How LinkedIn is Helping Create Economic Opportunity in Colorado and Phoenix

March 17, 2016

LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. Notice that I said every member, not just white collar workers with four-year college degrees. Everyone.

To achieve our vision, we’re building the world’s first Economic Graph — a digital map of the global economy that includes every member of the global workforce and their skills, all open jobs, all employers, and all educational institutions. We’ve been sharing labor market insights from the Economic Graph with dozens of policymakers across the globe to help create greater economic opportunity.

For example, we’ve been sharing Economic Graph insights with policymakers in Colorado and Phoenix. We realized the combination of our Economic Graph insights and the LinkedIn platform can have an even greater economic impact. So last June we joined Skillful (formerly Rework America Connected) — a Markle Foundation initiative to help workers in Colorado and Phoenix with high school diplomas and some or no college education acquire new skills to advance their careers.

This is important because more than 40% of workers in Colorado, and nearly 50% of workers in Arizona, have a high school diploma and some or no college education. Yet 44% of the more than 468 recruiters and hiring managers we surveyed in Colorado and Phoenix in February said it’s hard to find people with the right technical skills. Companies that have a hard time hiring are less productive, which stunts the growth of the local economy.

Educational institutions — like community colleges, boot camps, and vocational schools — that collaborate with local employers typically have high placement rates.

This is because they tailor training programs to teach students skills that are in demand. Sixty-one percent of the 914 recruiters and hiring managers we surveyed in Colorado and Phoenix said they’d benefit from working more closely with educators. We’re using Economic Graph data to show employers which educational institutions they hire from, and show educators which companies their graduates work at and need their students’ skills.

This data makes it easier for employers to identify which educators they should collaborate with, and vice versa. Plus we’re encouraging Colorado and Phoenix employers to include the skills required for jobs in their job descriptions to help job seekers determine whether or not they’re qualified for jobs.

And most importantly, we’re making the collaboration that’s occurring between employers and educators transparent to the people who need that info most: job seekers. Thirty-nine percent of the 355 U.S. workers who have a high school diploma and some or no college education we surveyed said they want to advance their career in their current field. Forty-two percent said they want to get a new job in a different field. But 54% said they don’t know what jobs are available, and whether or not they need additional training to acquire the skills required for those jobs.

Introducing LinkedIn Training Finder

LinkedIn Training Finder

That’s why we developed Training Finder — a new product that helps job seekers acquire new skills and advance their careers. It shows them relevant training programs in their area; which programs are affiliated with employers; whether or not they’re accredited; the program’s employment rate, cost, and duration; the skills the program will teach them; the jobs they’ll be qualified for when they complete the program; and the estimated salary. These insights will help them choose the training program that will teach them the skills they need to get the job they want.

For now, Training Finder is targeted at job seekers in Phoenix and Colorado who have a high school diploma and some or no college education and want to advance their career in their current field, or get a new job in a different field. If that describes you, check out Training Finder. You can also talk to a career coaches by visiting Skillful.

Colorado and Phoenix are both doing great work to up-skill workers. We’re hopeful that Skillful will amplify their efforts and help create skills-based labor markets that value people’s skills -- not just their degrees -- and empowers lifelong learning so that workers’ skills evolve with the ever-changing skills needed by companies.

Additional Economic Graph Initiatives

Skillful is one of many examples of how we’re using the Economic Graph and LinkedIn to help create economic opportunity. In June, we began working with the GMCA (Greater Manchester Combined Authority) in the United Kingdom to provide insight into the workforce’s existing skills, the skills required to get jobs in Greater Manchester, and the gap between the two. The results of that research will be used by the GMCA to deploy its resources more effectively, and by local educational institutions to tailor courses so they teach students in-demand skills.

We also used Economic Graph data to provide the City of Toronto with greater insight into its tech sector. Toronto is using the data to help youths learn tech-related skills and bolster its tech sector. For example, Seneca College — one of the largest colleges in Canada — is updating its curriculum and offering new courses to help prepare youths for careers in tech.

And we used Economic Graph data to provide New York City, as part of its Tech Talent Pipeline initiative, with insights on the current state of the city’s tech industry. The city used the insights to determine “how to deploy $10 million in funding to help NYC schools, government, nonprofits, and companies better prepare New Yorkers for in-demand tech jobs and fuel the continuing growth of NYC tech businesses.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the Economic Graph and the work we’re doing to create economic opportunity, please follow the Economic Graph Showcase Page.