The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area added 136,900 jobs in 2014, more than any other metro area, but a new report by JPMorgan Chase & Co. finds that many job seekers in the region do not have the necessary skills, training or education to fill an estimated 42,000 new middle-skill job openings that will be created through 2018.
The Skills Gap Report for Dallas-Fort Worth released May 21 shows that about one-third of the middle-skilled jobs that local employers posted and were trying to fill from July 2013 to July 2014 were concentrated in the health care and information sectors.
According to the report, many middle-skilled jobs in the health care industry are taking 50 percent longer to fill than the regional average because employers are having trouble finding workers who are trained for the jobs that are available. This trend, along with continued growth of new middle-skills jobs in other industries including finance and manufacturing, suggests the D-FW area will face long-term challenges if it does not expand its talent pipeline for skilled labor and professional positions.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said the report pinpoints the greatest areas for workers seeking local middle-skill jobs and can help the D-FW region address the mismatch between job skills and employment needs.
“It gives us a roadmap to help our regional achieve greater collaboration among our business community, public sector, educational institutions and social service organizations,” Price said. “This innovative public-private strategy has the power to make our economy stronger and more inclusive.”
As part of its local commitment, Chase announced two new grants totaling $700,000. One is to the Parkland Foundation to support the Rise to Success Fellows workforce program, which is designed to create a pipeline of future health care professionals. The other grant is to Per Scholas, a workforce training program.
The Skills Gap Report and workforce grants are part of Chase’s $250 million, five-year global workforce readiness initiative, New Skills at Work, the largest ever private-sector effort aimed at addressing the skills gap.
The full skills gap report for Dallas-Fort Worth can be view at www.newskillsatwork.com.