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inRoads Research: Targeted Talent Recovery

Hampton Roads’ graduates can be found throughout the United States. These are individuals who already have a rooted connection with Hampton Roads. Attracting graduates who currently live outside of the region opens an additional talent pipeline to fulfill workforce needs for new enterprise.

The appeal of a talented, highly educated workforce produced right here in Hampton Roads is a compelling reason for businesses to locate here. Hampton Roads’ higher education institutions produce more than 22 thousand graduates annually. The region is a primogenitor of highly sought-after tech talent, producing well over 8 thousand STEM graduate each year. Moreover, Hampton Roads is one of the top recipients of transitioning military service members, who also feed into the region’s rich talent pool.

With 18 military installations, inclusive of two joint bases, covering all four branches of the military services and the Coast Guard, it is no wonder more than 8,000 military personnel transitioning to civilian employment choose Hampton Roads each year. For the enlisted, however, military movements are a major contributor to graduate migration, as noted by the 2019 Hampton Roads Talent Alignment Strategy.

Recalling Hampton Roads-educated talent helps mitigate talent leakage. The map [above] looks at social profiles for graduates who received an Associate degree or greater from a Hampton Roads higher education institution. The data focuses on cities with a mid-range profile density of between 1 and 4 thousand degree holders with current social profiles. Current social profiles are those which have been updated since 2018.

The conjecture is that larger concentrations of degree holders signifies greater efficiency for potential outreach but a potentially greater level of location attraction for which outreach efforts would have to overcome. Narrowing focus to cities with 1 to 4 thousand profiles is a heuristic approach to converging recovery efforts where the most value/return can be realized. Of the top 50 cities where degree holders migrate, 24 cities fall within the target range of profile density. Profiles within these 24 cities represents nearly 42 thousand individuals.

Knowing where mid-range densities of educated migrants are located directs efforts. Understanding what occupations types are held helps support targeted outreach. Data such as differences in Cost of Living Adjusted hourly wages, reveal a compelling value-proposition. A net COL Adjusted hourly wage greater than zero represents a wage advantage for workers in comparison to where they are.

A robust supply of locally trained workers allows local employers to quickly fill jobs opportunities with skilled workers. Demand for skilled workers is growing. Leveraging the presence of workers who already have a rooted connection with Hampton Roads will help fulfill Hampton Roads thriving economy of the future.

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