Update from Kelly Fuller, Workforce Director
The Columbus Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Foundation are pleased to launch this monthly communication for our members on issues and trends in today’s workforce. We are following the current and emerging local, state, and national challenges and providing resources on everything from hiring, retention, upskilling, and much more.

In 2020, we successfully moved from in-person workforce consultations to virtual one on one sessions with members, logging over 300 unique meetings; the continuation of our popular Experience series; the creation of a Thought Leadership library exclusive to our members; and the support of community investors who will help enable our work to connect businesses to every potential workforce pipeline in the Region.

As we strive to serve our members through those connections, we are championing:

  • Emerging talent in high school, college, and adult education communities
  • Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Columbus’ Refugee and immigrant population
  • Restored citizens

Each month, we will devote space to sharing how you and your business can participate and grow the strength of your own organizations through these valuable relationships.
Workforce Hot Topics
Top 3 Workforce Topics from December 2020

During December, our top 3 workforce consultation topics were diversity and inclusion, education and training, and hiring and onboarding.

What workforce issues are impacting your business? This valuable data drives the resources and solutions to address our members’ top concerns. Share your priorities with Kelly Fuller at KellyFuller@columbus.org.
Workforce Community Needs & Resources
Connecting to emerging talent, particularly high schoolers enrolled in Career Technical Education, remained one of the top 5 expressed needs from our member workforce consultations in 2020. Resources to connect to emerging talent are provided below.
Eastland Fairfield Career & Technical Schools
If you or your company would like to play a role in creating the next generation of skilled workers, you can volunteer as an advisor to programs at schools like Eastland Fairfield Career& Technical School. They are currently seeking advisory committee members for new programs including fashion merchandising, cybersecurity, aviation, and LPN/healthcare. To learn more, contact Christine Boucher at cboucher@efcts.us.
Columbus City Schools
Career and Technical Education of Columbus City Schools has been awarded an Expanding Opportunities Grant directed at students' and teachers’ growth. Career and Technical Education through this grant has an opportunity to expand our teachers’ professional knowledge through a “Summer Externship Program.” This program is an exciting opportunity for CTE teachers to be back in their industry content area and be a part of the work environment. This direct exposure allows them to see firsthand the changes in the industry that has taken place since entering the teaching profession, build a stronger relationship with existing or new stakeholders while gaining industry knowledge.  To learn more: please reach out to Celeste Lewis, Director of Career-Tech Education at clewis2@columbus.k12.oh.us or Jill Kellner, Executive Assistant for Career-Tech Education at jkellner@columbus.k12.oh.us.
Thought Leadership Library
Visit our Thought Leadership Library for information and better practices on topics including training, hiring, internships, culture, mental health, and more!

Our members continue to reach out in large numbers seeking information on and connections to interns as part of their workforce strategy. Our latest thought leadership piece, A Bridge to the Future, provides information to help you create a robust and successful program.
Government Relations
Holly Gross, VP of Government Relations

Holly Gross, Vice President of Government Relations, works closely with Federal, State, and Local elected officials furthering the interests of Chamber members. To request a consultation, contact Holly at HollyGross@columbus.org.

The Ohio House and Senate will begin committee hearings the first week of February and last week of January respectively. SB 1 was introduced and relates to teaching financial literacy in high school. Talent and Workforce remains a core pillar of the Chamber’s Public Policy Agenda, and we will continue to report on legislation within this category throughout the 134th Ohio General Assembly, and at the local and federal levels.
Upcoming Workforce Meetings and Events
Support the Columbus Chamber Foundation
Support the Columbus Chamber Foundation's efforts to create greater opportunity for the Columbus Region’s talent and workforce through job readiness and preparation for the critical roles that will help our community thrive. Your donation to the Columbus Chamber Foundation is a tax-deductible option to support our ongoing work. 

The mission of the Columbus Chamber Foundation is to improve the economic well-being of underserved individuals through enhanced access to workforce development programming and employment opportunities.
Thanking our Key Partners