New report finds significant workforce misalignment in Northeast Ohio


By Jordyn Grzelewski

jgrzelewski@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

There are plenty of job opportunities in Northeast Ohio, but the region’s workforce is not properly trained to take advantage of them.

That is the theme of “Aligning Opportunities in Northeast Ohio,” a new report prepared by Team Northeast Ohio, an economic development organization focused on creating jobs for Northeast Ohio residents.

The report analyzes job demand and supply in the region.

“Northeast Ohio offers outstanding job and career opportunities. The challenge for our workforce, employers and economy, however, is that these opportunities don’t necessarily align with the knowledge and skill sets of our current talent pool,” Jacob Duritsky, Team NEO vice president of strategy and research, writes in the report. “Jobs in growing, high-potential industries, many offering family-sustaining wages, often sit vacant due to the limited number of qualified, credentialed candidates.”

Among the report’s key takeaways is the gap between the demand for educated and skilled workers and Northeast Ohio residents who have those credentials. It finds, for example, that by 2020, 65 percent of Ohio jobs will require a postsecondary credential. Compare that with the 54 percent of region residents 25 years and older who, as of 2016, had attended some college or earned a graduate, bachelor’s or associate degree.

The report also identifies the sectors with the most opportunities.

“The most in-demand sectors are manufacturing, health care and computer and IT [information technology],” it states.

Experts say for the Mahoning Valley, the industries with the greatest opportunities are health care and manufacturing.

Nick Santucci, Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber manager of education and workforce development, said the chamber is trying to help align the workforce with efforts such as its JobsNow workforce initiative.

JobsNow incentivizes out-of-area applicants to move to the Valley and connects qualified workers with employers among other efforts.

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