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The Impact of Education on Our Community's Future
October 2014

Hello and Welcome to At the Center.

As I speak, we are in the process of conducting our annual Membership Survey. If you have already filled it out, thank you. If you haven’t, I would invite you to do so before the October 31 deadline.

We really appreciate your feedback as it helps shape the way in which we serve you and position ourselves for impact throughout the Lancaster community.

Although the survey is still open, one of the trending results is your growing concerns around finding and hiring talent. In fact, for the third year in a row, this concern ranks as one of the top impediments to business growth.

From “skills-gaps” to failed drug tests, from work ethic to transportation hurdles there is no shortage of factors that impact our ability to successfully connect prospective workers with wanting employers. Yet, none of these factors are out of our community’s ability to fix and The Chamber is trying to do its part to help.

One, frankly, simple way to help is to bring attention to the issue and that is part of the goal of our Prosperity Indicators Project.

Launched in 2011 with our project partners, the Indicators Project is designed to track community trends on a variety of topics ranging from our economic engine to education to the well-being of people. Many factors in the report address workforce issues, as well.

For this year’s unveiling of the latest round of Prosperity Indicators at our annual State of the County event, we have decided to focus on one of the root causes of the workforce challenge: education. From school readiness to high school graduation and from higher ed attainment to credential programming, education is a –if not the—major factor in ensuring your business’s and our community’s future prosperity and it deserves everyone’s attention.

I hope you can join us for the dialogue.

Another upcoming program aimed at plugging the employment gap is our Pathways to 21st Century Careers on November 12. This program, held in partnership with the CTC and the Workforce Investment Board, is geared toward connecting students and their parents to the variety of job opportunities offered in Lancaster County. If your company wants to set up a booth –at no charge-- to showcase your career opportunities to our future workforce, call The Chamber.

And, don’t forget our always available on-line opportunities:

First, Career Connect – aimed at connecting students with local workforce experiences…and always in search of additional workforce experiences; and,

Second, our Job Board, visited by more than 4100 per month, this site offers free and unlimited job postings for member companies.

Finally, as with most anything, extra resources always help as well and, to that end, we invite you to support The Lancaster Chamber’s Foundation in this year Extra Ordinary Give by donating during the all-day November 21 event. All proceeds will be directed toward on ongoing efforts to connect the business and education sectors.

Rest assured, the list goes on, but suffice it to say, there is always more we can be doing. And that is exactly what we will continue to explore.

Until next time, stay informed, stay engaged and stay with us….At the Center.

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