THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT!
When I talk to members, potential members and people in the community about what the Chamber is doing and what our focus is I talk about events, business development, tourism marketing and promotion and workforce development.
The first 3 are pretty straight forward and easy to understand but when it comes to workforce development people don’t seem to get it. They may understand that it’s hard for businesses to find the right people with the right skills but they don’t always get the connection and the roles our local schools play in the equation.
There is a very good article in the recent issue of the Arcade Herald by Julia Ferrini that talks about Wyoming County’s Emergency Medical Dispatchers and how the county is working to hire additional dispatchers.
County Sheriff Greg Rudolph says that while Dispatch isn’t short staffed, there are currently 8 full-time and 4 part-time employees, there is still room for 4 more part-time positions.
Rudolph says that one of the best qualities a potential candidate for the position can possess is the ability to multitask and communicate with people (key to any workplace environment).
“That is one of the problems we face,” Rudolph said. “We have a younger generation that can run the computers, but are lacking in communication skills. We have an older generation that have the communication skills, but are lacking in computer skills”.
“What we need is a blending of those generations. It’s very difficult to find people with that combination of skills.”
As a Chamber of Commerce we have for years and will continue to advocate for our schools (high school and college) to work to prepare our students for the needs of the workplace with both soft skills (communication, the ability to work with others) and the hard skills (technological and trade).
This Wyoming County example is just a snapshot of what our communities will be facing in the future.