Momentum 2018 from SGF CityView on Vimeo.
2018 Momentum Survey Results Announced
SPRINGFIELD, MO – Over 430 regional workforce professionals were in attendance to hear the results of the fourth annual Momentum: State of the Workforce Survey Feb. 20 at the Momentum luncheon hosted by the Ozark Region Workforce Development Board and the Missouri Job Center.
The Missouri Job Center and the Ozark Region Workforce Development Board would like to thank all the luncheon attendees and especially the event sponsors: CoxHealth, City of Springfield, The Network, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Regions Bank, Central Bank, City Utilities, and Laborers Local 663. Without their support events like Momentum would not be possible.
Director of Workforce Development, Mary Ann Rojas, said “the real driver in having a strong workforce is the quality of the talent, that changes everything. We have been conducting our survey for a few years and are beginning to see some local trends.”
Director Rojas said that the survey data allows the Department of Workforce Development to develop tailor-made initiatives that benefit the workforce and the regional economy. The data obtained from the survey helps improve the standards of the local workforce, allows the Department of Workforce Development to anticipate needs of employers, and ensures economic vitality in the region.
Keynote speaker Amazon’s Career Advancement Leader, Juan Garcia, discussed the innovative programs that Amazon has implemented in their organization. Career Choice allows Amazon employees, with one year of employment, the chance to better their lives by attending classes toward a certification in careers like nursing, transportation, and others. Amazon covers 95 percent of the cost and classes are held in Amazon facilities. Employees who complete the program are then given a monetary incentive to continue onto their respective careers.
“We’ve been evangelizing about Career Choice, inviting other companies to partner with us, building pipelines out to various employers who some variation of this program might work or who might be looking for the new generation of Career Choice grads that we generate across America and 10 other countries,” Juan Garcia said. “We think it’s the future. We’ve built out a network across America…and if you think that some variation of Career Choice could help your organization, I want to hear from you.”
The number of respondents has continued to rise. This year 575 employers representing organizations of all sizes and industries responded. A number of trends can also be observed in the data analysis. Local hiring trends have stabilized and 97 percent of respondents said that hiring plans will remain steady or increase.
However, 66 percent of employers are having challenges filling positions an increase of 7 percent from 2017. The top three reasons that organizations faced hiring difficulties were lack of relevant work experience, insufficient number of applicants, and lack of relevant occupational skills.
Organizations responded to these problems by increasing recruiting opportunities, not filling the opening, and/or providing overtime to existing workers. A major takeaway from the survey is that almost 40 percent of employers in the region are not filling jobs and almost 30 percent stated that they are hiring less qualified applicants.
Skills and training was also a big concern for employers according to the survey results. Interpersonal skills and motivation were two specific areas that employers felt are lacking in the workforce.
“While it is very encouraging that we are seeing stability in hiring across all sectors and given the growth in the economy, the looming question of finding qualified applicants still exists,” Rojas said. “I believe the Momentum survey provides us with some very valuable information to address issues and it is especially encouraging to know we have the capacity to address them. There is work being done to enhance the quality of our workforce by exploring new strategies…and these strategies/programs come about because we choose to lean on each other and work cooperatively.”
About the Momentum Survey
Results from the 2018 State of the Workforce Survey are based on 575 completed online surveys of businesses, nonprofit organizations, government, healthcare, and educational institutions within the seven-county Ozark Region (Greene, Taney, Christian, Stone, Webster, Polk, and Dallas). Survey results have a +/- 4.2 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence interval. The Ozark Region Workforce Development Board (WDB) in partnership with the Missouri Career Center sponsored the survey. With assistance from the WDB and the Missouri Career Center, the survey was designed, administered, and analyzed by Opinion Research Specialists, LLC of Springfield, Missouri.
Visit the Momentum website to look at the entire Executive Summary.
For information about the survey results, please contact Madi Pate at [email protected] or (417) 841-3365. For more information about Career Choice visit the Career Choice website or email [email protected]