Vol. 2, No. 9  |  Third Quarter 2017
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Building a Strong Workforce in Taney County

After a relaxing Labor Day weekend, I am reminded how blessed we are to live in a country where we can celebrate such a holiday. Cookouts and spending time with loved ones on our day off is a luxury many of us are able to enjoy on this day, often forgetting its origins during the festivities. Remembering how Labor Day came to be and recognizing the impact that the labor movement has on our society today is certainly food for thought.

To refresh your memo ry,  Labor Day originated in the union movement and eventually became a federal holiday in 1894 to pay respect to working people who have struggled throughout our country's history to make our democracy vibrant and our society strong. The idea of a "workingmen's holiday," celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it.

From this labor movement
unions brought us the five-day workweek, overtime pay, the minimum wage, workplace safeguards, paid vacations, sick leave, employer-provided health insurance and other protections that were written into law. Things that many of us may take for granted in our everyday lives.

This September, I am grateful for the sacrifices of those who have advocated for worker's rights and the work that continues to take place in our workplaces today to continue to innovate and make things better for our employees. Thank you for continuing on this journey with us as we continue to tackle workforce challenges, making Taney County a strong and vibrant community.

Cheers to us!

Heather Hardinger
Programs and Communications Director, Taney County Partnership
SAVE THE DATE - January 30, 2018
Community Workforce Summit

Mark your calendars for the second-annual Community Workforce Summit 
on Tuesday, January 30! Last year, we brought you relevant programming from around the county and region relating to workforce attraction, development and retention and plan to deliver an amazing program with relevant information and dynamic speakers to Taney County employers, business leaders and community partners in 2018. Keep your eyes open for more information!

If your organization is interested in sponsoring the 2018 Summit, please email Heather by Nov. 1.
Unemployment numbers in Taney County were historically lower in July 2017 at *4.2 % as they were at the same time in 2016 at *5.5%.  Highlights of the Ozark Regional Profile for the month show an overall unemployment rate of 3.4% for the Ozarks Region.

Check out the  July 2017  Labor Market Summary of real time labor market analysis for the Ozark Region.
 *Rates variable and subject to change

2017 MO Young Professionals Summit

Ignite Branson is traveling to Columbia on  Wednesday, September 13  for the 2017 MOYP Summit !

Young professionals from around the state will gather for this one-day conference where we will learn how to make bold decisions, be able to identify opportunities and know what employers are looking for in their employees and potential employees.

Tickets are $50 and the Branson Chamber will provide transportation to and from Columbia for those attending. 

Fayetteville Hispanic Heritage Festival

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Fayetteville, AR!  The purpose of the Northwest Arkansas Hispanic Heritage Festival is to provide a unique opportunity for accessing the arts, culture and recreation of Hispanic/Latino Arkansans/Americans, while improving overall quality of life for all people in NWA, regardless of income, by celebrating the many contributions and history of this important population base. 

The Fayetteville Chamber partnered with Univision Arkansas, and several other community leaders, and the vision of the NWA Hispanic Heritage Festival became a reality.

Economic Development Update at Good Morning Branson
Thursday, Sept. 21 @ 7:00 a.m.


Next OnPoint Workforce Collaborative Meeting:
Tuesday, October 10 | 8-9 a.m. | Branson Chamber

Join area employers, service providers and community partners to 
to address and develop solutions to the county's Workforce Development issues. We meet every 2nd Tuesday of the month, 8 a.m. at the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. We always have hot coffee and sometimes donuts!

Want to be a guest speaker at our monthly meeting to share information related to workforce development in the Tri-Lakes area? Email Heather for more information on how to present at one of our upcoming meetings.

Community Leadership Visit - Wisconsin Dells in October:

Save J-1 Summer Work Travel & Trainee/Intern Programs
By now, you're undoubtedly aware of the challenges we're facing with regard to Summer Work Travel and other J-1 exchange programs. This Wall Street Journal article confirms that the Trump Administration is planning to eliminate five valuable J-1 programs, including Summer Work Travel, Intern, and Trainee programs which operate in Branson.

Our legislative leaders (Blunt, McCaskill & Long) are supportive of these programs and understand how valuable J-1 students are to communities across the country and in Branson. You can use these talking points to thank them for their continued support of these programs Find contact info for the House & Senate.

We will update you on the status of the programs as we glean information from our legislators and advocates in Washington.
Hurricane Harvey Shows the Need for
Employer Communication and Empathy
  An article by Workforce's  Ariel Parrella-Aureli

Disasters like the ones gripping southeast Texas, Puerto Rico and the east coast bring to light the responsibilities leaders have to communicate and empathize with their workforce.

During stressful times, companies need to be aware of ways to best communicate with their employees if technology is disrupted by natural disasters. They also need to have safety measures in place and make their workers feel comfortable while keeping the organization working.

Those in leadership positions have a responsibility to their staff to communicate effectively in times of turmoil. For example, receiving a message from the CEO or the head of HR can alleviate worry and show support and empathy.

CLICK HERE to learn more about how areas affected by natural disasters came  together during times of crisis. Natural disasters can happen anywhere! Discover ways your organization might prepare for an unfortunate event.
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We always welcome new voices and perspectives on economic development, workforce development and related fields! Contact us to find out more about becoming a contributor, providing feedback or suggesting a topic.