Client Snapshots III: Real-World Solutions with EMSI’s Strategic Advantage

Published on May 27, 2008

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

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Brian Kelsey, President
Civic Analytics

Brian Kelsey primarily uses Strategic Advantage to perform efficient market research for his consulting business, as well as to supply his business blog with interesting data highlights and maps. Brian finds that EMSI’s GIS module helps him communicate information effectively to audiences with wide-ranging levels of technical experience, while both the Career Pathways and Educational Analyst modules streamlined his workflow for a recent market research project. Brian turned to CP and EA when a client recently expressed interest in understanding demographic trends and workforce availability in order to locate new business branches in strategic locations. With the key data at his fingertips, Brian was able to quickly provide the client with a data-driven site selection plan.

Rose Baker, Program Manager, University Outreach
Penn State University

With the time-saving features of Strategic Advantage, Rose is able to multi-task without being spread too thin. She helps small communities with questions on their economies, trains workforce professionals on data-driven decision making, and assists continuing education professionals with program expansion decisions. Recently, Rose was able to use SA to assist a small rural community that needed to estimate how many of its jobs were driven by tourism. Using SA’s Economic Impact input/output model, Rose created an economic base report which showed 3,800 jobs driven by visitors. “Because I have Strategic Advantage, I could assist this community,” she said. “Without it, helping them would have meant a costly sacrifice of time and resources, not to mention a laborious and inefficient workflow.”

Carolyn Arnold, Institutional Research and Grants
Chabot-Las Positas Community College District (California)

Using Strategic Advantage is one way that Carolyn maximizes the efficiency and productivity of her research time. As the Coordinator of Institutional Research and Grants in a large community college, her work demands detailed, current, easily-accessible data on local demographic and economic trends. Carolyn finds that SA is a perfect fit for her needs, both (1) to provide a strong data-driven foundation for grant proposals, since she can tailor an SA report to provide relevant facts in a short timeframe; and (2) to perform program alignment and identify new program opportunities. By examining projections for high-wage occupations in her community college district’s service area, Carolyn can identify gaps in program offerings, as well as ensure that the current programs are aligned with labor market realities.

Beth Sullivan, Director of Planning and Marketing
Workforce Connections, Inc. (Wisconsin)

Strategic Advantage’s flexible database simplifies regional planning for Beth Sullivan of Workforce Connections, Inc., which provides jobseeker and employer services to western Wisconsin. Because their service area is part of a 16-county functional labor market area that includes two adjoining states (Minnesota and Iowa), Beth Sullivan relies on Strategic Advantage for streamlined analysis that aids collaboration with regional partners. Manually pulling data for 16 counties in the three states would be laborious and time-consuming at best, but SA’s customizable region definitions allow Beth to see the big picture instantly, regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. She applies this regional perspective by creating up-to-date analysis of industry clusters and creating data-driven grant applications.

Tom Tveidt, Director of Research
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce (North Carolina)

Tom Tveidt values Strategic Advantage “for the ease in which I can perform economic development centered around data.” Before he had SA, Tom didn’t have a practical way of summarizing his area’s workforce competencies (skills, knowledge, and abilities) to businesses considering a move there. He could see the potential benefits of utilizing O*NET competency data, but there was no platform to use it practically for his needs. Now he can use the Career Pathways module in SA for instant numbers on not only the “target occupations” of a particular business, but also all “compatible occupations” which represent a broader potential labor pool. This gives the prospective business a more realistic picture of the local workforce, and using SA for this task has proven to be an invaluable way to provide relevant data in a short timeframe.

Mark Clasby, Executive Director
Haywood County Economic Development Commission (North Carolina)

Capturing the impact of business is one part of Mark Clasby’s success as an economic developer. He says Strategic Advantage is a great resource for performing impact analyses that are time- and cost-effective. Whether a business is thinking of arriving, leaving, expanding, or downsizing, Mark can use SA’s input/output model to find out the full impact of the scenario in terms of regional jobs and earnings. The results help him build a case for supporting existing industries and assisting new industries as they move to the region. With the impact analysis as a foundation, Mark can promote regional growth with decisions founded on the data.