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

National Skills Coalition Initiative
Start Date: Jul 2021 — End Date: Sep 2022

CREC is supporting with the National Skills Coalition initiative to expand upskilling for essential workers and ensure small businesses have the talent they need to succeed. NSC aims to close racial and other equity gaps and address the demand for digital skills. CREC will design and develop state data profiles that support qualitative inquiry, peer […]

Georgetown Workshop Series
Start Date: Mar 2021 — End Date: Oct 2021

The Association of Public Data Users received support from the Georgetown Massive Data Institute to deliver a workshop series for state and local government employees. This series of town halls and trainings informed attendees about the quality of the data that state and local leaders rely on and how they can improve and supplement it.

Synchronist Suite
Start Date: Mar 2021 — End Date: Ongoing

Synchronist shifted business retention away from a singular focus on community issues to include an understanding of the company and how it fits into the fabric of the community’s economy. Built on pioneering research, competitive intelligence, predictive analysis, national benchmark data, and an organizing, portfolio management principle, Synchronist Suite allows users to maximize the value […]

Facilitating a Manufacturing Playbook with the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Advisory Council
Start Date: Jul 2021 — End Date: Feb 2022

Working closely with Sparks Policy Group, CREC is supporting the work of the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Advisory Council. CREC is helping to facilitate the council meetings and working group sessions to develop recommendations on how best to strengthen manufacturing in the Commonwealth. CREC will provide supportive policy and economic research while also helping the Council members […]

Enhancing State and Local EDO Engagement to Support COVID-19 Recovery and Resiliency
Start Date: Jul 2021 — End Date: Jul 2023

The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded a 2-year $1 million grant to the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) to support the State Economic Development Executives (SEDE) Network through technical assistance, training, and research.  CREC will work in collaboration with the National Association of Development Organizations (representing the EDA-funded economic development districts), the State International […]

Future of Work in Appalachia
Start Date: Jul 2021 — End Date: Dec 2021

DDAA aims to help identify specifically what industries and occupations are likely to face the greatest disruption due to automation and identify ways that local areas can respond. DDAA proposes to convene an advisory group of ARC staff and LDD leaders to refine the scope. We will develop data on sectors and jobs most likely […]

Louisiana Statewide Military Economic Impact 2021
Start Date: Apr 2021 — End Date: Sep 2021

CREC is working with Business Development Advisors and The Roosevelt Group on a Military Economic Impact Analysis for the State of Louisiana to satisfy RS 29:65, which requires the Louisiana Military Advisory Council to complete a quadrennial statewide and regional military economic impact analysis. CREC worked on the state’s previous military spending impact analyses in […]

Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission Economic Resilience Strategy
Start Date: May 2021 — End Date: Jan 2022

CREC is assisting Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. in developing an Economic Resilience Strategy for the Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission (K-IRPC) that builds regional capacity to respond to economic shocks. CREC supports the project by providing experience throughout the planning process, development of survey instruments, focus group facilitation, and identification of implementation strategies that align with […]

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 […]

About the Client

Catalyst Connection

Catalyst Connection is a private not-for-profit organization headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We provide consulting and training services to small manufacturers in southwestern Pennsylvania, accelerating revenue growth and improving productivity. Through active collaboration with our clients and the manufacturing community, we contribute to the growth, vibrancy, and ongoing robustness of manufacturing in our region. Catalyst Connection is […]