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Key Takeaways from ALIGN 2019

Monday, April 15, 2019 by Erin Siegferth

In the Greater Akron region, there are people who need jobs, and there are companies who need employees. Simple, right? 

Not always. Identifying productive pairings between employer and employee requires navigating a diverse talent ecosystem in which every company and every individual has unique needs and preferences.  

That’s where ConxusNEO comes in. Conxus starts with the employer’s needs and uses a supply-chain method to add value to everyone in this talent development ecosystem—from new graduates and established employees to middle managers and C-suite executives. 

Last week’s ALIGN event by ConxusNEO was a valuable meeting of great thinkers in the Greater Akron area. The meeting focused on aligning good, promising jobs with Greater Akron residents looking for employment.  

Key Takeaways 

Some important points our staff members took away from the event:  Job-readiness begins in high school. The state will be funding programs for high schoolers and other workers to gain industry-recognized credentials. 

A critical barrier to employment is a lack of awareness—potential workers are often unaware of the opportunities within their reach.  Workforce is a necessary component of Elevate Greater Akron. A strong talent pipeline is essential for attracting and retaining businesses. Our small- and mid-sized businesses suffer without support for high school students entering the workforce. 

ConxusNEO’s mission and Elevate Greater Akron’s goals are working in harmony. ConxusNEO is focused on nurturing talent our region already has—just like Elevate Greater Akron is focusing on strengthening the businesses our region already has.  

Discussions from ALIGN 

Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Greater Akron Chamber President and CEO Steve Millard represented the three branches of Elevate Greater Akron in a panel discussion of the economic development plan and ConxusNEO’s role in its success. 

ConxusNEO Vice-President Michelle Collins unpacked the meaning behind ALIGN’s purpose. What makes a job “good” and “promising?” What good and promising occupations and careers are available now? 

GAR Foundation Senior Vice-President Kirstin Toth discussed the barriers faced by Greater Akron residents as they strive to reach their full potential as employees in the Greater Akron region.  

Sue Lacy, ConxusNEO President, facilitated a series of video vignettes, exercises and conversations about solutions to barriers to employment in Greater Akron by GAR Foundation President Christine Mayer and United Way of Summit County Director of Diversity and Inclusion Andre Campbell. 

A final keynote was given by Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted. He discussed the importance of state support for industry-recognized credentials, supporting industry sector partnerships and the importance of the workforce for economic development. 

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2019 by Erin Siegferth | with 23 comments

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