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Press ReleasesSep 27, 2012

3 Rivers Workforce Investment Board releases latest report, “Does Age Matter?”

3 Rivers Workforce Investment Board releases latest report, "Does Age Matter?"

PITTSBURGH, PA, (September 27, 2012)  — Is age really just a number? When it comes to the age of the region's workforce, numbers mean plenty.

Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (TRWIB) today released its report, "Does Age Matter? Workforce aging and its implication for collaborative talent management in the Pittsburgh region," and identified a disturbing scarcity of skills for critical occupations in the Pittsburgh region.

The fundamental issue is this: The region's labor pool is growing older and expected to leave the workforce without an adequate supply of younger workers with the skills to fill the gap. This gap is expected to increase significantly in the next 10 years and impact the region's economic viability. More importantly, these older workers will take with them skills, knowledge, experience and relationships which will result in greater challenges for employers.

"It's imperative that we invest in the youth pipeline to replace workers aging out of key sectors including manufacturing, education, health care, and the trades," said Stefani Pashman, TRWIB chief executive officer.

"As a region, we need to do better to find innovative, creative and effective avenues for young people to engage in meaningful career exploration activities and pursue strategies to engage aging workers in the development of youth workforce pipeline."

Consider this: In January 2012, there were 25,000 unduplicated job postings for Allegheny County while there were 80,000 unemployed county residents; however, matching the locally available talent with the available jobs have proven to be a daunting task. Compounding the issue, if all workers aged 55 or older retire in the next 10 years, we would need to fill a quarter milllion jobs in the region's key sectors.

Other key findings include:

  • The region's workforce is older and has less younger talent than the national average.
  • Traditional goods-producing industries are older and age faster than the service-providing industries.
  • About half of those employed in manufacturing, education, health care, trades and utilities and financial services are 45 years old or older.

TRWIB recommends a four-pronged strategy.

  • Prepare the workforce pipeline with meaningful career exploration activities and a reinvestment and reimaging of Career and Technology Centers.
  • Help employers understand the effects of workforce aging and pursue strategies to engage aging workers in meaningful ways.
  • Finding creative means to re-engage older workers who have been displaced from the workforce.
  • Continued investment in the older workforce by encouraging mentoring and career succession planning.

The complete report, and findings, can be found at www.trwib.org.


Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (TRWIB) leads the development, integration, and implementation of a world-class workforce development system in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. As the leading knowledge broker on regional workforce trends, needs, and characteristics, TRWIB envisions a local economy that thrives with work-ready individuals, equipped with the diverse range of skillsets demanded by the broad mix of companies in our midst. Information is available at www.trwib.org.

TRWIB achieves its mission through a four-pronged strategy: 1) to lead and communicate the understanding of the labor market supply and demand; 2) Develop the youth pipeline by building a high quality system and providing pathway opportunities; 3) Connect work?ready job seekers to open jobs by strengthening the delivery system; and 4) Identify opportunities to implement systemic solutions to employers' workforce challenges


About Partner4Work

Nationally recognized for innovation, Partner4Work delivers workforce solutions for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County to ensure the current and future needs of businesses and job seekers are met. As stewards of more than $20 million in public and private workforce funds, Partner4Work oversees and funds workforce programs for adults, dislocated workers and youth; educates the community through robust labor market analytics; and implements innovative solutions to the region's systemic workforce challenges. Partner4Work bridges the gap between people looking for work and companies in need of talent. More information is available at www.partner4work.org.