HOW ARE ST. LOUIS BUSINESSES FINDING SKILLED EMPLOYEES?
2012 ‘State of St. Louis Workforce Report’ reveals skills gap, ways to overcome challenges
ST. LOUIS – Although the employment rate has improved in the St. Louis region since 2010, a skills gap in the workforce remains one of the top challenges for the local economy, according to the fourth annual “State of St. Louis Workforce Report” developed by St. Louis Community College. This morning, a panel of local employers discussed how they’re identifying ideal job applicants and finding ways to overcome the skills gap to fill open positions.
“Employers must play a role in training new and existing workers with the skills needed to compete in the fast-paced global economy. In this year’s report, 76 percent of employers said they hired less experienced workers and trained them with the skills they needed,” said Rod Nunn, vice chancellor for economic development and workforce solutions for St. Louis Community College, who also moderated today’s panel discussion. “The skills gap is one of the region’s most important economic challenges, and I was pleased to hear from four employers today who are making important investments to get the right employees, with the right skills, in the right positions.”
During today’s discussion – attended by more than 400 business, education and civic leaders – representatives from The Boeing Company, Gateway EDI, BJC Healthcare and Gallus BioPharmaceuticals shared some of their talent acquisition and development solutions, including:
- Offering tuition remission and paid training benefits for current employees so they advance their skills and move up within the organization.
- Creating opportunities for professional development and a culture of continuous learning to increase employee engagement so workers stay with the company long-term.
- Developing peer-to-peer and mentor training programs to encourage the sharing of best practices in the company and reinforce a culture of continuous learning.
- Reaching out to students throughout different levels of education to encourage them to pursue careers in growth fields like healthcare and engineering.
About the “State of St. Louis Workforce Report”
The 2012 report can be downloaded at www.stlcc.edu/STLworkforce. Experts from the college’s Center for Business, Industry and Labor also blogged live from the event. (Videos will be posted on St. Louis Community College’s YouTube Channel during the week of August 13.)
Established in 1962, St. Louis Community College (STLCC) is the largest community college district in Missouri and one of the largest in the United States. STLCC has four campuses – Florissant Valley, Forest Park, Meramec and Wildwood – and annually serves nearly 90,000 students through credit courses, continuing education and workforce development programs. For more information about STLCC, visit www.stlcc.edu.