Case Study:

College-Wide Emerging Industry Workforce Strategy


Higher Education, Workforce and Economic Development

Our Role

  • Market Research
  • Data Analysis
  • Strategy Formulation
  • Policy Analysis


The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) was looking to enhance southwestern Pennsylvania’s economic competitiveness by identifying potential high-growth industries and related emerging workforce needs. CCAC, through its Allegheny County Workforce Alliance, commissioned a study to strengthen their workforce development initiatives and to prioritize opportunities to affect human capital needs in the Pittsburgh region.


The Hill Group partnered with CCAC to conduct the study. The study brought to light the acute need for training programs in southwestern Pennsylvania that prepared students with skills and competencies beyond traditionally defined occupation requirements. The Hill Group’s research furthered CCAC ‘s role as a key connector between industry and workers and as a regional leader in preparing individuals for emerging career opportunities.

The Hill Group identified healthcare and life sciences, energy, and financial services and insurance as key high-growth industries for the Pittsburgh region. The greatest promise for growth in employment was located at the convergence of these industries with the manufacturing and/or information technology sectors. The study found that these “Nexus Industries” will require workers with skills that straddle both worlds, mixing a knowledge of the terms, concepts, and operations of the high-growth field with strong competencies in manufacturing and/or information technology.

As a result of the study, CCAC worked with employers and organized labor to identify enhancements to course offerings and to develop new training programs to meet the workforce needs of the high growth Nexus Industries.


Behind the Scenes

The Hill Group conducted both qualitative and quantitative research to identify, evaluate, and confirm high-growth and emerging industries and the skill sets required. As part of the research, Hill Group consultants conducted extensive interviews with stakeholders from private industry, education, trade associations, and economic development and public workforce entities.