Are you up at night worrying about how to find skilled candidates for an important technical position at your company? Or are you searching for ways to support those talented young applicants who want to work in Greater Oak Brook, but need assistance with transportation and housing? These are just several of the many issues the Chamber’s Talented Workforce Committee has addressed over the past year.
The Committee has learned about the critical skills gaps local employers are struggling to fill, the changes our State’s educational system is going through and emerging K-12 model curriculum, and how our area higher education institutions are addressing skills gaps and providing remedial support for students as they enter college. The Committee has also worked to identify ways to more effectively link employers with supportive programs at area colleges and universities.
“Too often, employers and higher education institutions must teach and train individuals who are academically, vocationally or otherwise unprepared to be in the workforce,” said Talented Workforce Committee Co-Chair Nora O’Connor. “This puts an unnecessary burden on businesses and universities to help them succeed, and results in additional costs and delayed performance for employers and post-secondary institutions. There must be significant improvement in how K-12 schools educate children so that they are better prepared when they enter college and jobs.”
In addition, the Committee has joined the Economic Development Partnership (EDP) Council and Young Business Leaders group to discuss how to expand housing, social and peer support for young professionals. The EDP has also initiated a new initiative, the STEM Bridge Partnership, which is a youth-led curriculum-based service-learning project that focuses on STEM learning and college and career-readiness for at-risk middle and high school students.
For information about the Talented Workforce Committee or the STEM Bridge Partnership, please contact Tracy Mulqueen at [email protected].