ROI Conducting Occupational Needs Assessment in Southwest Central Indiana’s Three Key Sectors

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc. (ROI), is conducting an occupational needs assessment in the life sciences, national security and defense, and advanced manufacturing sectors in the 11-county region of Southwest Central Indiana.

As part of the occupational needs assessment, ROI sector specialists will be meeting with a variety of industry partners throughout the summer and early fall to assess each sector’s current and future workforce development needs.

“We know that the need for skilled, educated workers is important for regional growth,” said Interim Chief Executive Officer Tina Peterson. “A critical component of ROI’s mission is to develop a long-term approach for growing a pipeline of qualified employees to meet the needs of local employers and to attract additional investment in our region.”

“To our knowledge, nothing of this kind had been done in our region or any other in Indiana,” added Peterson. “The occupational needs assessment is not a broad labor statistic survey, but rather it is the first step in developing strategies specific to the needs of actual employers in our region that advance economic and community prosperity in Southwest Central Indiana.”

Following completion of the assessment, aggregate results will be shared with sector employers, educators, the media and the public in Southwest Central Indiana. Assessments will be updated annually to advance the region’s workforce and education initiatives and ensure that ongoing strategies are aligned with employers’ needs throughout the three key sectors in the region.

ROI’s occupational needs assessment is the second education and workforce initiative recently announced by the newly formed nonprofit. On June 10, ROI announced its first initiative, a pilot graduation and career coaching program in partnership with Ivy Tech Community College – Bloomington. The program will begin in six public school districts this fall and is aimed at improving graduation rates and preparing students for pathways into technical certifications, associate degrees, and other postsecondary degree programs. Currently, only about 32 percent of Southwest Central Indiana’s population 25+ have attained some form of post-secondary credential. Read more about ROI’s graduation and career coaching initiative.

 About Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc.:

Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc., (ROI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established to advance economic and community prosperity in the 11-county region of Southwest Central Indiana, including Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen and Washington counties. Through an initial $25,870,000 grant through Lilly Endowment Inc., ROI is implementing an education and workforce plan as well as a regional opportunity fund for quality-of-place investments.

About Southwest Central Indiana:

Southwest Central Indiana (SWCI) is an 11-county area that encompasses Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen and Washington counties.

The counties of SWCI have been working together to leverage the region’s unique assets, including life sciences, defense and advanced manufacturing sectors; the third largest naval base in the world in NSWC Crane; a world-class education and research institution in Indiana University, and natural and entertainment amenities.

A strategic plan was developed in 2014 that focuses on six interconnected strategies: advance a sense of regionalism; foster a high-value quality of place; advance workforce development/talent through career immersion initiatives aligned with federal, state and local efforts; focus retention, expansion, and attraction efforts on industry clusters; establish a collaborative applied research environment between Indiana’s research universities and Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane; and create a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem and culture. Read the complete SWCI Strategic Plan.

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