Vol. 1, No. 4  |  Summer 2016
July 7, 2016
On With the New!

July is a busy month for Taney County Partnership. In addition to new projects launching this summer, we've made several changes to our website over the past few months and are preparing to take our Workforce initiative to the next level. 

One thing I'm excited to share is our new webpage dedicated to the Workforce Development Collaborative! This page is complete with newsletter sign-up, digital copies of our latest issues and other info to help our community stay connected. Use it as a tool to share workforce news and information with your colleagues. Look for more development on this page in the coming months.

Happy reading!

Heather Hardinger
Programs and Communications Director, Taney County Partnership
Unemployment numbers in Taney County were lower in May 2016 at *5.3 % compared to the 2015 rate of 6.9%.  Highlights of the Ozark Regional Profile for the month show a slightly higher unemployment rate in Taney County than the rest of the region in addition to other economic indicators. 

Check out this month's Workforce Overview and the latest Taney County Cluster Mapping report.

 *Rates variable and subject to change
Workforce Survey Results

The results of the Workforce Survey taken in May will be released at the Branson Business Connection Luncheon on Friday, July 22. We will share an executive summary of the survey results and opportunities for the business sector to get engaged in regional workforce initiatives.

Registration is required! Please register in advance through the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

Programming Opportunities

TCP and BLACC Launch New Job Search Webpage

In a combined effort from the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Taney County Partnership, we are proud to announce the launch of www.taneycountyjobs.com - a new job search page and resource tool for job seekers and employers in the Taney County area!

This webpage encompasses the job search tool from the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber site and has an embedded Indeed.com feed to alert job seekers of additional opportunities. Area employers can use the site to submit new job postings that can easily be shared to social media, shared by phone or emailed to a friend using social share buttons on each listing.

Employers may post jobs to this page at no cost, and Chamber membership is not required, but highly encouraged.  Employers may also post digital job post ads to the page sliders for a nominal fee. Email the Partnership for more information about posting a job or submitting graphics for ad approval.

Branson Young Professionals
Are your young adult workers a part of local professional development activities? 

BLACC's Branson Young Professionals group  engages develops , and  empowers  the next generation of area leaders age 40 and under, providing opportunities for members to actively shape the future of the Branson Area and foster an environment that attracts and retains young talent in the community.

BYP members benefit by g aining valuable knowledge and insight for their professional goals, work to b uild business networks with other professionals and participate in opportunities such as Leadership Roundtables, Business Development presentations, and giving back to the community through volunteerism.

Contact  Emily Sutliff  at the Branson Chamber to register a Young Professional or become a Sponsor

Branson Smart Business Center at Branson Meadows

Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur needing work space? Look no further than the Smart Business Center! The offices at the Smart Business Center are designed to meet tenants' immediate needs and still provide ample space for growth and expansion.

In partnership with the  Branson/Lakes Area Chamber  of Commerce,  Taney County Partnership and  Commercial One Brokers, the Smart Business Center  is offering a place for young businesses to get started and established small businesses to grow.  Visit  www.thesmartbusinesscenter.com  for more info!

Hire Work-Ready Employees through the ACT National Career Readiness Program

It's a challenge most companies face: creating a robust supply of qualified employees. The ACT Work Ready Communities initiative is a proven model that gives employers access to a "work ready" employee pool while allowing job seekers the ability to demonstrate they have the skills needed for specific jobs.

The ACT National Career Readiness Certificate™ is the key to creating this win-win ecosystem.

An ACT NCRC® measures skill levels in three categories, as defined by the ACT WorkKeys® cognitive skill assessments:
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Reading for Information
  • Locating Information
Employers emphasizing the importance of workforce skill requirements is a crucial part of the Certified Work Ready Communities effort. Learn how your business can benefit from recognizing the NCRC credential when recruiting and hiring employees by visiting the ACT WorkReady Communities Employer page.

If your business recognizes the National Career Readiness certificate in your county's effort to become a Certified Work Ready Community, complete the  Employer Partnership Letter. Taney County is currently working on obtaining certification. You can view Taney County's participation data here.

Job Seekers can take the National Career Readiness test free of charge at the Missouri Career Center.
Keeping An Eye on Employee Retention

Businesses across the country are struggling with the lack of critical talent and an increase in skills shortages. According to Randstad Sourceright, spending on talent acquisition is rising, hiring managers regularly express their frustration with finding good workers and the C-suite wants to know why their business plans aren't moving forward. However, there is a low-cost way to recruit talent that intimately understands your company's business, fits in well with its culture and can hit the ground running. Where does one find this kind of talent?

The key exists within your own company - by utilizing and retaining talent within your current workforce!

Throwing money at the retention dilemma may seem like the easiest solution but it delivers the least amount of value to an organization. Beyond a monetary approach, there are many ways to win the hearts and minds of employees. They include:

Strive for a better work-life balance. This is a persistent issue that leads employees to part ways with their employers. Managers should survey staff to find out ways to achieve a better balance for them, what their wants are (within reason) to lighten the workload and what additional resources are needed.

Recognize their contributions. This may provide the greatest return in terms of employee engagement and retention. Millennials especially desire recognition of their value and contributions, so make sure to have a process in place. These programs require a small investment but have a big impact on the employer brand.

Benefits are crucial. A recent US study on the Affordable Care Act revealed that despite the availability of government-subsidized health insurance, most companies are retaining their health coverage to attract talent. Companies are also stepping up their benefits offerings such as unlimited vacation policies, subsidized childcare, on-campus valet services and many others.

Provide employees with more feedback. When given effectively, providing employees with more feedback is one of the best ways to demonstrate management's involvement in their professional development. 
However, managers will not only need to adjust the mindset towards giving and receiving feedback, but also that of the employees.

Offer training opportunities for professional advancement. The most progressive and successful companies are on the cutting edge of professional development training. One resource many have not tapped into is participating in a
Registered Apprenticeship program through the U.S. Department of Labor.  Taney County employers are currently using this as a training tool and it is available for any industry sector.

Does your company have a good employee retention program? Email the Partnership to share!
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