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Preparing Chippewa Valley’s Workforce

Posted by Christina on June 25th, 2015

The next decade will see a shift in Chippewa Valley’s labor force as the massive baby boomer demographic retires. A local initiative working to bridge this gap will start reaching out to area employers with emails requesting them to be a part of the 2015 Employer Skills Gap Survey.

As explained Scott Hodek, Regional Economist for the Office of Economic Advisors in the Department of Workforce Development, “The next decade will see an unprecedented tightening of the local labor force as the baby boomer generation retires – at a time where employers are already having trouble finding skilled workers in high demand occupations.”

As part of a larger regional workforce initiative for the Chippewa Valley, this labor survey was dispersed to area employers last week so they are able to effectively communicate future needs of the local labor market. The deadline for participation in the 2015 survey is July 10th. Current information on labor markets is generated from national or state data, which doesn’t show the true needs of Chippewa Valley employers.

The information provided by the responses of this survey will align the regional talent pool with the future needs of area employers. Summary of the survey results will be communicated directly with K-12 educators and higher educational institutions to highlight which areas of study are being sought by area employers. Survey results may also allow for employers to apply for state training grants (Wisconsin Fast Forward) tied to their specific skill needs.

Results from the 2014 survey can be viewed and downloaded from the Eau Claire Area Economic Development’s website.

The Regional Skills Gap Initiative was started by the Eau Claire Area EDC in the Fall of 2012, and has brought organizations across public and private sectors together. The goals of this initiative include enhancing the quality of employment and career data for students and teacher, and increase information about employment opportunities in the Chippewa Valley.

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