‘Soft skills’ are key hiring factor for region’s tech companies
The Greater Washington Workforce Needs Assessment study, which was released by The Northern Virginia Technology Council in partnership with with Northern Virginia Community College and produced by Mangum Economics and EDSI, found that more than 80 percent of employers in the region's highest-demand industries consider soft skills the most important in their hiring decisions.
The report focused on five specific hard-to-fill competency ares, which included software development; cybersecurity; big data and analytics; data centers and cloud infrastructure; and network systems.
“Technology employers have told us that they need help finding and hiring employees with the right skill sets for their businesses,” NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg said in a prepared statement. “Through this report, NVTC aims to understand the specific workforce challenges of NVTC members as a first step toward the development of a technology workforce with the necessary skill sets and capacity to meet Greater Washington’s growing needs.”
NVTC commissioned the needs assessment in partnership with NVCC to provide insights to the region’s academic institutions and educational providers on the workforce needs of the region’s technology employers. The findings will be shared with NVTC’s member institutions of higher education and nonprofit partners.
“Creating a workforce pipeline that is able to meet both the capacity and the competency requirements that are driving our regional economy is one of our most important goals,” said NVCC President Scott Ralls. “Hearing directly from technology employers about their immediate and future talent needs is extremely valuable to us as educators. We anticipate utilizing this report to guide the development of programs, curriculum and content that aligns with our region’s business needs.”
The study will also be used by NVTC to inform next steps in its Tech Talent Initiative, including mapping needed skill sets to the workforce pipeline, collaborating with the academic organizations, state and local government, and nonprofits and marketing the region and its technology career opportunities to future talent.
“As a trade association with members from all sectors of the technology industry as well as our local universities and community colleges, NVTC has a unique and powerful opportunity to convene all the parties to achieve real progress in addressing the region’s workforce challenges,” said Kilberg.
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