Idaho firm EMSI helps employers reduce workforce costs

EMSI has nearly doubled its staff in the past two years.

LEWISTON TRIBUNEMarch 21, 2014 

Economic Modeling Specialists Intl

Employees of Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. in Moscow settle into their new office on Jackson Street in downtown Moscow.

TRIBUNE/KYLE MILLS

A Fortune 500 company has an office in Charlotte, N.C., where electrical engineers keep leaving for better pay at competitors in town.

Instead of raising salaries, the answer might be to hire electrical engineers at company locations in other towns where the going rate could be $10 per hour less, says Andrew Crapuchettes, CEO of Economic Modeling Specialists International, in Moscow.

EMSI's ability to provide companies data that identifies solutions to workforce problems has helped fuel rapid growth within the firm.

It recently relocated from a 9,000-square-foot building to the 22,000-square-foot former Moscow-Pullman Daily News building in downtown Moscow. The new headquarters houses a staff of almost 100, about twice as many as two years ago, Crapuchettes says.

"Our data is considered industry standard," says Josh Wright, a spokesman for EMSI. "The federal reserve has used our data. USA Today, Forbes and the New York Times are looking to us for labor market data."

About 90 of the employees work in the Moscow office, which has capacity for 150 employees, Crapuchettes says.

The success of EMSI comes from a variety of factors. The acquisition of 75 percent of EMSI by CareerBuilder two years ago gave the business access to clients in Fortune 500 companies through its sales force of 2,000, Crapuchettes says. The change in ownership came at a time that companies are realizing that efficiently addressing labor issues can result in larger profits, he says.

That recent influx of business is built on a portfolio of products EMSI developed to save its clients money. Those products include tools that community colleges use to decide if they want to cut or add programs, software that helps students identify majors, and information that helps communities looking to land new employers.

When community colleges or universities are looking to offer courses such as nursing or welding, millions of dollars are at stake in equipment, curriculum and faculty, Crapuchettes says. For about $9,500 to $20,000 annually, EMSI will examine factors such as the demand that exists for graduates of programs in the area an institution serves and the likelihood of attracting students.

The software for college students, called Career Coach, improves graduation rates by helping students find fields that interest them and have good earning potential, he says.

On the economic development side, when new employers request thousands of dollars in incentives, EMSI can evaluate if those financial breaks will exceed the benefit provided by the jobs they will add.

As EMSI moves forward, staying in Moscow will be vital to its own hiring strategy, something that is recognized by Chicago-based CareerBuilder, he says. The company backed a seven-year lease on the new location.

New St. Andrews College, just across the street, provides a steady stream of hard-working young talent that's supplemented by graduates of the University of Idaho and Washington State University, Crapuchettes says. "It's a good spot."

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