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IRVINE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF SKILLS GAP ANALYSIS FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES
Research Reveals Demand for Greater Communication, Leadership and Other Soft Skills in Today’s Workforce
IRVINE, Calif.—October 27, 2014— The Irvine Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Vitality Council (EVC), announced the findings from a skills ‘gap’ analysis designed to identify what training and skills are needed for future workers to compete for jobs within Irvine’s advanced manufacturing sector. According to the study, HR and recruiting executives from local companies — ranging from aerospace, mechanical engineering, pharmaceutical to software design — revealed the top factors in the gap between what the candidate brings to the job and what the position requires.
The survey identified that the lack of candidates’ practical real-life job experience and soft skills, including communication, team work, project management, problem solving and leadership traits, make open positions more challenging to fill. The majority of companies interviewed stated that most of the jobs require at least a four-year degree with accompanying, relevant technical training. Between 80 to 100 percent of positions require technical skills, and respondents cited that their ideal candidate will have three to seven years of hands-on experience. Yet, only half of the responding companies said they have internships or apprenticeship programs in place or connections with colleges and universities.
“The Irvine Chamber of Commerce is extremely interested in helping Irvine businesses flourish, and a key factor in achieving this is ensuring that workers are prepared for the jobs that are available,” said Linda DiMario, senior director, Economic Development & Tourism of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce. “The skills gap analysis being conducted by the EVC and its Economic & Workforce Development Committee is helping to explore specific hiring needs and gain understanding of expectations of workforce candidates. This information will be highly useful as we work towards advancing the region’s competitiveness in a global business economy and fostering collaboration between companies and Orange County’s higher education institutions to properly prepare the emerging workforce.”
PREPARING THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
Respondents were asked what their ideal candidate would look like. Their responses revealed consensus around the following highly desirable attributes: strong communicator, team player, project management, good problem solver and presentation skills. Conversely, they reported that similar skills are often lacking from workforce candidates.
The analysis also revealed the toughest jobs to fill for manufacturing businesses. These careers include key roles in: product development, manufacturing, software engineering, leadership, chemistry, regulatory affairs, service technicians and quality assurance specialists. In addition, interviewees revealed their preference to fill open positions locally rather than relocating talent from outside the region.
Research was directed by the EVC’s Economic & Workforce Development Committee, which conducted interviews with human resources and recruiting executives from Irvine manufacturing businesses. This study marks the first of several skills gap surveys planned for key industry clusters in the community.
“The Economic & Workforce Development Committee is focused on developing programs and initiatives that help close the skills gap, continued DiMario. “This first local business study represents the forward-thinking approach of the Committee and is dedicated to aligning synergies with K-12, community college, technical and four-year university institutions.”
For more information about the Economic Vitality Council visit http://www.irvineecondev.com.
About the Irvine Chamber of Commerce
The Irvine Chamber of Commerce is one of the most influential Chambers in Orange County, representing more than 800 businesses in the area. The Irvine Chamber’s mission is to promote an economic climate that strengthens the competitiveness of local businesses while offering members a wide range of benefits, services, programs and information. The organization serves as a catalyst for local economic growth by: promoting the city as a dynamic business and tourism destination; providing valuable training and networking opportunities; and advocating for the interests of the business community with federal, state and local officials. The Irvine Chamber remains the largest business organization in Orange County and one of the most innovative in the nation, and has received a Four Star Accreditation with the United States Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit www.irvinechamber.com.
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