Business Climate, News, President's Corner, Workforce Readiness|

Todd O'Hair President and CEOLate last year, I was honored to be selected to join the US Chamber of Commerce’s Council of 100: an invitation-only committee of 100 Chamber leaders from across the country, representing state and local Chamber’s of Commerce. CCC100 is a professional development opportunity for members and an important tool for the US Chamber to identify emerging trends through the feedback we provide.  

As the largest business advocacy organization in the country, the US Chamber of Commerce has access to research, experts, and leaders in practically any field imaginable. Workforce readiness and the economic implications of the war in Ukraine were among the more fascinating topics covered.  No surprise here, but the workforce challenge is a national issue with nothing indicating a change in the trajectory. Nationally, there are 74 “workers” for every 100 job openings—a massive shortfall that when combined with demographics, spells a long-term, if not permanent workforce shortage. Technology, including robotics and automation, are among the large investments taking place today to address the problem. 

This reality also underscores the urgency for innovative education reform, positive business/education engagement and getting to kids at a younger age to educate and prepare them for the myriad of opportunities that exist today.

In Montana, business leaders tell us that employability traits are among the most problematic challenges when hiring.  Critical thinking, problem solving, knowing how to dress appropriately, timeliness and basic computer literacy are top gaps in the workforce today. Click to view more information

At the Montana Chamber of Commerce, we have a sense of urgency on this issue. Recognizing the headwind it creates for economic growth, we are increasing our focus on our Youth Entrepreneurs program and the existing network of 150 teachers to instill those employability traits in highest demand in the workforce today. Make no mistake, workforce shortages are here to stay. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the MT Chamber’s Youth Entrepreneurs program, let us show you how you can be part of the Montana solution. 

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