Demand for qualified project managers spans across diverse employers in all industries. Typing "project manager" into any job search engine yields multiple job postings in healthcare, manufacturing, utilities, construction, transportation, finance, engineering, information technology, education and more. A sample of key responsibilities includes:
Monitoring multiple projects concurrently
Drafting and adhering to budgets
Effectively communicating to stakeholders
Developing plans, timelines, and mechanisms for tracking
Applying quality assurance and control methods
In response to industry demand, the SAWDC, in partnership with WorkSource and Community Colleges of Spokane recently provided 20 workers from our local labor force with the opportunity to complete an intensive, three-day seminar in Project Management: Competencies and Structures. Participants brought with them several decades of unique professional experience and an appetite to hone new proficiencies. The experience was overwhelmingly positive and one key outcome was that 20 local workers have now completed half the required credits for their Project Management Institute professional certification. Many participants are actively seeking employment.
Project Managers Highly Valued at Nuvodia
Randy Kembel, president of Nuvodia, a Spokane-based IT Consulting firm supporting companies like Avista and Cancer Care Northwest, views project managers as the nerve center of their client work. "They can better see the big picture of the needs and desires of the clients and have a good working relationship with the technical folks in the organization," Kembel said with regard to how project managers have the ability to work with both engineers and technical staff to translate details to the customer in a relatable manner. Within Nuvodia, project managers make up almost 20% of the company's 85 personnel in Spokane. "We've long recognized that one of the ways to ensure a successful project and the delivery of that project is through the use of project managers," Kembel said.
In fact, Kembel noted that when the company was formed in 2011, from the acquisition of TROI IT by Inland Imaging, "project managers were at the table from day one." Staying on time and on budget with client work is their primary responsibility in addition to maintaining project notes and reporting out at project conclusion. Skills required by Nuvodia for Project Management include: organization, great communication, ability to prioritize, an understanding of being on-time and on-budget, and the ability to quickly pick up on technical details. Kembel noted, though, that the most important skill his project managers possess is the natural talent to ask the right questions and engage with the clients. With this talent as a foundation, the technical detail can be taught.