*****Later in the month, a delegation representing your Chamber will be up in Tallahassee taking part in the Florida Chamber of Commerce 2023 Legislative Fly-in. It’s a great opportunity to address our regional business issues at the state level.
*****Topping the agenda – once again – is a qualified workforce. I hear regularly from many of you about the difficulty in finding the right and, more importantly, reliable employees. It continues to be a dilemma of the times and was a top item of concern cited by those who took our recent Chamber Business Survey. (Look for a report of Survey findings in next week’s E-Connection)
*****While there’s no silver bullet approach to tackling today’s workforce issues, we are taking steps to turn the tide. For the past decade, the Chamber’s Economic Development Committee has been working to connect employers with leaders in public and vocational schools and area colleges. Through these connections, we’re seeing success in educators responding to the employment needs of our businesses.
*****This, of course, does not solve the issue of reliability. Having a qualified employee who doesn’t show up to work defeats the purpose! These so called “soft skills,” – dependability, being a team player, social manners – go beyond book smarts. And it’s another concern we will be addressing with our legislators and other state leaders when we’re in Tallahassee.
*****Wishing you a great February!
*****Tom Morrissette, President