Putting Big Data to Work: MCC Measures Middle-Skills Occupational Gaps

Updated: Sep 9, 2019


In January 2015, Monroe Community College (MCC) published version 1.0 of a new report created to measure the middle-skill gaps within the nine-county Finger Lakes region. The 188-page report, Measuring Middle-Skills Occupational Gaps within the Finger Lakes Regional Economy, uses labor a supply/labor demand analysis applied to 23 middle-skill occupational groups from 5 local workforce clusters: advanced manufacturing, skilled trades, information and computer technology, health care, and hospitality and tourism. The sector analysis includes dashboards identifying and measuring educational attainment through a region’s capacity to produce certificate and degree completions against estimated annual openings for each middle-skills occupational group.

Some highlights of the report include:

  • Labor supply/labor demand analysis applied to 23 middle-skill occupational groups from 5 local workforce clusters within the Finger Lakes region

  • Dashboards showing regional provider’s annual completions

  • MCC produced occupational videos documenting local middle-skill occupations

  • Program-based economic impact analysis estimating the annual impact to the local economy from up skilling a high school level educated worker to a middle-skill level occupation from completing a formal workforce program

  • Skill cluster analysis aggregating real time labor data from relevant and local online job postings

We intend to use these measurements to better inform our region’s workforce planning and coordinated response to increase completions within these targeted middle-skills occupational groups where deficits/gaps of available skilled workers have been documented locally. With this type of information it is possible for our region to estimate the economic return to the economy for each successful completion within these targeted occupational groups supporting key workforce clusters. The point is not measurement for measurement sake but making this information actionable and impactful to the workforce function of the College. From this framework MCC is making the data actionable by moving to alter the format of several of our existing certificate programs to be able to produce more trained workers in less time for areas showing large gaps in the available supply of qualified workers available to employers in the local economy.

In conducting this project, we have utilized a variety of labor market and workforce intelligence sources, including the incorporation of the latest in workforce-related big data services integrating both traditional and real time labor market data along with information on persistently unfilled positions identified through MCC’s biannual regional skills needs assessment. I encourage you to review the complete report, Measuring Middle-Skills Occupational Gaps within the Finger Lakes Regional Economy available at www.workforceforward.com/reports.

For information, please contact me, Todd Oldham, Vice President of Economic Development and Innovative Workforce Services, at toldham@monroecc.edu.


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