Asking where the jobs are

January 21st, 2015

News Coverage:

January 21, 2015 1:03 AM

Asking where the jobs are

IPFW poll reveals expertise employers want

Jamie Duffy The Journal Gazette

By the numbers

Undergraduate education grads needed in northeast Indiana:

Business/management, 323

Organizational Leadership and Supervision, 241

Communications, 184

Information Systems, 167

Computer Science, 141

Mechanical Engineering, 106

Health and Human Services, 86

Electrical Engineering, 86

Computer Engineering, 60

Nursing, 55

Public Policy, 55

Civil Engineering, 19

Source: IPFW

More business- and technology-trained individuals, more Spanish-speaking health care professionals and more business management graduates are some of the professionals needed in northeast Indiana right now, according to survey published by IPFW officials Tuesday.

The survey sent to about 20,000 community business professionals in northeast Indiana asked participants what their hiring and educational needs were. The results were specific and varied, said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, who led a news conference with IPFW Chancellor Vicky Carwein.

The survey – with a 30 percent response rate, a result that IPFW officials called “exceptional” – revealed a “huge response” for undergraduate degrees in business management, communications and organizational leadership and supervision, Carwein said.

The survey was emailed from the Division of Continuing Studies, the division responsible for online, weekend and off-campus courses, and accelerated courses such as the accelerated master’s of business administration, said Karen VanGorder, the division’s executive director. It also gives input to undergraduate and graduate courses, she added.

After the results are in for a second survey in February, the university will consider new course developments, Carwein said. For instance, out of the 11 business training needs listed, IPFW offers courses in all but professional writing.

According to the survey, the region currently needs 583 individuals trained in leadership development, 490 in project management, 456 in communication, 452 in social media, 416 in conflict management, 380 in professional writing, 322 in marketing, 293 in small business management, 286 in human resource management, 248 in sales, and 212 in contract management.

IPFW can customize courses for a specific industry or company, VanGorder said. The university does offer all the courses needed for manufacturing, according to the survey.

However, the university is short on IT training needs.

Getting people trained for the jobs needed in local companies is part of the Big Goal Collaborative, an arm of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. A large part of the collaborative’s effort is to raise the educational level of the population, which leads to increased salaries.

As of October, the region’s income level was at 81.2 percent of the national income level, up from a low of 79.1 percent after the 2008 recession, according to Ryan Twiss, executive director for the Big Goal Collaborative, which was founded in 2012.

Currently, about 37 percent of the population has post-secondary certification, such as a welding certificate, a commercial driver’s license or a two- or four-year degree.

The Big Goal Collaborative has said that 37 percent of the people living in the region’s 10 counties have those credentials, a number that must rise to 60 percent by year 2025 for the region to stay viable economically.