Over the next couple of months, Business Employment Skills Team Inc. (BEST Inc.) an affiliate of Northwest Illinois Central Works (NCI Works), and a partner of the American Jobs Center, in conjunction with Thomas P. Miller and Associates (TPMA), a workforce consulting firm, will be conducting a community audit and underemployed survey of the eight-county area that comprises BEST Inc. (Bureau, Carroll, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lee, Ogle, Putnam and Whiteside).
This study will outline the current economic and workforce landscape of the region, a comprehensive assessment of educational opportunities, quality of life, commuting patterns, and other demographics. As part of this study, labor market information will be collected, analyzed, and summarized by individual county and collectively as a region.
Surveys will be distributed to local employers to gauge their input of their business’ talent needs. Items that will be addressed in the survey include employment numbers and projections, skills needs and gaps, education and training needs, training challenges, and desired industry recognized credentials. The findings will tie together the three pillars that make up a strong and sustainable talent development system, education, workforce development, and economic development.
Once completed, the findings of this study will be presented to the community in a State of the Workforce Event that will be scheduled for some time in late May. The public roll-out event will provide community stakeholders the opportunity to review the data collected and engage in a dialog with businesses, economic development, education, and workforce development in an effort to identify challenges and strategize solutions to address those challenges.