St. Louis Community College

MESSAGE TESTING/CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MAPPING

How can our community respond to the most pressing workforce talent development issues critical to the economic success of our region? St. Louis Community College and the St. Louis Business Journal partnered on an annual assessment.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

  • Determine near-term hiring plans among regional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) employers
  • Assess barriers to employment expansion
  • Identify critical shortcomings of job applicants
  • Learn reasons for skill shortages and how employers plan to address them

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KEY INSIGHTS

A shortage of workers with STEM knowledge and skills is a barrier to more employment by these firms. Lack of qualified new graduates in STEM disciplines (particularly science and engineering) was cited as a primary reason for skill shortages by STEM employers. Soft skills (particularly communication skills) represent a critical shortcoming of job applicants even when compared to more job specific skills.

HOW THE ST. LOUIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE USED THE INSIGHTS

This report provides timely and critical workforce intelligence that helps the St. Louis regional community and strategic partners of St. Louis Community College respond to the most pressing talent development issues. Publicity drove healthy attendance at the annual event and facilitated connections between attendees whose organizations are all working to increase STEM training and job placement in St. Louis.

WHAT WE DID

We modified a telephone survey questionnaire used previously by St. Louis Community College and designed and managed the interviewing of over 500 employers in manufacturing, professional services, finance and information services. Data tabulation and report preparation preceded St. Louis Community College’s analysis of the data and public dissemination of survey results at a conference hosted by the St. Louis Business Journal.

“Stakeholder Insights’ ability to adapt an existing survey questionnaire to measure STEM employer needs and quickly field the survey and provide a data summary enabled us to continue this important annual labor force measure.”

Stephen Long, M.P.A.
Associate Vice Chancellor Workforce Solutions, St. Louis Community College