RALEIGH – What kinds of skills will employers need for tomorrow’s jobs?

Wake County is working to find out.

Over the next two months, local officials, along with RTI International, will be surveying businesses across 10 industry sectors in RTP as part of its re-launch of the Regional Skills Analysis. It will include companies hiring from one to five people all the way up to 1,000-plus.

The aim: to gain a better understanding of the current state of the local workforce, skill gaps, and trends in growth, hiring and industry development.

“Keeping that workforce up-to-date on the skills needed for tomorrow’s jobs is what this survey is all about,” said Beth Friedrich, senior manager of Economic Development, City of Raleigh Office of Economic Development + Innovation.

“Policymakers, employers, and our local education providers will look to the results of this survey to reveal where workforce needs are trending, and what skills are necessary to supply present and future business needs.”

Officials first deployed the survey in 2017. This year the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce and Cape Fear Collective also are participating.

In total, the goal is to have over 1,000 responses across the 15-county region.

“It’s one thing to have skilled workers; it’s another thing to have the right skilled workers,” said Ashley Cagle, assistant executive director at Wake County Economic Development. “We want to ensure we are doing everything we can to have a well-tailored workforce for our business community.”

It will take around three to four weeks to analyze the data, but she said its applications are “endless.”

“Since our first round of data came out in 2017, we’ve partnered with Wake Ed Partnership to present the findings to teachers participating in their summer STEM program,” Cagle said. “This information has fundamentally changed the way we approach talent and workforce development in our office and the way we partner with other organizations to achieve our community goals.”

Pat Sturdivant, executive director at Capital Area Workforce Development, said this survey is a “critical tool” for linking businesses with the talent pool.

“The results will help the workforce system fine tune education and training offerings that will address any skill mismatches and inform future strategies needed to keep our workforce competitive.”

The survey is open to businesses in the Research Triangle region and should be taken by site or HR leads. A link to the survey can found on Wake County Economic Development’s website.