Attract – Develop – Retain

Mike Van, Business Intermediary

I recently attended a talent symposium and the theme was Attract – Develop – Retain our regional workforce. It was sponsored by many of the local small, medium and large businesses that are all facing the dilemma of how to attract, develop and retain the present workforce as well as looking to the future.

The speakers represented Academia (High School, Technical Colleges, and Universities), Government (Local and State) as well as business owners and CEO’s. All the speakers were upfront and honest regarding the realization and understanding that no one is immune in the search for talent.

There appeared to me a more cohesive approach by all involved that we are not far from a talent crisis and that it is a must to work jointly to get action plans in place vs a continuation of just talk with limited intervention.

I was impressed with the speaker who indicated we must start creating an opportunity for students in middle school to explore careers rather than waiting for the later years of high school. I truly think this is something that should have been started 10 years back as it will take several years before we see the fruits of this move. Exposing the students to as many career opportunities as possible at an earlier age allows them to explore and shadow these career prospects.

If we remain a world economy which we will, the challenge and competition internationally will be fierce and continually change at light year pace. The action plans that come from these kinds of efforts are great for the local and national economy not to mention the communities they occur in. The efforts must continue if we are to remain a top producer and successful manufacturer for now and into the future.