City of Pierre News

Posted on: June 29, 2016

Workforce Development Committee Outlines Barriers, Solutions

Workforce Development Committee Outlines Barriers, Solutions

Pierre, SD – Pierre business growth is being impeded by a workforce shortage; reliable daycare, marketing and encouragement of technical skill training might help solve the problem.

That was the message Laura Schoen Carbonneau, Recruitment Committee Vice-Chair for Pierre’s Workforce Development Council, delivered to city leaders at the Pierre City Commission meeting on Tuesday night. Schoen Carbonneau was appointed Vice-Chair of the committee by Mayor Laurie Gill last summer. Schoen Carbonneau, along with Recruitment Committee Chair Ron Baumgart, have spent the last ten months leading the recruitment committee through a series of discussions to identify workforce barriers and find ways to eliminate those barriers.

“We have more jobs than we have people to fill them,” said Schoen Carbonneau. “We’re really hoping that we have identified some solutions that will help attract, retain, and otherwise develop a more robust workforce.”

Schoen Carbonneau outlined the three largest barriers the recruitment committee identified. Those are:
• A shortage of quality daycare providers
• A workforce pool that is limited by burnout, work ethic, and substance abuse
• And a shortage of people seeking blue-collar employment
The recruitment committee is in the initial stages of pursuing solutions. Recommendations under consideration include:
• Exploring a community cooperative daycare
• Continuing outreach to Native American reservations
• Highlighting the importance of technical skills and the trade industry
The committee will spend the next several months exploring the feasibility of solutions or finding appropriate organizations to champion the solution.

Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill praised the committee effort and said, “The committee has done a lot of research and a lot of good work, but some of these solutions are beyond the scope of the workforce development council. As this effort progresses, we’ll be looking for partners who can help us realize some of these solutions.”

Mayor Gill established the local council last year. It includes a cross-sector of about 30 government, quasi-government, and private industry stakeholders tasked with recommending solutions to our local workforce shortage. The council consists of three committees –education, housing and recruitment. The housing and education committees are scheduled to provide similar updates at upcoming City Commission meetings.

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