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    Happening At The Chamber

    10/4/2021
    “We all recognize that there is a significant workforce shortage that exists right now not only in Indiana County, but everywhere across the country,” Hilliard stated.  “Our goal for this discussion was to focus on what issues we as a collective can address to prevent this shortage in the future.”

    The Summit identified that the quality of employee is still a key issue for most employers.  Hilliard stated that essential skills continue to be a focus for the Chamber based on this discussion.

    “In 2019 we developed a program called Indiana County Ready with each of our county school districts with the primary purpose being to enhance the essential skills of the individuals who are about to leave high school and enter either the next level of education or the workforce,” Hilliard said.  “This Summit has helped to reinforce this concept and has made the essential skills even more important.”

    The Indiana County Ready program is entering its 3rd year with Indiana County school districts and has already seen over 500 students become certified in essential skills.  Much of the discussion at the Summit also centered around allowing more younger voices to be heard in an attempt to better reach the next generation of workers.  Hilliard commented that the Chamber is using this input to help create new opportunities for these students.

    “Last year we created the Junior Chamber program to allow select students from each school district to take part in think tank sessions to help us identify the best ways to reach the next generation of workers,” Hilliard said.  “This year we will be using these students to help create a new social media group that will provide potential educational and employment opportunities for students.”


    The Chamber will be working with the Junior Chamber students to create a social media group that all Indiana County Ready students will belong to.  This group will also allow businesses throughout the community to post what internships, job shadowing, or employment opportunities are available for these students. 

    In addition to the Business Education Summit, the Chamber is developing a number of workshops designed to help better develop the skills of leaders and employers throughout the county.  The Edge program is in partnership with Parkhurst Business Solutions and the John Maxwell Group and will feature monthly workshops to help identify and work through the problems many businesses are currently having related to workforce. 

    “Retaining employees continues to be just as important as recruiting, and these workshops are designed to help human resource directors and employers to find new ways to better reach their individuals and become better recruiters and leaders,” Hilliard stated.

    The Chamber Edge program will launch in Fall 2021 with more information to follow.

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