This past year our CareerLink committee has been hard at work finding solutions for our workforce development needs around the Grand Valley. The members of this committee are our partners at the Fruita and Palisade Chambers of Commerce, the Mesa County Workforce Center, School District 51, Colorado Mesa University and CMU Tech, as well as many of our local employers around the community.

At the beginning of the year, the committee spent its first 3 months of work hosting employer roundtables so they could hear first-hand the workforce difficulties that they are having.

After these roundtables with our employers, we knew that it was time to set out a strategic plan to provide the solutions that our local business community is looking for. In collaboration with committee members, we spent the summer narrowing down four main issues that we as a committee want to focus on. Those issues are, navigating work-based learning, development of essential skills, how to retain talent in the grand valley, and access to supportive services.

To provide solutions to these issues that the committee wants to focus on, they will be creating an action plan for each issue that will be obtained through five goals and five measurables. This plan will make it easier for employers to know what resources they have at their fingertips so they can find the right workers for their perspective industries. This plan will be the main goal and focus of the committee for the fall so when the new year rolls around, we will be ready to tackle this issue head on.

The CareerLink committee that is headed by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce reminds us of why collaboration in a community such as ours is so important. We understand that everyone might have different worries and issues when it comes to workforce development which is why we focus on making sure that every interest has a seat at the table while also determining who is missing from the table that we should be including in our conversations.

Collaboration also allows for everyone to be on the same page as a community as well. Our goal is to avoid miscommunication that can sometimes be seen when discussing an issue as important as workforce development. It allows the ability to create a meaningful solution to the problems that we face instead of just a temporary resolution.

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