Community colleges, workforce boards, and economic developers in north central Ohio have been working nonstop to create programs, provide assistance, and produce information that would be helpful to unemployed workers searching for new jobs.
As part of their efforts they have taken part in job fairs to share information about new regional programs and data on the local labor market and career opportunities.
At a recent job fair, Ohio Skills Bank found that there was a lot of demand for in-depth regional data geared toward jobseekers. Tom Prendergast, a researcher and grant writer at Mansfield’s North Central State College, was involved with distributing the data and observed that, “. . . people are eager to know what they need to do to get into new jobs. They are interested in what the data is telling them.”
So how can you present labor market and jobs information to jobseekers?
First, when determining what sort of information would be most helpful to the jobseekers you need to know what industry sectors currently have the highest unemployment. Ohio Skills Bank determined that many of the job losses in the region were attributable to the downsizing and expected closure of a General Motors plant.
As a result, they turned to EMSI’s labor market tools to produce handouts detailing the most current labor market relative to the manufacturing sector and occupations that require a bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree.
Finally, for each report OSB focused on the occupations with the highest number of annual openings (new plus replacement jobs) that fell within an hour’s commute of Mansfield.
Tom Prendergast felt that the reports were very well received, and commented, “I heard one person say data like this gives people hope. This helps combat the saying that no jobs are out there.”
Although manufacturing has been heavily affected by the recession, regional practitioners didn’t want to push jobseekers completely away from this sector. Manufacturing, in particular, has shown quite a bit of need for industrial maintenance. “In our region, industrial maintenance continues to be a strong area,” Prendergast said. “And EMSI’s data basically pointed that out — that there continues to be a demand for industrial maintenance, whether that’s maintenance repair workers, millwrights or other similar occupations.”
For the three reports OSB produced as job-fair handouts, click the links below:
And for more on OSB in north central Ohio, click here.