High Wage/High Growth Industries
In its current strategic plan, Lane Workforce Partnership identifies manufacturing and health care as target industries. And while robust efforts exist to address the workforce needs of these industries, Lane Workforce Partnership has taken a closer look at other emerging industry needs—looking at wages, growth potential, employment projections, workforce needs, career pathways and achievable education, and concentration of existing businesses. Based on this analysis, a few sectors rose to the top: software publishing, construction, and mining; in addition to manufacturing and health care, and LWP has identified these as five targeted industry sectors for this biennium.
The chart below shows the manufacturing subsector employment in Lane County by average annual wage. Wood product manufacturing remains, by far, the most prominent subsector, with over twice as many employees as the next largest subsector, food manufacturing. Wood products, food, and the third largest subsector, machinery, account for 54 percent of manufacturing employment in Lane County. Manufacturing is a core traded-sector industry and is important in Lane County because it pays above- average wages and is expected to provide nearly 1,600 jobs for workers between 2012 and 2022. Manufacturing in Lane County is diverse with 543 companies employing 12,576 people in 2013.
Industry sectors are defined by the National Governor’s Association as “partnerships of employers within one industry that bring government, education, training, economic development, labor, and community organizations together to focus on the workforce needs of an industry within a regional labor market.” However, since many workforce-based sector strategies are heavily based on key occupations, those occupations can, and often do, cut across more than one industry sector. For example, an advanced manufacturing strategy could support key workforce issues of various industry sectors efforts such as high tech, food processing and transportation equipment.
Through sector strategies, Lane Workforce Partnership is working to strengthen the local workforce for these industries to ensure businesses have the skilled workforce necessary to innovate and grow, and that workers and job seekers in the county have the skills to take advantage of employment opportunities in these industries.
Sector-based strategies often target industries and occupations that are, or have potential to be, high-wage and high-demand. In addition to a focus on high-wage high-demand occupations, sector strategies often focus on industry clusters for a geographic area.