Talent & Workforce
Attracting, hiring, and maintaining a skilled workforce is the No. 1 concern among businesses and organizations looking to grow, especially as unemployment remains low. The Chamber works with stakeholders from the business and educational community to address this critical issue and build a strong talent pipeline to meet current and future needs of area employers.
The Chamber supports numerous efforts to develop talent by focusing on youth at the middle and high school level, exposing students to career paths for in-demand fields and creating a greater awareness of the skills and education needed to obtain desired positions. Programs in this area include 7th & 8th Graders Go To Work, Greater Ozarks Centers for Advanced Professional Studies (GO CAPS), Teacher Externships, Build My Future, and iCreate.
Retaining existing talent in the Springfield region is a priority, and the Chamber leads this effort through college outreach and The Network, a young professionals’ (YPs) organization. Founded in 2007, The Network is focused on engaging YPs aged 21-39, offering opportunities to build their professional network, advance their careers, promote civic and community involvement, and fill leadership roles. Network members also work alongside Chamber staff to give presentations on college campuses and distribute copies of student insider guide CampuSGF, both outreach efforts aimed at helping Springfield’s 50,000 college students understand what our community has to offer after graduation.
The Springfield region’s economic vibrancy and competitiveness for new business investment requires strong population growth. To help the community attract a quality workforce, the Chamber launched the Talent Attraction Initiative in 2014. Research-based and funded by the Chamber’s economic development arm, the SBDC, this initiative was designed to aid area employers in their own recruitment efforts. The website at LiveInSpringfieldMO.com, and a printed companion Relocation Guide, provides a one-stop-shop for those considering relocation. Proactively marketed, the website’s blog posts and video library highlight why the Springfield area is a great place to live, work, play, and learn.