Wednesday, September 2, 2009

NEO Energy Economy and Talent Shortages

Good news from the Fund for Our Economic Future. $2.2 million will be invested in NorTech and the Regional Talent Network (RTN) to help fuel the expected growth in the energy industry in Northeast Ohio. More about RTN's mandate:

The Regional Talent Network will use the funds to support the development of the network, an employer-led effort to strengthen the talent development system across the 16 counties of northeast Ohio. The network is in the formative stages and the fund’s grant dollars will be distributed as it achieves milestones, including developing an organizational structure and conducting an assessment of the trends and gaps in the supply and demand for talent in the region, officials said.

I'm concerned about the region's ability to meet the coming talent demand. More than local labor mobility and workforce development are needed. I propose diaspora talent network, which can locate skilled workers wherever they may live.

I live in the Front Range of Colorado. The "talent development system" here is already oriented towards the energy sector. Like any other community, college graduates tend to leave the area. Many of them could end up in Northeast Ohio if we establish the pipeline. I hope both RTN and NorTech will keep this geography in mind as energy businesses begin to grow and the scramble for talent begins in earnest.

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