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Matching Jobs With Training

Posted on October 15, 2013 at 4:15 PM
Tags: job training

Workforce development programs generally link their training to fields that need workers, such as health care and precision manufacturing. After all, it doesn’t make sense to train people for occupations that don’t have any openings.

In a story in the latest issue of Trends magazine, Jenny Bendewald and Rachel Vilsack looked at one training program, DEED’s Dislocated Worker Program, to find out how well it succeeded at placing people in jobs related to their training.

Their findings showed that about half the people who participated in the program over a 13-year period found job matches. The percentage of matches would have been even higher if jobs that were tangentially related to the training were counted, for example a welder who found a job in sales at a welding company.

Looking at two years of data from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2012, Bendewald and Vilsack found that the following were the top 10 occupations in which people trained in the Dislocated Worker Program: heavy/tractor-trailer truck drivers, licensed practical/vocational nurses, medical assistants, registered nurses, business operations specialists, network/computer systems administrators, nursing assistants, bookkeeping/accounting clerks, medical secretaries and accountants.

DEED data show those occupations represent some of the most in-demand jobs in Minnesota.

One interesting phenomenon is that people are more likely to find job matches in their field of training during difficult economic times. When job opportunities are plentiful in good economic times, participants are slightly less likely to find jobs related to their training.

That counterintuitive trend makes sense. People are more likely to find work outside their field of training during good economic times because the pool of jobs and occupation types is bigger. They have more choices and opportunities for jobs that don’t fit their training.

More details about the study can be found here.

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