In 2013, the Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board commissioned the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation to determine what industries would constitute the in demand, high growth sectors that would sustain career oriented pathways for jobseekers in Los Angeles County. The following high growth sectors were recommended by the LAEDC and adopted by the WIB as the 7 primary industries that should be emphasized when aligning our workforce, education and training efforts.
The Construction industry has and will continue to be strong economic driver in Los Angeles County in the next five to fifteen years. Construction is a multi-billion dollar industry in Los Angeles County, employing over 120,000 workers, a full 3 percent of all employment countywide. Construction is projected to be a top growth sector for the next five years, with an estimated annual growth rate tripled that of other sectors that are rapidly growing, including healthcare.
In Los Angeles County, both Transportation and Logistics are vital components, not only to the local economy, but to the State of California and the entire United States. Home to the Nation’s largest ports system, the busiest airport and the epicenter of American car culture, Los Angeles is the gateway for international trade, with goods and people moving through the Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, and the Los Angeles World Airport. Los Angeles County is also home to the third largest transit company in the nation, the Los Angeles Regional Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). These entities are experiencing growth and have significant construction projects underway.
Los Angeles County boasts a profound transportation and logistics sector that employs hundreds of thousands across many industries. All movement of goods, people and services are included in this broad Industry, which encompasses occupations as diverse as warehouse managers to delivery drivers and diesel engine mechanics. This industry is a core component of the broader Los Angeles economy and will continue to grow well into the near future.
Although much has been said about the decline of manufacturing within Los Angeles, the truth is the County of Los Angeles produces more engineers and has a healthy amount of manufacturing firms, maintaining a rich history and culture of strong manufacturing that continues to thrive to this day. In addition to the sustained aerospace manufacturing sector, contemporary Los Angeles companies are manufacturing everything from satellites, commercial aircraft, motion picture equipment, and medical devices, not to mention the strength of food and apparel manufacturers which have maintained a foothold in the region both culturally and economically. Manufacturing continues to drive economic growth within the region by bringing outside capital in from manufactured product exports, which in turn maintains well-paying jobs and careers.
Healthcare, which covers the broader health services sector, supports more jobs than any other industry in Los Angeles County. This trend will only strengthen as the older workforce enters retirement and begins to depend upon professional healthcare services.
Existing career opportunities such as certified nursing assistants, medical assistants and dental hygienists are showing substantial growth in new and replacement career opportunities; meanwhile new occupations, such as health information technicians, are emerging in the industry, and require an aptitude in information technology and as well as traditional healthcare competencies. This industry will continue to show significant growth within the foreseeable future and Los Angeles County’s workforce development system is poised to impact the pipeline of trained and qualified healthcare talent to meet the growing needs of regional healthcare employers.
Bioscience includes the emerging Biotech and Biopharmaceutical sub-sectors of biological sciences, each of which have emerged as lucrative sub-sectors in major metropolitan areas across the country such as San Francisco, San Diego and Boston. These sectors include medical device manufacturing companies, commercial and scientific biological products’ manufacturers and other medical related products and services that require an extensive value chain of diverse occupations to succeed. Although further behind other regions, Los Angeles County has a strong Bioscience community that is on the rise and is looking to tap into the vast and diverse workforce located here. Bioscience companies have been associated with a heavy top down labor force structure, dependent upon Scientists, doctors and highly skilled salespeople; however, biotech tech firms also employ various middle skill occupations within such areas as Quality Assurance, Regulatory Compliance and Clinical Research. With the interest and investments being made in a Biotech Corridor along East Los Angeles and CSULA’s Biotech Incubator, LA County’s future as a hub for biotech business and workforce looks promising.
The hospitality and tourism industry is growing and adding a substantial amount of middle skills jobs in Los Angeles County. Hotel managers, concierges, and individuals skilled in customer service will all be in high demand as Los Angeles builds more hotels, adds more luxury entertainment options, and invites and encourages interstate and international tourism to the region. New occupations will also emerge as the industry adapts to innovative technology platforms that will change how costumers find and explore their tourist and business destinations. Los Angeles is and remains to be a top international tourist and business destination. As such, the hospitality and tourism industry will continue to adapt to these growing demands and require a profound amount of new and replacement workers to do so.
As the professional services headquarters of the west coast, Los Angeles County boasts more professional service firms than any other metropolitan area outside of greater New York. Law, accounting, insurance, media design and marketing are just a few of the professional service employers that will also need to adapt to innovative technologies and an aging workforce while preparing to employ new and replace workers. New occupations and skills are required in many of these firms that can lead to career pathways outside of basic office support duties: IT certification, bilingual skills, and flexibility with work life balance will be in high demand for each of these professional services sub-industries moving forward into the next five to fifteen years. The well-paying, career pathways middle skilled occupations in this industry may not be as easy to define, but will nevertheless be as critical as this industry grows steadily in Los Angeles County.