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Addressing Workforce Needs - 2018 Business Expo
October 2018

Hello. And welcome to At the Center.

More often than not, I come before you during these videos and talk to you about workforce. And, I'm at it again thanks, in no small part, to the fact that our recent Engagement Survey of local businesses found that Workforce is the number one area of concern . . . by far.

More specifically, our survey results had workforce as the first concern of more than 70% of businesses, with no other issue even coming close. This concern comes at a time when we are enjoying a record low unemployment rate; yet challenged by a record-high open position rate.

So, rest assured, we hear you. And we want to be certain we are driving our programs and events to address your most pressing needs.

To that end, we've been at the table attempting to address barriers to employment such as transportation and child care; we've been meeting with educators to align curriculum with the needs of the local business community; we've met with local elected officials to advance policy options that would create more options for training assistance; we've hosted job fairs to put you in front of prospective employees; and we're providing a host of on-line and in-person training opportunities to enable you to grow your own workforce.

But, given the significance of the issue, you can be certain we're nowhere near done in trying to be your partner in meeting the workforce needs of today . . . and tomorrow.

As an example, this year we've taken our largest networking and business-to-business event of the year - the Chamber's Annual Business Expo - and added a feature specifically designed to address your workforce needs.

I am pleased to announce that we will be hosting Kurt Trost, Talent Acquisition Manager for Manpower Group North America as a featured speaker at the Expo. Kurt's remarks entitled, "The Future of Workforce: Solving the Talent Shortage" promises to provide you with a national and local perspective on the issue and, concrete steps to address your workforce challenges . . . and, ideally, opportunities.

And while you come to the Expo to learn from Kurt, make sure you also budget time to visit our almost 200 exhibitors who are doing their part to make your "Think Local" choices easy! Some spaces for booths still remain, so contact the Chamber if you're interested.

These opportunities just scratch the surface on how want to partner with all of you to find solutions. Our fall events, programs and initiatives will also shine a spotlight on workforce and provide not only take-a-ways, but a chance to connect with your peers and build a network of on-going support. Be sure to check out our Weekly Digest found in your inbox every Tuesday for more details.

And, while you're looking for help, please let us be your resource to address the workforce challenges of our community.

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

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