Bridging the Workforce Gap

Dr. Bullock talks workforce training with PA Governor Tom Wolf following the announcement of a new workforce training center at CCAC.
Article by: Dr. Quintin Bullock, CCAC President
The Allegheny Conference just released their 2017 update to their groundbreaking 2016 Inflection Point Report and, in light of this, I’d like to take the opportunity to talk about the future and how CCAC is working hard to do our part in training the next generation of the region's workforce.

The original Inflection Point Report, released by the Allegheny Conference in May of last year, offered an unflinching look at the current and projected state of our local economy and workforce needs over the course of the next decade.

The report detailed the intersection between Allegheny County demographics as well as current and projected new industries to paint an alarming picture: between the mass aging out and retirement of our current workforce, the slow population growth in the region and the increasing demand for skilled workers in both emerging fields and traditional occupations transformed by technological advances, Allegheny County is projected to develop a worker shortage of as much as 80,000 by 2025 unless we begin work now to address some of the factors that inhibit the growth of our workforce.

Though it is still early in the process, the 2017-18 Inflection Report update offers us a promising glimpse into actions that are already being taken by organizations throughout Allegheny County as well as actions that may still be taken to help course correct. And one of the biggest factors in helping to bridge this gap is the education and training of skilled workers which, I'm happy to say, is CCAC's primary mission. 

According to the report, the top ten fields poised for the most growth over the next ten years that don’t require a four year degree are:

-Physical Therapy Assistants, 31%
-Occupational Therapy Assistants, 30%
-Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, 21%
-Electrical Power Line Installers and Repairers, 20%
-Industrial Machinery Mechanics, 20%
-Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, 19%
-Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics, 16%
-Computer Controlled Machine Tool Operators, 16%
-Medical Secretaries, 15%
-Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses, 15%

CCAC currently offers academic programs, either on location or through local education partnerships, in nearly all of these booming fields and we are developing new programs on a continuous basis. And that's just the two-year career training programs--CCAC also offers seamless transfer agreements with four-year universities for students planning on continuing their studies.

CCAC has always existed to serve the needs of the community and its residents. Now and going forward, CCAC will be there every step of the way to help bridge the divide between the region’s workforce needs and the educational and career needs of our students and, in doing so, help both to continue to thrive.

If you want to reach out, you can find me at @QBpresCCAC on Twitter. And thank you for your patience--due to some unavoidable circumstances, this blog post, which was originally scheduled for March 27, was a little delayed. Join us again on the last Tuesday of April for the next Bullock's Blog post! 

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