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Tag: Workforce Development

Using GIS to Inform Workforce Development


We recently worked with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to produce a national-level work-based learning map. Built using ArcGIS Online and the Esri JavaScript API, the map can be custom-tailored to specific state or local agency leadership teams. Using these customized maps, teams can better contextualize their workforce development initiatives and refine their understanding of resources and socioeconomic distribution across their region.

Workforce Development with GIS

Nearly five decades of research has demonstrated that the places where individuals live and learn have a dramatic impact on their opportunities and life outcomes. These place effects—the advantages and disadvantages that one inherits by simply living in a particular location—have a particularly strong impact on one’s access to high-quality education, workforce training, and employment, which are the key ingredients to upward economic mobility. It is vital that leaders in state and local education agencies are mindful of place effects as they help districts and schools to develop work-based learning (WBL) systems across diverse contexts.

Through this application, AIR can more easily identify areas of improved workplace development and analyze the factors that lead to this outcome. This could include factors such as education opportunities, health benefits, or a variety of social factors.

How do I use it?

Users are able to activate different layers that fall under categories such as Education, Health, and Social Factors. By looking across states and the country as a whole, we are able to understand which communities are at a disadvantage when it comes to these factors. As we explained earlier, these factors are vital to spark upward economic mobility. When viewing these different layers, we can have a higher understanding of where these lacking communities are located, and where resources need to be more readily available.

Here is a demo of the application in action.

You can view and use the application here.

Following the Student Journey: Education to the Workforce

The TalentED Story Map brings community college students to the forefront of job opportunity and workforce development. In California, Blue Raster, the Community Coast College District (CCCD) and LearningCurved presented a hands-on workshop exploring the use of geographic maps as a tool to transform career exploration. Additionally, the team presented ways to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Mapping for story telling, decision making, and collaboration.

The workshop brought together over 35 attendees from local community colleges and industries, each with unique experience working directly with students and the platform. Attendees explored topics such as:

    • Maps for Smart Decision Making
    • Effective Use of Story Maps
    • TalentED Demonstration
    • User Feedback & Panel Discussion

The TalentED platform provides interactive career exploration by focusing on key concepts which are important to students. Priority Industry Sectors introduce nine growing industries in Southern California, for example Biotechnology and Advanced Transportation. Dig into each Industry Sector to learn more about occupations and wages. In addition, students can explore companies that have careers in those industries and hear testimonials from professionals who followed a similar path.

Community Feedback

The TalentED Development Team worked vigorously to get student feedback and understand ways to improve the platform. For example, the Development team conducted a Pilot Program Survey, where 595 Students and Staff from nine different colleges were invited to get a first look at TalentED. Participants had the opportunity to provide an evaluation of the platform and reflect on their experience navigating the platform. Further, the participants helped us understand if they thought the platform was effective in career exploration and if it was something they would share with their peers. As a result, the TalentED team can hone in ways to make a more effective platform for the students. The positive feedback from the users was tremendous and several respondents spoke directly about their experience at the workshop. Watch the feedback given by users through personal testimonials below.


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