The importance of workforce development in economic growth cannot be overstated. A skilled and adaptable workforce is essential for businesses to remain competitive and for economies to grow. In today’s global economy, where technology and innovation are driving change at an unprecedented pace, it is more important than ever to invest in workforce development. It is a critical component of economic growth, as it helps to create a skilled and adaptable workforce that can meet the demands of a rapidly changing economy. The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce continues to work hard to connect these two important initiatives throughout the business community.

One of the foundational key benefits of workforce development is that it helps to reduce unemployment and increase employment rates. When workers have the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the demands of the labor market, they are more likely to be employed and earn higher wages. This, in turn, can lead to increased consumer spending, which can stimulate economic growth.

Workforce development can also help to improve productivity and efficiency within industries. When workers have the skills and knowledge needed to perform their jobs effectively, they are more likely to produce high-quality work in less time, resulting in increased productivity and efficiency. This can help our local businesses to compete more effectively and can contribute to the overall growth of the economy. To bring these opportunities to the Grand Valley, the Grand Junction Chamber along with the Mesa County Workforce Center, Business Incubator and GJMakerspace collaborated on the Workforce Innovation Program (WIP). WIP is a course designed by local manufacturers and educators to create a library of skills training for the manufacturing sector. WIP includes an online platform and evening and weekend lab hours to allow for flexibility. This program is grant funded and free to employers and participants.

Another benefit of workforce development is that it can help to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. When workers have the skills needed to develop new ideas and bring them to market, they are more likely to start their own businesses or to work for companies that are engaged in innovation. This can help to create new jobs and industries, further stimulating economic growth in our community. Entrepreneurship is vital to the Grand Valley and the Chamber has fostered the entrepreneurial spirit in our local students for the last decade. In that time, close to 100 student businesses were created and launched into our community through our Young Entrepreneur Program.

Not only does workforce development help improve employees’ lives, but it can also help to attract and retain businesses in our area. When businesses have access to a skilled and adaptable workforce, they are more likely to invest in the local economy and create jobs. This can help retain existing businesses, a critical role that the Grand Junction Chamber plays in our local economic development. The existing business retention and expansion efforts at the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce are another key contributor to ensuring a strong local economy. Since our Business Retention and Expansion programming was created in 2016, the Chamber has helped retain many local businesses and has assisted countless companies with shipping, workforce, and regulatory issues. There are several options available to help businesses. Everywhere from just listening and giving a bit of advice, to jumping in to help with workforce issues, access to capital, and even business personal property tax savings. Here in the Grand Valley, we use all of our economic development partners to help move the needle of our community’s economic success.

There is no question that workforce development is a critical component of economic development – it helps to create a skilled and adaptable workforce that can meet the demands of a rapidly changing economy. By reducing unemployment, improving productivity and efficiency, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, improving social mobility and reducing income inequality, and attracting and retaining businesses, workforce development works to create a thriving economy that benefits everyone. It is important for governments, businesses, and individuals to invest in workforce development initiatives to ensure that they can keep pace with the demands of the modern economy.

360 Grand Avenue | Grand Junction, Colorado | (970) 242-3214
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