Austin Chamber Seeks Hiring Input From Business Owners Austin Chamber Seeks Hiring Input From Business Owners


By Tony Cantu

Nov 8, 2018

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Business owners: The Greater Austin Chamber wants to hear from you with a survey aimed at identifying key challenges faced in identifying, retaining and developing talent to fill current and future jobs.

To that end, the chamber invites business owners to fill out a survey. The effort is in conjunction with Workforce Solutions Capital Area (WFSCA), partnering with The Graduate Network. To participate in the "Bridging the Talent Gap" employer survey by Dec. 7, click here.

"We've worked hard over the last two decades to achieve one the nation's lowest employment rates; but there is still plenty left for us to accomplish when it comes to upward mobility and improved economic status for the people that call our region home," the chamber's Senior Vice President, Advocacy and Education/Talent Development, Drew Scheberle said. "Through this survey, we'll have the opportunity to hear directly from job creators in a way we never have before on the challenges and roadblocks they face when it comes to keeping and developing their talent to fill job openings both now and in the future."

The chamber and its partners will analyze survey results to better understand how the business community can work with Austin Community College (ACC) to improve credential degree or certificate completion among adults with some college credit but no degree, officials explained.

The project complements ongoing efforts between the chamber and ACC, supported by the Lumina Foundation, to re-engage adults who are close to degree completion but have discontinued their enrollment. Lumina Foundation designated Austin as a national talent hub and has helped support ongoing chamber efforts to close equity and opportunity gaps by improving educational attainment for underrepresented and low-income residents.

The survey will also help support Austin's Master Community Workforce Plan by informing efforts between chamber partners and WFSCA to help unemployed and underemployed adults get the education or training they need to compete for open jobs and improve earning power, officials added.

"Recognizing the need to hire, retain and train a skilled workforce is a challenge felt by employers of all sizes in all industries, Workforce Solutions Capital Area is pleased to partner with the Chamber and The Graduate! Network on this initiative," Workforce Solutions Capital Area Chief Executive Officer Tamara Atkinson said. "We look forward to hearing directly from employers across our region, including chamber members, how the Austin/Travis County workforce and education community can better serve them."

Of special interest is discerning the breadth of tuition assistance programs offered by area employers, Atkinson added: "We are particularly interested in digging deeper into one of the lesser known benefits of companies: tuition assistance programs. These programs offer workers the opportunity to enter an entry-level occupation in a career pathway and gradually gain additional education and experience, all while working with the same employer. We are excited to learn what is working, what needs to be adjusted and what opportunities have we simply not yet explored."

Survey results will be available in the spring, according to chamber officials.

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