Pursuant to Section 49 of Public Chapter 7 of the Tennessee Code Annotated, the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development (TNECD) will submit a report to partner agencies on demonstrated workforce needs within existing and prospective businesses across the state. The following 2020 Labor and Education Alignment Program (LEAP) Report fulfills this requirement.
The Center for Economic Research in Tennessee (CERT), with support from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development (TDLWD) and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), conducted an analysis to identify occupations throughout the state that are in high demand by Tennessee’s business community. For the State and each of the state’s nine Local Workforce Development Areas (LWDAs), CERT analyzed occupations with high numbers of job postings, hires and/or projected annual job openings relative to the total number of individuals employed in an occupation.
CERT partnered with researchers from the TDLWD and THEC over the last year to build a collaborative approach to identifying Tennessee business’ demand for specific job types. The agencies studied alignment in data and methodology to prioritize cohesive statewide messaging on the topic of in-demand occupations. THEC and TDLWD release an annual report in January—the Academic Supply and Occupational Demand Report—which will build upon the results of this evaluation. For the first time, the two reports provide a jointly-defined list of in-demand positions. Importantly, the Academic Supply and Occupational Demand Report will identify postsecondary programs that support the workforce pipeline for in-demand jobs. Both reports are meant to be used as tools to aid in local, regional, and state policy decision-making with regard to alignment of workforce, education and industry.
The cross-agency evaluation identified 227 unique job classifications 2 with high employer demand in one or more Tennessee regions. There was a total of 720 occupation classifications 3 that were analyzed for employer demand.