CEDC, TIP Strategies Develop Skills Gap Analysis and Workforce Plan

20 Dec 2019

CONROE, TEXAS (December 20, 2019) – TIP Strategies, an economic development consulting firm based in Austin, recently performed a skills gap analysis on Conroe’s workforce and determined Conroe is well positioned to continue as an economic leader. The Conroe Economic Development Council (CEDC) engaged TIP Strategies to research the Conroe workforce to understand future workforce needs, identify skills gaps and provide the CEDC a roadmap to future growth of regional talent.

Earlier this year, TIP began meeting with the CEDC and other stakeholders, including Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber, Lone Star College, Conroe Independent School District, Willis Independent School District, and several Conroe-based businesses, to identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of the local labor market. Caroline Alexander of TIP Strategies offered insight into the importance of the study and impact it may have on Conroe.

“Talent is the primary factor driving economic development today. With the regional economy at full employment and the labor market continuing to tighten, it is important to identify opportunities to fortify Conroe’s labor market and improve the talent pipeline. This will put the Conroe region on a path for continued growth and provide a competitive advantage over communities that are not taking proactive steps to strengthen their talent pools.”

The skills gap analysis will help drive economic development efforts for the CEDC. As Alexander explains, the study documents the characteristics of the regional labor market and identifies the strengths of the region’s talent pool. The study’s analysis will help the CEDC recruit and retain businesses in Conroe by sharing information about the talent pool available and helping develop programs that “up-skill” the labor pool.

“The study not only provides insights into the strengths of the region regarding talent characteristics,” said Alexander, “it also identifies an inventory of industry-supportive training programs where available workers can upgrade skills and develop new talent to fill the region’s talent pipeline.”

The CEDC uses this information to support Conroe’s business development efforts by showcasing an available and qualified workforce. An available workforce helps retain and expand existing business as well as attracts new business to Conroe.

TIP assessed the Montgomery County labor market, including local labor supply and demand, to create a Montgomery County Talent Report. The Montgomery County Talent Report and stakeholder conversations have led to goals that the CEDC and other stakeholders look to achieve to meet future workforce needs in Conroe.

The first goal is to create a connection platform for linking potential workers, education/training providers, and industry. The second goal is to better align education and industry through strong feedback loops and systems. The final goal is to create a higher level of awareness among students and potential workers of high-demand careers and their related programs.

“The strategy aims to improve the alignment of the region’s educational infrastructure with industry needs, provide a connection platform between workers, education, and industry, and raise awareness of high-demand careers and related programs,” added Alexander.

Moving forward, the CEDC will use the skills gap analysis and the stated goals to create a competitive workforce strategy. The findings indicate that Conroe is positioned well to continue as an economic leader. Increasing collaboration on such an important issue, such as workforce, enhances Conroe’s ability to drive the local economy forward.

“The strategy that TIP Strategies developed through the study and this planning process positions the Conroe region to improve and enhance our workforce system, which will be a great advantage in the competitive economic development arena,” said Danielle Scheiner, Executive Director, CEDC. “Conroe benefits from having an engaged and willing workforce, and education and industry leaders who are collaborating to implement this strategy.”