INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., October 27, 2016 — Indiana’s vibrant agbiosciences industry is a significant economic driver to Indiana’s economy employing more than 75,000 individuals, many in higher wage jobs. In order to keep Indiana as an agbiosciences leader, there must be a robust talent pool with the right blend of skilled, educated and engaged individuals. According to a new report from AgriNovus Indiana and TEConomy Partners, “Indiana Agbiosciences: Ensuring a Sustainable Workforce for our Future”, the agbioscience industry has experienced job growth of over 22 percent since 2003, outpacing the rest of Indiana’s total private sector employment rate.
“In today’s innovation-driven economy the ultimate driver for growth is human capital,” said David Johnson, President and CEO of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. “In order to succeed, Indiana must be proactive in identifying ways to not only attract talent, but to properly prepare talent for the jobs of tomorrow. This is especially true in the agbiosciences.”
According to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture supported by analysis from Purdue University, there will be nearly 58,000 job openings in the U.S. food and agriculture industry every year for college graduates; yet only 35,400 new U.S. students to fill the positions leaving almost 40 percent of the available jobs open.
“Although Indiana is in the enviable position of having talent aligned with employer demand, this national job-gap will inevitably impact everyone’s ability to attract limited talent,” Beth Bechdol, president and CEO of AgriNovus Indiana, said.
According to the new study, Indiana’s workforce development and talent generation in core occupations directly related to agbiosciences is already well aligned with industrial demand. However, Indiana’s agbioscience industry sector struggles to attract the number and quality of individuals to serve in allied occupations, or industry support disciplines such as business, IT, and skilled productions that have key roles and functions across multiple industry sectors.
“We have the right resources in our state to develop and advance these allied occupations,” Bechdol said. “Our partners across the private and public sectors have insight into technology, innovation, research, science and IT to help find the much- overlooked points of connection between and among these fields. AgriNovus Indiana is in a unique position to help coordinate and unite these resources and partners.”
To encourage the needed collaborative efforts, the report recommends four strategic priorities – each with specific actions for consideration – to address the challenges in the agbiosciences talent pipeline:
- Create a greater pipeline of students interested in agbioscience careers.
- Develop industry-relevant skill sets for core occupation talent.
- Increase agbioscience career engagement for allied occupation fields.
- Catalyze continued career advancement for rising professionals and foster linkages between post-retirement professionals and start-up opportunities.
“Our collective ability to develop, cultivate, and acquire specialized human talent through the life-cycle of the talent pipeline is what will make the Indiana agbioscience industry even stronger into the future,” Bechdol said.
To view the full report: Indiana Agbiosciences: Ensuring a Sustainable Workforce for our Future.