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Geo-WorkforceTM Demographics:
A Human Capital Investment

(September 24, 2008)  Recently, we had a wonderful conversation with Theresa Clary, CEO of Workforce Strategies, Inc. The conversation covered a wide terrain of topics that included the influences of geo-spatial analysis and geographic information system (GIS) on the industry. She has been gracious enough to provide several articles on this topic. The first article starts below the two definitions from Wikipedia that I found useful.
Geospatial is a term widely used to describe the combination of spatial software and analytical methods with terrestrial or geographic datasets. The term is often used in conjunction with geographic information systems and geomatics, never separately.

A geographic information system (GIS), also known as a geographical information system, is an information system for capturing, storing, analyzing, managing and presenting data which is spatially referenced (linked to location).
Geo-WorkforceTM Demographics: A Human Capital Investment

The requirement for effective human resource management, recruitment, and workforce planning now focuses on regionalism and industry-based employment needs. Planning and creating geo-spatial workforce strategies are necessary for finding talent, building skills, and managing a workforce - in the short and long term. This means understanding the local employment dynamics within different labor markets.

As local industry specific economies increasingly take hold and grow across the U.S., we will continue to see different kinds of skill needs and pockets of talent emerge depending on the location. These regional and industry employment patterns will dictate how and where we will invest in human capital, including recruitment and training. Consequently, the dynamics of local labor markets and workforces become increasingly important to successful recruiting, workforce building, and HR planning.

Geo-workforceTM demographics are a human capital investment tool that assists in understanding and evaluating the various employment elements within a local labor market. They help to finesse local economies and employment patterns. These demographics provide foundation information for building employment, recruitment, training, and human resource management plans and strategies. With the market and data analysis is already done, they are available in board-room ready reports for any location in the U.S.

Delivered through GIS technology, geo-workforceTM demographics show the geographic skill, occupation, and industry employment numbers that are needed for understanding local workforce dynamics.

In addition, these elements are available in the reports based on commutation patterns (For example, by specifying a drive-time) or through a radius study - which shows the area surrounding a particular address. (For example, one can specify the address of a particular workplace). In addition, each workforce element is also benchmarked against the national average, which allows for comparing a particular skill, occupation, or industry employment concentration.

These ready-to use geo-workforce demographics give a good understanding the "the lay of the land". They provide valuable information for use in writing proposals, building training programs, and casting employee recruitment nets.

For example, they indicate that while employment concentration of mechanical engineers within a five-mile radius of Evanston, IL is 8% less than the national average - it has a high concentration of computer specialists and that its overall workforce preparation indicator is 9% greater than the national figures. (See table below.) The geo-workforceTM demographics for that area also show that the average weekly wage for Cook County, where Evanston is located, is $993 - which is 21% above the national average.

2007 Employment in Top 10 High-Tech Occupations

Geo-workforce demographics also provide important geo-skillTM information. For example, one of top geo-skills in San Jose is time management while the top skill used in the Financial/Back and Mid-Office (Call Center) industry is reading comprehension.

They also provide information about the local technical capacity. For example, when looking within a 10 mile radius of the central business district of Pittsfield, MA - the employment concentration of science, which is a basic skill, is 8% higher than the national average, while quality control analysis, a technical skill, is 7% higher. While it has a low number of environmental scientists, when compared to the national figures, its concentration (density) of environmental engineering technicians is higher. (Learn more at .)

Today, geo-spatial or location information is everywhere. In recent years it is touching more and more of our daily lives. These geo-workforce demographics provide a better understanding of recruitment markets; are foundation material to all other training and employment initiatives; and are used for making more informed business decisions.

Theresa Clary is CEO of Workforce Strategies, Inc. . Through its recent partnership with ESRI, the world's largest developer of GIS technology, its geo-workforce demographics are delivered.

Data Note: The Workforce Occupation IndexTM (WOI) indicates concentration relative to a national average of 100. Source: Workforce Strategies, Inc

Send comments to: Colleen Gildea
colleen@(remove this)

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