TNECD Releases Labor and Education Alignment Report
NASHVILLE – A report released by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) highlights jobs in high demand across Tennessee, including occupations in IT, healthcare, engineering and production, among others.
TNECD’s annual Labor and Education Alignment Program (LEAP) report, a regional study of occupations in high demand among employers throughout Tennessee, identifies more than 250 occupations with high employer demand statewide. This year’s report also includes an interactive dashboard.
“Even as Tennessee sustains historically low unemployment rates, employers continue to look for workers to fill highly-skilled positions in a variety of industries,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “In order to sustain Tennessee’s strong employment and labor market, we need to continue to train and educate our residents for the jobs businesses are seeking to fill, especially in highly-skilled occupations. With the LEAP report, stakeholders from across Tennessee can better align education and industry.”
While nearly every industry group has jobs in high demand, the report focuses on job openings in IT, healthcare, engineering, production, business and financial operations, and transportation and material moving occupations. The LEAP report also outlines postsecondary programs of study available throughout the state that can prepare students for jobs in these in-demand occupation groups.
TNECD’s Center for Economic Research in Tennessee (CERT) used key metrics such as median wage, online job postings, hires and job openings to identify occupations with high employer demand.
Many of the occupations identified in the report are within Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and IT fields, denoting a skills gap and need for increased postsecondary completions in these areas.
“The LEAP report is an invaluable tool provided by CERT. Tennessee communities can easily navigate the data and dashboard to identify in-demand occupations and opportunities for partnership to align industry and education,” TNECD Director of Workforce Development Ann Thompson said. “Dual enrollment, work-based learning and apprenticeships are just a few of the workforce strategies that can be developed by utilizing this information.”
The LEAP report seeks to aid local, regional and state policy decision-making by outlining occupations in high demand and showcasing opportunities to reduce gaps between education and the workforce needs of employers.
Additionally, the LEAP report highlights the opportunities for increased education and industry alignment in terms of workforce development strategies such as work-based learning, internships, co-ops and apprenticeships.
LEAP is a statewide program designed to help postsecondary institutions provide students with the skills and credentials employers need through aligning education and industry. LEAP is the result of legislation introduced by Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris and Representative Gerald McCormick.
About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Team Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tnecd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.