Charles County is home to a well-educated, experienced workforce. We have the data to prove it, thanks to a study done by the Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) at Towson University that will be presented at the Fall Meeting. When study respondents were asked why they choose to live in Charles County, many brought up the excellent school system in Charles County as well as the overall quality of life.
Talented workforce, good schools, quality of life – so what’s the problem?
The problem is that our employers are often struggling to find qualified, competent, willing workers to fill job openings. The reasons are many: competition from higher paying companies in other jurisdictions; lack of soft skills in many applicants; an emphasis on white collar occupations with no interest in high-paying trades; and so on. Just bring up the topic with a group of business people, and you’ll get employment horror story after horror story.
But that’s not what we are going to talk about at the Annual Fall Meeting. We’re going to talk about solutions. Or start the conversation, at least, because it’s going to take a whole lot more that 3.5 hours to do what we need to do as a community to truly identify the issues and come up with ways of doing things that lead to better outcomes. And it’s going to take more than one person or organization or sector. The answer to the workforce question involves the public and private sector working together to understand what’s needed and begin to implement realistic and effective workforce-related programs and initiatives.
We’ll start the discussion at the Fall Meeting with a panel discussion called “Solutions for Hire: Employers’ Workforce Strategies.” Panelists are:
- Stacey Cook, Vice President of Human Resources, University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center;
- Christopher Wilhelm, PhD, Customer Advocate for Science and Technology, Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD); and
- Joshua Burnett, CEO, Virescit Tactical Systems.
County Administrator Mike Mallinoff will moderate the discussion, which we hope will include a lot of participation from employers in the audience.
The workforce gap isn’t unique to Charles County. But Charles County can be unique in how we come together to address challenges and collaborate to bring about solutions. We hope you will be part of that discussion.
Are you ready to learn how you can build a stronger workforce? Register for our Fall Meeting! Tuesday, October 30, 8 am to Noon at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Center. Learn more at https://bit.ly/2Nh49wc.