Certain parts of the country have traditionally been linked to specific industries: Detroit for cars, Silicon Valley for technology, Texas for oil, etc. In these regions, geographic areas develop a supply of workers for those industries. But what happens when an industry goes through a major shift in the skills it demands with limited insights for talent shaping?

Manufacturing is transforming across multiple industries as software-driven advanced manufacturing takes hold in more and more fields. But the regions that produce production workers are not always the places that have software skills talent.

Currently, having a robust ecosystem for both production jobs and software postings is few and far between, with only Connecticut and Oregon making the grade

Even when companies understand the future skill needs, transitioning to those skills needs to be actionable at the individual level.   Employees are asking:   Will my employer help me transition by providing learning and development opportunities?  Will I get the opportunity to relocate?  How can I extend my career while building the skills I need?  Industries transitioning a changing workforce is personal to the people who make up the workforce.

Companies must engage staff when changing labor needs are apparent.  Like Detroit, the economy is dogged by millions of workers, from recent college graduates to laid-off personnel, who are almost, but not quite, qualified for jobs because of rising “up-credentialing” and automation. Much of this change is driven by the lack of accurate predictive analytics about future skills needs and a company’s ability to execute workforce planning as part of their strategic road map.

Labor market data enables workers to connect their career path with the company strategic goals and direction.  By working with their organization, workers can request the training that helps them succeed and stay current with the skills the company most needs while supporting career goals.  Conversely, companies that offer this support are in fact promoting their economic growth and avoiding costs associated with layoffs, restructuring, and location changes.

Together, employees and companies can succeed in situations where technology and software are changing the traditional manufacturing model.  Understanding how to make the transition by using external labor market data is one of the keys to future success.

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