The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to growing workforce development efforts in the Grand Valley. Workforce development is a crucial part of keeping our business community healthy. Strong workforce development allows individuals to advance their careers, grow their businesses, and ensure future economic prosperity.
Our Chamber fosters several partnerships in the Grand Valley to ensure that we are offering as many opportunities to our members as possible. In our 2022 Strategic Planning Session, we identified some ways to strengthen our workforce development programming.
Our Chamber has been working with local partners and organizations to move the needle towards workplace development that places a greater emphasis on skills, as well as more flexible and personalized resources and opportunities. One of our long standing partnerships is with the Mesa County Workforce Center. This year, Lindsay Bullock was hired as the new Mesa County Workforce Center Director and she is an integral part of the workforce development efforts in the Grand Valley. When asked how she was looking forward to the next year in her role, Bullock stated, “The Mesa County Workforce Center is proud to be involved in so many collaborative efforts throughout the community. Anytime we can partner with agencies invested in the goal of economic and workforce development, we find success and innovation through maximized community resources. I am looking forward to growing these relationships in 2023 and I am excited to find new ways to support our community!”
The future of workplace development throughout this year and coming years points to a better measurement of skills, more effective skills-building through work-based learning experiences, and a hub where job seekers and businesses can find what they need and solutions that help our community grow its workforce. When talking with members of the business community, we hear numerous employers continue to struggle to find the right candidates for important, open positions while keeping the talent they hire. Through a skills-based approach, companies can boost the number and quality of applicants who apply to open positions and can assist workers to find more opportunities to advance internally, which, in turn, can help employers improve retention. This approach also helps communities by creating more meaningful job opportunities for a broader, diverse pool of workers.
As we work to increase awareness and create a hub where job seekers and businesses can find what they need and solutions that help our community grow workforce development efforts in our community, the Grand Junction Chamber houses a committee named CareerLink which convenes once a month and consists of business, government, and education representatives that are committed to workforce development. This committee houses an online resource, FindYourFuture, which was initially created to be a one-stop shop and a collaboration of local organizations supporting the youth of Mesa County in exploring career and education options for their future. In 2023, the CareerLink committee is planning to reorganize FindYourFuture to provide resources to help employers and job seekers with creative solutions to their workforce needs. Employers can support development as well as fill their workforce needs by offering job shadows, internships, and apprenticeships, all the way to using students to fill permanent employment. Employers who are interested in upskilling and reskilling their staff can find resources as well.
The future is not about the boxes ticked and hours studied, but the progress made and results achieved. Strong economies hinge upon our job seekers having the skills they need to secure meaningful, well-paid work. Our local programs help people succeed in jobs, entrepreneurship, and ongoing career learning. We remain committed to building programs to better connect people with mentors, training providers, and employers.