Client Snapshots: Real-world solutions with EMSI’s Strategic Advantage (8/08)

Published on Aug 4, 2008

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

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Eileen Storck
Director of Enrollment Management, Indian River State College
Eileen Storck, Director of Enrollment Management, is helping Indian River State College lead the way in Florida’s transition to a new state college system which will play a vitally important role in the state’s workforce preparation and economic development. Indian River State College, formerly Indian River Community College, is using Strategic Advantage to align baccalaureate programs to the workforce needs of both the region and state. As Eileen reflects on the recent changes, she states, “As a state college, we have a responsibility to provide degree programs that will lead our students into high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations. One big difference is that now we research a broader area as we address potential gaps in the workforce.” As Eileen provides detailed data to the baccalaureate program sub-committee, Indian River State College can make strategic, data-driven decisions on four-year degree programs—from the very beginning.

Jeanne Fadelli
Research Analyst, Santa Rosa Junior College
Jeanne Fadelli, Research Analyst at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC), uses Strategic Advantage to prepare Institutional Effectiveness reports and the Community Needs Assessment (CNA). EMSI’s bi-annual data updates provide the most current data available, which is helpful for Institutional Effectiveness reports on time-sensitive issues like the “District Population Served by Gender, Age and Ethnicity” and “Population Participation Rates by ZIP Code” for the college’s annual Fact Book. The CNA includes detailed regional industry, occupation, and demographic detail for strategic planning purposes.  With SA’s integrated data and flexible regions, Jeanne could focus on the projected regional occupation growth and decline, as well as follow high school enrollment patterns and demographic trends.  This CNA will serve as a guide for outreach to targeted demographic groups, and it will also inform program planning.

Brett Riley
Director of Grants, Columbia Basin College
When Brett Riley hears of a grant opportunity, his first stop is Strategic Advantage. Before he does anything else, he uses SA to identify whether or not Columbia Basin College has a need for a particular grant opportunity. Brett says, “Using SA makes my job significantly easier, since I can find everything I need in one place, from start to finish.”  Recently, Brett helped Columbia Basin College win a grant for an Apprenticeship Growth Funding program. To accomplish this, he based the projection years on the grant funding period and looked at the forecasted demand for the specific occupations in the region. Then, he used EMSI GIS to visually display that his region has a 2% greater demand for these jobs than the rest of the state. This convincing data and clear presentation gave Columbia Basin College the competitive advantage they needed to win the grant.

Workforce Development

Rebecca Bloomquist
Special Projects Coordinator – High Country Workforce Development Board,
High Country Council of Governments
North Carolina
Rebecca Bloomquist uses Strategic Advantage as a resource for discovering regional trends and making recommendations based on these trends through allocation of workforce resources and strategic planning. She is currently using SA to perform a wage study for a small town in High Country’s service area. Stakeholders in this town fear that they are losing employees to surrounding counties due to lack of competitive wages. Rebecca will use SA’s Occupation reports to compare this small town to the state as well as surrounding counties and verify whether or not this town’s wages are lower than those surrounding counties. Once the report is completed, she can make wage recommendations to make this town more competitive with the surrounding regions.

Eddie Foreman
CEO, Central Oklahoma Workforce Investment Board
Eddie Foreman, CEO of Central Oklahoma WIB, uses Strategic Advantage to proactively plan for future workforce needs. For example, he recently used SA to confirm that without any intervention, central Oklahoma could face a workforce crisis in several years. He found that by 2014, central Oklahoma is projected to grow by 20,000 jobs, but the working age population is only expected to grow by 3,000.  With such an immense difference, Foreman knows that creative strategies are necessary to counteract the workforce decline.   Instead of merely targeting populations outside of their region, it has led the WIB to sponsor several training programs inside of correctional facilities within the region, and the results have been positive so far, with former convicts transitioning into the declining workforce. As the workforce crisis looms, Foreman proves that proactive and creative solutions are a must for successful economies.

Economic Development

Jim Held
Senior Economist, Empire State Development
New York
Jim Held, Senior Economist with Empire State Development in Albany, New York, doesn’t know what he would do without the flexibility of Strategic Advantage. He says that one challenge of being an economic developer in New York is trying to keep up with the changing regional distinctions between Upstate and Downstate (i.e., metropolitan New York City).  With 62 counties in the state, there are many possible definitions for the two mega-regions.  Creating a region in SA is so simple that Held is not fazed by creating and combining different regions as policy needs change, and this helps him stay on the cutting edge of economic development in his state.