So…that was SOME banquet, am I right!?! I want to thank all of you who attended and our sponsors for helping us start 2020 off in true samurai fashion here at the Chamber. It was simply amazing and would not have been possible without all of our great sponsors. I want to give a special shout out to our awardees, Brad Stewart, Tamara Krizman, Tom Benton and Leroy and Patsy Arguello. Each of you have worked hard to make Grand Junction not just a great place to do business but one that we are proud to call home.
The Chamber’s theme this month, Workforce Development, also echoes what you the members told us last fall was your biggest headache, finding skilled labor. Elsewhere in this newsletter, you will find some interesting information on how the Chamber is convening community stakeholders to address your concerns and find solutions to your labor shortages, now and into the future.
We as employers have to be part of the equation and help ourselves as well as work with our community resources like the Mesa County Workforce Center, Colorado Mesa University and the School District. Right now, today, there are students in School District 51 that are looking for opportunities to do a job shadow or limited internship. Last year, Darcy on the Chamber staff coordinated close to 60 such experiences. And this year the demand is even greater. We can help put these young people on a future career path by taking just a few hours to give them a behind the scenes look at our businesses. If you are willing to host a job shadow let the office know and if you get a call from Chamber staff to host a student please say “yes.”
Internships with high school and college level students should be considered an extended on the job interview and an amazing opportunity by many of us to not only engage with a potential younger workforce but help “grow our own.” The Chamber, Colorado Mesa University and the Mesa County Workforce Center regularly host a learning session on how to structure internships in any size business. If you cannot attend, Darcy at the Chamber would be happy to work with you one on one.
Finally, the Chamber is pleased to be cohosting a four-hour seminar on February 18th, 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM with the Mesa County Workforce Center, sponsored by the Colorado Workforce Development Council entitled “The War for Talent”. In the simplest of terms, attendees will learn how to become a “hunter of talent” and an “employer of choice” from trainer and author Chris Czarnik.
I also want all of you to know that while we have a greater focus on workforce development in our communications this month, helping you identify, nurture and retain the workers you need to be successful is an ongoing effort for your Chamber of Commerce. Have a great February!