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Strategy 3: Embrace Data-driven Workforce and Development Approaches

Nashville’s economic success relies heavily on our workforce. Developing a successful workforce requires ongoing enhancement of the methods we use to gather and analyze information related to our efforts. Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s five-year State Workforce Strategic Plan recommends that we “use Labor Market Information and other available data to drive decision-making and strategic planning.” The plan further states that “knowing where the jobs are, assessing the needed competencies and skills, and understanding the labor market context, all remain as important as ever for effective jobseeker and business relations programs.” A key factor of Nashville’s success in workforce development is the ongoing effort to fill technology sector jobs. The United States Commerce Department predicts that STEM jobs will continue to drive economic progress through 2018 (Forbes, 2015). Targeted economic and workforce development efforts require continual data collection for feedback and improvements. Using data and analysis, we can improve our local workforce development efforts, as well as recruitment efforts in specific geographical areas to ensure consistent, long-term economic growth across the city.

Strategic Actions

  1. Explore new technologies that improve how we match applicants to jobs using job boards, algorithmic matching technologies, online skills assessments, career development portals and online social networks.
  2. Use standardized methods such as shift share analysis of industries to determine causes and trends in regional job growth.
  3. Create connections between policy, economic development and budget deliberations. Explore processes that will allow us to consider our goals for economic development when we conduct city budget planning.
  4. Gather and analyze data on areas of impact, including economic and social, prior to awarding or renewing any incentives.
  5. Explore business skills training and mentorship as an important component of rehabilitation of formerly incarcerated people, to equip them with the tools necessary to be successful, including digital literacy.

Case Study

Category: Connecting Skills to Jobs

Creating Career Pathways with Data

In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, workforce and education planners are applying a career pathway framework, using labor market data to drive long-term employment success. Manufacturing is the leading industry in Lancaster County. By reviewing projections of new and replacement jobs over a 10-year period, planners can identify occupation groupings within the industry, and each grouping can form a career “roadmap”. Using this information, they analyze databases that indicate the levels of knowledge and skills required at various levels of employment. This allows planners to determine what is required to reach entry, intermediate and upper-level categories for each “Production Career Pathway”. These data collections allow planners to assess what percentages of the workforce display skill compatibility with presently-available jobs and jobs that Lancaster County will need to fill over the next ten years.

Learn: Data-Driven Career Pathways

Explore: Lancaster County Workforce Development Board