The Economic Development Department hosted its annual fall meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 30, to discuss how to grow and maintain a successful workforce in Charles County. Influential community leaders from the public and private sectors participated in panel discussions to share their experiences with educating, training, and sustaining the workforce. The panels also addressed current workforce programs in Charles County that are helping to create a more well-rounded, local workforce.
“This year’s meeting was a booming success,” said Economic Development Department Director Darréll A. Brown, Esq. “We have received enthusiastic feedback from the business people who attended. They called it engaging and insightful and told us they came away with a lot of useful information.”
This year’s fall meeting was titled, “Closing the Workforce Gap,” and it held two distinct panel discussions: Workforce Development: Growing our Local Talent, which focused on highlighting programs within Charles County that educate, support, and retain the local workforce; and Solutions for Hire: Employers’ Workforce Strategies, which kicked off the conversation of how to find quality, competent workers and how employers and the public sector can collaborate to attract, grow, and retain local talent. More than 160 people attended the event.
“If we don’t simultaneously marry academia with industry as they both move forward, we can’t address the workforce gaps at all,” said Joshua Burnett, CEO and CTO of Virescit Tactical Systems, during the second panel, Solutions for Hire: Employers’ Workforce Strategies.
Secretary Kelly Schulz of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation was the keynote speaker. She spoke about the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program, which is a program in Maryland designed to prepare the workforce for careers by providing opportunities to apprentice for businesses looking to educate and retain valuable employees.
“Maryland is quickly becoming a national example of how apprenticeships can deliver results for the workforce system,” said Schulz.
The 2018 Charles County Workforce Study, conducted by the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson University, was released during the fall meeting. This study described how Charles County’s skilled workforce affected the region and how it could be an asset in attracting industry to the area. It can be viewed at www.MeetCharlesCounty.com.