County Scores HIgh on Education, Job Skills, Employment Opportunities
How are we doing Newaygo? I mean, as a county, how are we doing when it comes to building toward prosperity via education and employment? Well, according to a national organization who puts out an annual scorecard on such things we’ seem to be looking pretty good.
Each year Lightcast (formerly Emsi Burning Glass), a global leader in labor market analytics, releases a Talent Attraction Scorecard. The Scorecard is meant to help communities understand how they are doing in attracting and developing talent to meet their workforce needs.
And we placed 13th.
While some may say ‘Well, it’s not first place” to give a bit of perspective the last survey Lightcast released we landed at 2182nd so moving up 2169 places feels like some pretty major success in this corner.
Rankings are based on education, overall job change, migration, skilled job change, competitive effect (jobs created above or below what is expected),and skilled job openings. This year’s rankings captured data taken from 2017 to 2021, highlighting key changes in demographics, education and open jobs due to COVID-19 and what it shows is how the county has made substantial progress in the key areas.
Education? The level of educational attainment rose 22% from 2017 to 2021. Bachelor’s Degrees jumped 32% and those with Master’s Degrees or beyond went up 18%.
How about jobs? Well, annually we are averaging 572 skilled job openings per year with an increase of 32% and overall job openings have jumped 31%.
“It is exciting to be a part of positive movement forward on educational attainment and careers in our community,” said Shelly Kasprzycki, President and CEO of the Fremont Area Community Foundation. “Newaygo County is thriving, and while we have much more work to do, we are seeing growth.”
Growth indeed, and not by chance and certainly not by luck. The climb from last year’s four figure finish to 13th happened because of a multitude of efforts put forth to improve the educational achievement of the county and a focus on developing employment opportunities that have not only drawn talent from other areas but retained residents with skills who might have once left the county to seek better employment opportunities.
“Newaygo County leaders have focused on strategic programs like Kickstart for Career and the Newaygo County Promise, supporting our existing and upcoming talent,” said Julie Burrell, Economic Development Director of Newaygo County and Regional Partner Lead at The Right Place. “Our efforts to connect industry to education are supported by the data from this Lightcast Ranking, and we will continue working to improve the greater Newaygo County economy.”