Cyber Talk Radio: San Antonio Economic Development Foundation's Latest Jobs Report

Bret Piatt, CTR Host and Sean Attwood, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation - Episode 140 of Cyber Talk Radio

This past Saturday, June 1st, episode 140 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Sean Attwood, Sr. Director of Workforce Management at San Antonio Economic Development Foundation to discuss the latest SA Works Jobs Report for Q2 2019. This report attempts to inform on the local hiring activities, the education levels, skill requirements, and wages associated with the top job postings within the IT, Manufacturing and Healthcare sectors.

We kicked off the first segment by Sean giving us a refresher about the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF), who they are and their mission. We last had SAEDF CEO, Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, on the show back in January 2018. SAEDF recently released its Q2 2019 Jobs Report so we wanted to have Sean dig into the data and walk us through some of the key findings. What are the main highlights from the report? Sean explained that the main takeaways include employer hiring patterns for San Antonio’s demand industries, added demographic information to the data, and the rise of digital job disruption. This report is the first to show an overlap in the skills needed for technology and manufacturing occupations. The industry-recognized certification for cybersecurity, CompTIA Security+, is included in the top five qualifications for manufacturing jobs in San Antonio.

What does SAEDF do with this data? Sean said that SAEDF shares the jobs report with local institutions and area community colleges to show what's on the rise with the local job market needs. Today, there are still about 160,000 higher education students in the San Antonio region, but we anticipate that number to continue growing as local public institutions are reporting their largest graduating class this year. Futhermore, research shows there are more people enrolled in San Antonio post secondary institutions than Austin. Regionally, San Antonio is more attractive for families due to the housing market and growing in the millennial market. This gives San Antonio a great advantage to other cities. University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is one of the best in the nation for its cybersecurity program. SADEF wants to build on that momentum. This creates an amazing talent pipeline for local high growth industries.

We keep talking about the local high growth industries, what industries are they exactly? Who are the major employers contributing?

  • SA Works selected the industries covered in the report, IT, manufacturing and healthcare, in alignment with SAEDF’s target industries and San Antonio’s highest growth industries.
  • IT in San Antonio is projected to grow at a rate of 10 percent in the next 5 years higher than the national growth rate of approx 8 percent.
  • Top five employers include USAA, Oracle, Accenture, United Healthcare and Booz Allen Hamilton. Actually, Booz Allen recently announced a San Antonio cyber expansion.
  • San Antonio has positioned itself to support IT job growth within large Fortune 500 companies with a presence in San Antonio.

Why are manufacturing jobs asking for Security+ certifications? In the manufacturing industry, embedded systems are everywhere and need to be secured. In today's digital age, most everything is connected to the Internet. The need for security is paramount and is becoming more of a standard across all industries not just manufacturing. Almost every company nowadays has a tech department dealing with IT and using software and hardware tools to improve their processes. The understanding of how a business's sensitive data is being stored and accessed is very important. Going back to hiring for these IT and cybersecurity related job roles, if hiring managers don’t think they will see qualified candidates, they won't post the job. Jobs with a cybersecurity focus are on the rise and there is a projected shortfall for qualified candidates. This needs to change! I challenge all local businesses to get more involved with local education programs, internships and other training organizations.

We look forward to watching the future growth of San Antonio unfold! Listen to the full episode replay to learn more about the new SA Works Q2 2019 Jobs Report.

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