Greater Killeen (TX) Chamber Of Commerce – Labor Force Impact Study
ChallengeThe Greater Killeen area has experienced significant growth in recent years, with population in the seven-county workforce development area doubling since 1970. Projections indicate the region’s population will reach one-half million by 2020. The growth has been fueled largely by troop movement at Fort Hood – Texas’ largest single-site employer – and expansion in the regional medical industry. These factors have already caused changes across occupations and industry sectors, particularly in four critical needs occupational categories identified by the Central Texas Workforce Board (CTWB): customer service, education, medical, and licensed special trades. Further, as the Greater Killeen area grows, it increasingly competes with the diverse amenities and higher wages offered by larger metropolitan areas in the state. An understanding of future labor force needs is essential to help focus workforce training, direct talent retention and recruitment efforts, and position the region for continued rapid growth and increased competition.
ApproachThe Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, with support from the CTWB and the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance, engaged TIP to conduct a labor force impact study. Using an input-output model, TIP estimated the number of indirect and induced jobs added to the workforce development area. Occupational results were derived using an industry-occupation matrix created by Minnesota IMPLAN Group Inc. TIP then identified and analyzed compatible occupations that could provide potential sources of new workers for each of the four critical needs occupational categories targeted by CTWB, as well as other demand occupational groups for which training may be warranted. In addition TIP researched the region’s economic and occupational base, analyzed larger national and international trends influencing development patterns, reviewed best practices of other regions in the U.S., and interviewed employers and training providers.
OutcomeThe resulting talent management strategies provided a two-pronged course of action. First, TIP recommended enhancing regional initiatives that affect the ability of local communities to attract, develop, and retain talent. The primary initiative under this heading was the formation of a “Talent Central Texas” campaign to serve as the central branding of the region with regard to talent. Specific actions involved identifying target audiences and developing a theme that built on the region’s assets, including the presence of Fort Hood, expanding higher education offerings, and an affordable lifestyle. The second prong of recommendations focused on supporting employer-based initiatives, including organizing collaborative, sector-specific working groups; training human resource professionals on effective talent management strategies; and creating an online centralized recruitment resource for key sectors.
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