2019 Aligning Opportunities in Northeast Ohio Report

A Robust Northeast Ohio Workforce Will Require Awareness, Education and Advocacy

Annual Team NEO data insights examine current misalignment of worker supply and demand

Aligning Opportunities Executive Summary

Team NEO’s 2019 Aligning Opportunities in Northeast Ohio report provides data reflecting a misalignment of job opportunities and workforce in growing, high-potential industries, many offering family-sustaining wages. The report, prepared in partnership with Delta Dental and with generous support from The Sherwin-Williams Company, was released today and is an expansion of the Executive Summary released in July.  

This third edition of Aligning Opportunities explores the implications for talent development policies in the region.

Key highlights include the following:

  • There is a tremendous opportunity to connect qualified candidates to well-paying jobs in high-potential industries, including the most in-demand sectors: IT, health care and manufacturing.
    • Computer and IT boasts the highest median annual salary ($69,077) among these three sectors (health care is at $64,162; manufacturing $39,050), well above the family-sustaining wage, yet employer demand far exceeds adequately credentialed candidates.
    • Health care is one of the strongest sectors in Northeast Ohio’s economy; however, a daunting talent gap means Northeast Ohio may not be producing enough qualified doctors and nurses to meet the needs of its aging population.  
    • Manufacturing in Northeast Ohio continues to rebound from the Great Recession of 2007, nearly matching pre-recession output levels and outpacing the nation in productivity gains, yet attracting skilled workers remains a challenge to manufacturers.
  • Stark disparities in the wealth, employment and educational attainment among racial groups continue to hamper the region’s growth. Access to inclusive educational opportunities is vital.
  • Northeast Ohio retains less than 47 percent of its graduates: 14,608 graduates annually. Growing retention to 57 percent could net the region another 3,130 graduates who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.

New to the 2019 Edition

New to the 2019 edition are data related to equity disparities, graduate pipeline and retention issues, and alignment by credential, as well as case studies and implications.

Also new: Team NEO partnered with Delta Dental to elevate Aligning Opportunities. In preparation for the report’s release, the team held three forums, each focusing on one of the in-demand sectors: health care, IT and manufacturing. In attendance were educators, business leaders and public officials. We were especially pleased that U.S. Congressman Anthony Gonzalez joined the manufacturing conversation. The meetings also served to inform conversations and influence solutions among those who play a role in developing and hiring talent.

Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler shared his insights: “The message to those looking to build careers is that we have an abundance of job opportunities in Northeast Ohio and that candidates who earn relevant credentials, whether an academic degree or a professional certification, position themselves for job success. The message to corporate and civic leaders, educators and economic development organizations is that building advocacy programs and networks is essential to supporting these candidates.”

Mike Loeffler, region director, Delta Dental of Ohio, added that knowing where opportunities exist, and identifying the skills required to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow, puts Northeast Ohio in a position of strength. “We now understand how to move forward with collaborative efforts to connect residents with career education, training and employment opportunities,” he said.

Jacob Duritsky, vice president of strategy and research for Team NEO, concluded, “The objective of this ongoing research is to work together toward the end goal of developing highly skilled workers and cultivating a robust, sustained talent pipeline. Strategic succession planning centered around developing younger generations into future leaders and workers is crucial to successful economic development.”

About Team NEO

Team NEO is a private, nonprofit economic development organization accelerating business growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of Northeast Ohio. As the designated JobsOhio Network Partner, we align and amplify local economic development efforts in Northeast Ohio’s 18-county region; we conduct research and data analysis to inform local conversations and influence solutions; we market Northeast Ohio as a region; and we work to increase access to jobs, education and training for the region’s 4.3 million people.