For the past six years, some of the brightest minds in higher education, workforce development, economic development, and private sector have convened in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for the Emsi Conference. They make the long trek to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, many year after year, to better understand how to use labor market and economic analytics to help strengthen and prosper their communities, equip their students and jobseekers to make wise career decisions, and benefit their businesses.
This year’s Emsi Conference, like the past five editions, showed the power of like-minded researchers and leaders coming together to learn, network, share successes, and develop professionally.
Here’s a summary of our sixth annual conference.
Andrew Crapuchettes talked about the disconnect between students, colleges, and businesses, and Emsi’s goal to inform and connect all three groups. Emsi has 18 billion data points across six countries, but Crapuchettes stressed that people want answers, not data. And that’s what Emsi is focused on with services that equip students, jobseekers, and workers considering a new profession to make informed decisions from high school through their career.
Preparing students to be college-ready is a big theme for educators and schools. Anne Kress and Monroe Community College, however, are focused on making MCC a student-ready college.
Kress, our keynote speaker and panelist, spoke about the data and thinking behind Monroe’s decision to adopt a guided pathways structure to maximize student success. She provided context on the population that Monroe serves in the Rochester area, which has the third-highest concentration of poverty among the 100 largest metros. She walked through the guided pathways model in general and the necessary institutional redesign required to establish the model (at Monroe, the college’s 100-plus programs were assigned to one of six schools). And she talked about how MCC is working to connect the pathways to career counseling and opportunities.
Continuing the theme of guided pathways and student success, Kress was joined by Paula Nissen from the Iowa Department of Education and Patricia Parma from Alamo Colleges on a panel moderated by Emsi’s Luke Jankovic. After Kress gave the perspective of a college president, Nissen provided a state-level perspective on providing the workforce that employers need and Parma gave the student perspective as the coordinator of student success initiative for the Alamo Colleges district.
The afternoon of the first full day was filled with talks specific to three tracks: higher education, economic and workforce development, and talent acquisition for enterprise.
In the first session, Nissen and Mallory Jensen of Hawkeye Community College spoke about how the state of Iowa is approaching sector partnerships by using Emsi Analyst and Career Coach. Chad Shearer of the Brookings Institution gave a summary of new research on opportunity industries that provide good jobs to people without lots of education. And Mark Hanson and Jacob Hegman of UnitedHealth Group talked about using dashboards to drive strategic market insights.
In the second session, Parma briefed attendees on the Alamo Colleges’ collaborative approach to advising and use of guided pathways. David Griggs of Greater MSP, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership, talked about using research to drive business investment and talent attraction. And Seth Veselsky of Cielo, a global recruitment process outsourcing provider, spoke about the evolution of talent intelligence.
To start the second full day of the conference, Dave Shippen walked through the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Education Planning Initiative, and how Emsi Career Coach is being deployed across the state. The goal of the ambitious project is to increase student success by helping the system’s 113 colleges increase transfer rates and improve retention and completion.
We continued the three tracks on the second day with talks by Bridget Brown of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals and Bob Lanter of California Workforce Association on the new (and same) landscape in workforce development, Luke Jankovic on innovation at Emsi, and a panel that discussed talent acquisition data needs.
To end the event, Rob Sentz looked forward to next year’s conference—it will be held Sept. 18-20 in Coeur d’Alene—and talked more about Emsi’s goal of equipping students to be smarter consumers about college and employment.
The day after the conference ended in Coeur d’Alene, a large group of Emsi clients traveled 90 miles south to our headquarters in Moscow, Idaho. Part of the group took part in Emsi Certification or Career Coach Advanced Training, and others gathered for our first annual workforce summit.
— Emsi (@desktopecon) October 20, 2016