  CREC is developing a community empowerment scorecard to help CWDC monitor the various factors that contribute to jobseeker mobility.  The scorecard will focus on examining career pathways and partnerships in the retail sector that […]

Assisting College Leaders In Using Labor Market Data to Drive Education and Training Curriculum
Start Date: Feb 2020 — End Date: Oct 2020

CREC worked with FTCC leadership and staff to translate data about labor market trends into more demand-driven curriculum plans that recognize key labor market opportunities as an important criterion in allocating limited college resources. Through this effort, CREC reviewed how FTCC used data in its curriculum planning process and facilitated working sessions with the Board, senior staff, […]