Putting Data to Work
Local workforce development organizations often struggle to support employers in finding workers with skills that match their needs, and to support workers in re-skilling to meet the demands of the local job market. To address this gap, workforce development organizations may be able to leverage real-time, hyper-local data on employment opportunities and skills retraining to provide targeted recommendations for the people and communities most in need of support for workforce development. We developed a new qualitative research protocol, including semi-structured interviews, retrospective contextual inquiry, and prompted think-aloud methods.
This research project investigated the information needs of workforce development professionals and job-seekers to understand how such information may be useful in informing the services provided by workforce development organizations to their clients. The team has conducted these research sessions, with IRB approval, for several participants from these various stakeholder groups (e.g., career services providers, training providers, job-seekers), and is now analyzing the data from these sessions. Utilizing the Metro21 funds as seed capital, the project was able to secure an additional $75,000 to hire a team to test assumptions in the next semester.