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Chamber offers access to workforce data

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May 11, 2016
In today’s data-driven world, companies make real-time business decisions using metrics and data from their own business activity or third-party sources.  Gathering that data isn’t always easy though, and many times can be expensive in terms of dollars and staff time.
 
The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce has invested in a software that provides critical workforce data easily, and it’s offering this information to its members and Q5 investors as a member benefit, as well as using it in its Quantum Growth Partnership (Q5) economic and workforce development efforts.
 
This new software, called Jobs EQ, is a nationally recognized technology platform that delivers a careful analysis of the capacity and capability of our area’s workforce.  This web-based system provides Q5 staff access to data and information about our local labor market, and it can be used when responding to information requests from businesses considering relocating to the community, or to assist any business in our area thinking of expansion.
 
Ponder this scenario:  A small manufacturer is having difficulty filling a welder position.  This software can identify not only the location of workers that currently work in that field, but also people that have the skills to be successful in that position, and where both sets of people reside.  Using this data allows the business owner to target recruiting efforts to those communities where the skill sets exist.  It can also provide that business owner with other valuable information like the percentage of people within a designated area that hold those skills, average wages for that position, and a 5-year outlook for the availability of workers…just to name a few.
 
Another way the information is utilized is providing critical workforce information to companies considering relocating to the Springfield and Sangamon County area.  A site selector may contact our Q5 economic development team to find out if our area can fill its workforce need of 150 customer service representatives.  Our staff can analyze how many currently employed or unemployed workers are available within the boundaries of the City of Springfield, Sangamon County, or within a certain radius of the area using commute times.  They can also provide the labor outlook for those jobs to the inquiring company.  Providing this information quickly and accurately increases our chances of bringing new employers to Sangamon County.
 
The software’s data is gathered by scientists, statisticians and PhD economists, using reliable sources such as Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and National Center for Education Statistics among many others, helping to identify our community’s assets, strengths and weaknesses. Jobs EQ allows staff to access detailed data, such as employment, wages, and demographic statistics. Information is provided for our state, region, county and city, and can be as specific as a zip-code level of detail. Additionally, reports can be gathered quickly and easily which will help communicate our data through charts, tables, and maps. Site selectors and industry executives respond to data-driven, empirical evidence that a region’s workforce has the skills they demand. Current, occupation-specific data is coupled with education system data to help describe our area’s workforce pipeline.
 
Ultimately, this software will help our community with business retention, expansion and attraction by providing current employers and location decision makers real time data on our community’s workforce capabilities.  If your company needs workforce information, we encourage you to contact Sarah Graham, Director of Workforce Development, at sgraham@gscc.org.

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