Help Wanted! The signs are everywhere. Businesses are changing hours of operations, offering sign-on bonuses, flextime, childcare assistance and other benefits. And what seemed to only affect certain industries pre-pandemic now affects almost all industries. Employers know first-hand that the workforce shortage is holding back economic growth.
Locally, we have held several industry-based discussions in recent months and the same workforce related issues seem to arise time and time again. A workforce issues survey echoed those sentiments. Our members reported: 95% of employers are currently hiring, 72% say new employees need additional skills training, 67% list “availability of qualified workforce” as barrier to hiring, while 90% are concerned about lack of key skills. In addition, only 27% of those surveyed currently collaborate with local colleges/schools.
Our Chamber is committed to helping area businesses by expanding our workforce programming and providing platforms for collaboration. Just this week, state and federal leaders met with our area manufacturers to discuss solutions. In the coming months, we plan to offer opportunities for business leaders to connect with one another on best practices, talk one-on-one with our congressional leaders on workforce related legislation and partnering with our local schools and colleges to keep our talent local. In addition, we will be working in unison with Grow Licking County, Licking County Works and Ohio Means Jobs Licking County to market job opportunities to areas with higher unemployment, local commuters and current students. This will be a multi-faceted approach and a Workforce Focus Group is convening to assist us with ideas and information as we move forward.
Please watch your email for upcoming events and programs that may benefit your business and organization. We will be expanding our Local Leaders events to bi-monthly so that we can connect more often and offer a platform for prosperity. In addition, all of our affiliates will be focusing on workforce topics and solutions.
Feel free to reach out to the Chamber team at anytime with questions or ideas, 740/345-9757 or check our website for event information and to post your job listings – www.lickingcountychamber.com.