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IT or bust (for now) April 26, 2006

Posted by Tom in Economic Development, Workforce.
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Indiana's Department of Workforce Development released its list of the "hot jobs" in the state, and the top 10 goes like this:

  1. Registered Nurses
  2. Teachers, Elementary and Kindergarten, including Special Education
  3. Teachers, Secondary, including Special Education
  4. Computer Systems Analysts
  5. Dental Hygienists
  6. Medical and Health Services Managers
  7. Computer and Information Systems Managers
  8. Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers
  9. Pharmacists
  10. Lawyers

Note that 8 of the 10 top jobs are service sector jobs – jobs that rely upon the existence of wealth-creating entities for their livelihoods. The two outliers? Computer Systems Analysts and Computer and Information Systems Managers. (Kids, get those CISCO and MCSE certifications!)

This report highlights the challenge that I've noticed over the past months, that our economic development entities have spent so much time on triage – trying to find quick fixes to remedy job losses from plant closings, downsizings, etc. – that they have not invested effort in proactive, strategic growth planning.

That's why the Indiana Economic Development Corporation's new strategic plan is so important. While not trailblazing by any means – setting an overarching target of having the average Indiana wage meet the average national wage isn't visionary like, say, nanotechnology – this plan lays out a workmanlike approach to creating an environment in which economic development can flourish in Indiana.

One of the three pillars on which this plan is based? That's right – workforce. It's all about the convergence.

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