Sonoma-Mendocino EDD Board Members

Sonoma-Mendocino CEDS

Civic Analytics helped leaders in Sonoma and Mendocino counties create the first-ever comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) for the two-county region and successfully obtain federal designation and funding from the Economic Development Administration.

Evaluating talent pipeline perceptions and realities in a growing regional technology market

Austin’s economic development story turns on the mutually reinforcing relationship between technology and talent that has propelled the region’s growth over the last 30 years.

So when Austin Technology Council (ATC) member companies began reporting difficulty filling job openings, the organization sought to develop solutions to help its members meet this emerging challenge.

ATC wanted to avoid repeating the experience of other regions where attempts to address a similar challenge produced debates over whether talent shortages are real or perceived but little in the way of practical solutions.

ATC turned to Civic Analytics to design a research approach that would reveal the scope and nature of the challenge and provide a starting point for identifying specific, targeted strategies that could help members meet current and future hiring needs.

Global startup

Civic Analytics designed a study that gave tech talent realities and perceptions equal billing since both determine whether open positions get filled. Employing a combination of labor market analysis and survey research, the study shed light on the pace of demand for critical tech occupations drawing from secondary data such as job postings, payroll records and labor statistics and captured the perspectives of employers on hiring for those occupations with survey data. The observations from each analysis checked and informed those of the other.

Among the substantive insights ATC and its member companies gained from the study are which tech workforce occupations are most critical for growth and innovation; the extent to which regional education and training programs meet employer needs; and a measure of employer perceptions that creates a baseline for future assessment.

Armed with these insights, ATC is well positioned to advance a data-driven conversation with private and public partners around strategies for maintaining the strong tech talent pipeline on which the region’s continued economic growth depends.

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Economic Impact of Austin's Tech Sector

Civic Analytics helped the Austin Technology Council define "tech" and measure its impact on the Austin economy. President Obama cited our findings in a May 2013 speech at Manor New Tech High.

Yes, we have reached a point where "tech" has permeated nearly every aspect of our economy, which makes defining and measuring its impact as an industry increasingly difficult. But that is still a critical task for the 50+ tech councils and trade associations operating across the country so they can tell the industry's story effectively.

We partnered with the Austin Technology Council and its members in 2013 to accomplish that task in Austin and we found that tech accounted for more than one-fifth of the regional economy. Armed with that information--and a nod from President Obama--ATC was able to establish itself as a national thought leader on this topic.