Help Wanted: Tackling the IT Talent Gap
The United States is experiencing a rapid and profound transition from an industrial economy to a digital, global, and knowledge-based and service-based economy. Like much of America, our city and region has struggled with this economic transition. The Two Tomorrows (link to http://www.thefundneo.org/our-research-what-matters/two-tomorrows), a recent report from the Fund for Our Economic Future, reminds us, “Northeast Ohio’s economy is over-weighted in industries that are not growing nationally. This is largely due to the region’s legacy in manufacturing, an industry that has struggled nationally and even more so locally.”
For the last several years, information technology (IT) has been one of America's fastest growing industries. The jobs pay well and have low risk of automation - and yet the supply of skilled workers falls short of the ever increasing demand. According to Code.org, there will be an estimated 1 million more computing jobs than applicants who can fill them by 2020, based on estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on job creation.
Northeast Ohio is not immune to this trend. Our region's aspirations for economic vitality hinge on vibrant health, manufacturing, and technology sectors – all reliant on the availability of a quality IT workforce. However, there aren't enough qualified workers to meet the demand; in 2016 alone there were more than 12,000 open job postings - and many remain unfilled due to a mismatch between workers' skills and the employer's needs. How are employers addressing this lack of talent, both in the short-and long-term? What initiatives are being employed to ensure IT workers have the skills necessary to succeed?
Director of Health IT Talent, BioEnterprise
Director, Regional Information Technology Engagement Board (RITE)
Director of Growth, LaunchCode
Monique Umphrey, D.M.
VP of Workforce Innovation & Dean of IT, IT Center of Excellence, Cuyahoga Community College
Program Officer for Economic and Workforce Development, Cleveland Foundation