Employers in the El Paso area encountered difficulty finding talent to fill mission-critical positions in several of the region’s leading industries. As part of a business-led effort dedicated to driving economic growth, the Borderplex Alliance—in partnership with Workforce Solutions Borderplex, the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, and various other regional stakeholders— commissioned a series of studies to assess skills gaps in sectors representing vital components of the area economy.
The Alliance engaged TIP Strategies to conduct an overall assessment of the regional workforce along with deep dives into the middle skill and advanced skill occupations that support three of the region’s major sectors: life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and information technology. The primary goal of this work was to identify ways for lower-wage workers to transition to middle and advanced skills careers in alignment with the identified sectors. Over the course of two engagements, TIP used labor market data, real-time job postings, and major employer surveys to identify key occupations in each sector where training and education institutions (the supply) were not producing the most necessary skills or did not have the capacity to meet employer needs (the demand). The study also identified macro-economic trends affecting each sector and provided research on national best practices in workforce-industry alignment. The study concluded by providing four overarching strategies to make the region more competitive, including addressing local wage gaps, upskilling the workforce, leveraging existing assets for growth, and connecting residents to in-demand jobs.