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Time and again, Chamber members – like employers of all stripes across the country – tell us that the biggest challenge they face is finding and keeping quality workers. The statistics bear it out: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that two-thirds of jobs will require postsecondary education by 2018, but only 33% of Springfieldians have a degree beyond high school.
So if a company can’t find workers with the right education and skills on the market, clearly companies benefit from training their existing employees. And those employees are more likely to stick around with a company that helps them out—an Entrepreneur magazine survey says that tuition assistance was the second-most desired employee benefit, while a survey by EvoLLLution shows 95% of general sector business employers say ongoing education positively affects job performance.
Educational development also helps the economy as a whole. It’s estimated that a 1 percent increase in Springfield’s postsecondary education rate would create $225 million in economic return for the region.
So how does a company go about supporting employee education? If a small business can’t afford to offer tuition reimbursement, are there other options available?
Absolutely! There are a whole range of ways to support professional development. Whether it’s offering flexible scheduling options, working to create partnerships with area universities and institutions, providing educational counseling to employees or even just celebrating employees who earn new degrees and credentials, it’s all about fostering a culture of support.
The Chamber wants to help you learn more about how you can support your employees. You’re invited to join us on Thursday, June 8 for a free event highlighting how area businesses are helping their people achieve more. Representatives from companies of all sizes in a variety of industries will share their experiences and take questions about how they’ve supported a culture of education and professional growth. Be sure to mark your calendar!