October 30, 2015
Minnesota is taking a new approach to solving its talent needs, thanks to the work of a statewide education and workforce taskforce launched by the Itasca Project and co-led by Scott Peterson, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for The Schwan Food Company. In a newly released whitepaper, Closing the Talent Gap: Addressing a Big Problem by Shaping Millions of Little Decisions, the taskforce explains a new strategy is needed to help employers find the talent they need, help job seekers find the work they want, and allow many higher education institutions, government agencies, foundations, non-profits, and other groups to help address the mismatch. The new strategy focuses on a collaborative effort across key stakeholders to provide tools and data to help those involved in the millions of decisions made throughout the state on talent, such as what topics students decide to study, what programs academic institutions decide to offer, how employers decide to engage with higher education, how governments and foundations decide to invest in the talent ecosystem, and many more. To help make these informed decisions, a newly formed non-profit that is employer-led but also comprised of representatives from the private sector, higher education, non-profits and the public sector is rolling out a real-time job posting analytics tool from Wanted Analytics. This set of tools allows decision makers to have a fact base to determine what skills, certificates, and occupations are in demand within any company, city, county, industry, or country. The new strategy is based on the results of piloting the use of real-time data across 25 institutions in 2014. The Itasca Project partnered with several public and private institutions to co-fund and co-launch Real Time Talent, a new entity focused on creating more informed, market-oriented decisions across 110 higher education, workforce, and employer association institutions across Minnesota to ensure the Minnesota economy has the talent it needs and to help Minnesotans prepare for and find careers they want. According to Peterson, "The Real Time Talent vision is to build the most talented workforce in the world and relies on leadership from member organizations across all key stakeholders to play a leadership role in driving real change and ownership across the workforce ecosystem." More information on Real Time Talent can be found at www.RealTimeTalentMN.org.