Greater Ohio Workforce Board (GOWB)


Competitive Market Strategy & Analysis


The COVID-19 pandemic brought on one of the worst unemployment rates in the history of the United States’ labor market. With businesses closing at unprecedented rates and individuals leaving their jobs over health concerns or because caregivers because impromptu teachers, COVID-19’s impact on the labor market is undeniable. Years into the pandemic and with abating unemployment rates the labor market is not seeing the influx of returning workers as expected.


For this project, the Nativa team used a three-pronged research approach to gather data and insights from diverse sources. We employed O.Y.E., our proprietary social listening tool to monitor online conversations and discussions related to the topic of entering the workforce. Data was gathered from social media platforms, blogs, forums, and other online communities to understand the key concern, challenges, and questions that people have in the workforce over a 21-month period, to compare online trends in the workforce before the pandemic, and after the pandemic.

Next, we conducted surveys and focus groups to gather quantitative data and statistical insights about the barriers that people face when entering the workforce. The survey questions were crafted to gather demographic information and to elicit honest and detailed responses that would help us identify common patterns and themes. The focus groups provided participants with the environment to share their stories, opinions, and experiences. We used open-ended questions to encourage participants to share their thoughts freely and openly, and we analyzed the data from these sessions to uncover common themes and patterns.


By using a combination of social listening, surveys, and focus groups, we were able to gather a rich and diverse range of data and insights about barriers that people face when entering the workforce. We analyzed the data and identified several key barriers including, inadequate support systems, unconscious bias or discrimination, limited opportunities for growth, and a lack of experience. With this knowledge, we were able to develop targeted interventions and recommendations to address these barriers and help more individuals successfully enter and navigate the workforce.

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