The Last Word: The DRC’s Jarrad Toussant on the New DFW Health Care and IT Talent Pipeline Portal

“We cannot import our way to a skilled talent pool.”

Jarrad Toussant
SVP of Education and Workforce

Dallas Regional Chamber
.…on the new DFW Health Care and IT Talent Pipeline Portal.

The healthcare and information technology sectors in Dallas-Fort Worth have both been booming for years—so much so that “the region needs a projected 130,000 more qualified workers to prevent unfilled jobs from hampering economic growth in the same timeframe,” according to the Dallas Regional Chamber.

Jarrad Toussant, SVP of education and workforce, Dallas Regional Chamber

To help fill those jobs, the DRC—with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies—recently launched a new workforce development tool called the DFW Health Care and IT Talent Pipeline Portal. The online tool provides “expansive, up-to-date data on the supply of and demand for talent for middle-skill jobs.”

“Tackling a challenge begins with a shared understanding of it,” Toussant said in a statement. “Employer and education partners across the region need meaningful labor market data to inform the instruction, advising, training, recruitment, and development of our regional talent base. The DRC is excited to offer this free-to-use resource to help coordinate efforts to ensure employers have the talent they need while increasing living wage attainment for people living and working in the Dallas region.”

The new portal offers the most up-to-date information on jobs and careers, skill gaps for specific roles, program completion by institution, job trends/forecasts, and much more, the DRC said. The portal is designed to help make data-driven strategy decisions for tackling regional talent needs for a broad range of users, including:

  • Workforce & Economic Developers
  • Counselors & Advisors
  • Policymakers
  • Recruiters/Employers
  • Education & Training Administrators
  • Employer Outreach & Engagement Specialists

‘Middle-skill jobs’ require technical training, with no need for college degrees

Middle-skill jobs require tech education and training beyond the high school level, with no need for a four-year college degree, the DRC noted, calling such jobs “critical to Dallas’ economy.” These occupations make up more than half of all jobs, and additional workers are constantly needed to fill the region’s fastest-growing industries.

The challenge: 53% of Dallas students either don’t complete high school or don’t enroll in post-secondary education, so they can’t meet the qualifications for these “high-demand, high-wage jobs”—resulting in nearly 300,000 unfilled jobs in the Dallas region, the DRC stated.

The jobs can be rewarding once that training is completed: middle-skill IT and health care jobs in DFW pay average salaries of $50,000-$95,000, the DRC said.

“We must build skills for middle-skill IT and healthcare jobs within our local talent pipeline to support continued growth while building critical economic mobility for all of our citizens,” Toussant said. “We believe uniform access to data through the DFW Health Care and IT Talent Pipeline Portal moves us closer toward this goal.”

The new portal is an initiative of Dallas Thrives, which was launched by the DRC and the Commit Partnership in 2020 to double living wage attainment for young adults in Dallas by 2040.

You can learn more about the portal, explore its data, and find additional links by reading the DRC post here.

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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