Kate Pangallo: We must all be in the business of developing talent

Keywords Opinion / Viewpoint

Talent is a crucial driver for our economy and regional competitiveness. Over the last year, it has become increasingly evident how imperative talent efforts are to Indy’s success as a region, particularly when workforce entities unite to address hiring, promotion and employment problems we face.

This demonstrated need to address the skills gaps and opportunities in our talent attraction and retention strategy produced a collaborative report to solidify skills-based hiring and influence employers to be co-producers and co-investors of talent. If Indy wants to become a talent mecca, our education, workforce and business partners must align and equip employers with the tools to succeed.

As the regional economic development organization housed within the Indy Chamber, the Indy Partnership team is using the analysis to prioritize talent for the nine-county Indy region. The Indy Partnership Regional Skills Analysis identifies core competencies and skills that help employers and institutions understand in-demand skills that align with high-demand jobs in growth industries.

What began as a way to inform business-attraction efforts and understand the skills gaps to enhance talent attraction is now a critical part of Indy Chamber’s Accelerate Indy implementation strategy. The strategy was developed to outline efforts to attract, retain and develop a workforce that meets employers’ needs today and inspires continued skills development as those needs evolve. Ultimately, Accelerate Indy exists to position the Indy region as the premier destination for talent and opportunity for all.

Now more than ever, it is critical that the Indy region identify and promote high-growth, high-demand and emerging occupations to stay competitive in our search for talent. The Regional Skills Analysis identifies high-growth occupations in six of central Indiana’s key industries: advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, life sciences, logistics, sports and technology. Each “opportunity” occupation signifies a high-growth role to move into that is in critical demand.

Through this work with research partner Lightcast, the global leader in labor market analytics, we recognize that, in order to be successful as a region, we must reinvest in our people to meet our economy’s ever-changing talent demands. Employers need to be in the business of developing talent.

Joel Simon, Lightcast’s vice president of strategy and growth, said, “The skills identified across each of the region’s counties represent a powerful talent base that we are only beginning to capitalize on.”

More transparency of the region’s high-quality, high-need feeder roles from which workers can advance can make our region a place where the talent development and opportunity landscapes are as dynamic and exciting as the economy they fuel. The skills mapping presented in the report will enable our workforce and education pipeline to address these opportunities and make central Indiana a talent mecca that, in turn, attracts more businesses and more jobs and creates a virtuous cycle of economic activity.

The nature of the workforce has changed. The days of the perfect candidate no longer exist. We are all in the business of developing talent, and employers need to engage in a number of strategies to have the talent they need. The Regional Skills Analysis gives us a better understanding of the speed at which work is changing, the new skills that are necessary for opportunity career paths and a better road map for Indy in the hunt for talent.•


Pangallo is director of talent partnerships at Indy Chamber.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.