MHTA to host IT employer listening session at Spring Conference

March 22, 2012

MHTA – MHTA will host an IT employer listening session as part of its Spring Conference, April 25 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Workforce Assessment will engage employers in developing projections for how many workers and professionals, with what kinds of skills, will be needed in our area, for what kinds of jobs.

The Workforce Assessment is part of a larger initiative to address Minnesota’s growing skills gap. In April and May, more than 40 listening sessions throughout the state are planned with Minnesota employers to gain a better understanding of their current and future workforce needs. The data gathered from the sessions will be shared with other higher education providers and used by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to align their certificates and degrees, worker retraining and customized training programs with the needs of Minnesota’s businesses, industries and communities.

“This is a great opportunity for company leaders, human resource specialists and others to talk directly to the leaders training our future workforce,” said MHTA President & CEO Margaret Anderson Kelliher. “We’re excited to partner with MnSCU on this project because workforce preparation is a critical issue for MHTA members.”

The sessions are two hours in length including registration and light meal service. There is no cost to attend a meeting, however advanced registration is required. Participants interested in attending the full Spring Conference can find more information here.

IT Employer Listening Session – Register to Attend

Other listening sessions will be held around the state. Sessions are also scheduled for healthcare, manufacturing, engineering, transportation and energy. Sessions for the agriculture sector are planned for June and July. Sessions for additional sectors, including financial services and insurance, are being planned for this fall.

At the sessions, employers will be asked to respond to a series of questions focused on key occupations in their industry in the following categories:

  • What are your current and future hiring challenges?
  • Where do most of your workers come from today?
  • What does the future of your workforce look like – what types of jobs will you need to fill and timeframe for filling these positions?
  • What is your estimate for how many positions you may need to fill?

  • What qualities/skills are you currently looking for (or will be looking for in the future) but not finding in your workers?
  • What skills/abilities would you like to see in individuals entering the workforce that you are not seeing today? What changes or trends will affect your industry over the next 2-5 years?
  • What are the implications of these trends for your workforce requirements?
  • What skills or credentials (e.g., technical skills, “soft” skills, leadership skills, languages, etc.) do you expect to be looking for in the next two years?

The sessions are being championed by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and local chambers across the state in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the Minnesota Initiative Foundations, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and other private, public sector and non-profit organizations. Educators and community organizations are invited to attend and observe the process.


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