Jonathan Morgan is a School of Government faculty member.
The School of Government recently assisted with devising a strategy for developing the defense and homeland security (D&HS) economy in the 11-county Fort Bragg region. The BRAC Regional Task Force will use the analysis and recommendations offered to help cultivate and grow a vibrant “cluster” of defense and homeland security related industries that will propel the region’s economy for years to come. The strategy is centered on four overarching goals:
- Increase coordination and connectivity of the D&HS-related organizational infrastructure at the state and regional levels.
- Develop innovative approaches to identifying opportunities and winning contracts for North Carolina firms from the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.
- Align and develop educational programs with emerging D&HS industry requirements.
- Retain and integrate groups with key defense-related skills into the regional labor market.
Goals 3 and 4 are largely about ensuring that the Fort Brag region will be able to meet the specialized workforce needs of this emerging industry cluster over the next several years. As one way to do this, the region is using technology to help make critical connections between job seekers, workers, education and training programs, and employers in D&HS and other strategically important business clusters. PipelineNC is a web-based “talent acquisition and career exploration platform” that went live in early 2010. This tool combines job matching functions with social networking features to help employers tap into hard-to-find talent and diverse labor pools including minorities and transitioning military personnel. PipelineNC enables job seekers to learn about the region’s most promising and plenteous jobs and the education and skills they require. It allows job seekers to do a self-assessment in order to identify suitable employment opportunities.
PipelineNC is an integrated web-based recruitment, job-matching, and workforce development tool that will likely boost the region’s efforts to prepare for and take fuller advantage of the potential opportunities arising from the expected growth in defense and homeland security related businesses.