In recent weeks, local media outlets have been reporting the great number of jobs unfilled because employers can’t find workers with the necessary skills to do their jobs.
This last week CALMC held one of their regular membership meetings. The topic was Workplace Training. We had presenters from four public and private sector organizations talk about the workplace training they do. All of the representatives said the very same thing as those employers in the media expressing the need for skilled workers. The only difference was those at our meeting talked about how they actually do training to help workers maintain skills or update skills or obtain new skills. Some of the other reasons they said training was necessary were because of work process or technology changes, regulations, job vacancies and retirements and the need to reduce turnover was creating a need for training.
Each representative had different funding mechanisms to provide the training. At least one had legislative funding, all had funding from the organizations and one had some funding from the employees themselves. They all said it not only benefitted the employee but the organization as well.
One of the organizations represented was the City of Columbus. They not only train their employees but they also provide training for small business owners and citizens of Columbus. The return on this is creating a supportive environment for small businesses to grow and prosper plus create jobs that will help citizens. Training citizens helps them develop new skills they can use on the job or provide them with skills to look for a job. The return on this is a stronger community plus it provides a return for paying city taxes because the classes are either free or low cost!
Another great example of private sector organizations providing training comes from a community just east of Columbus in Licking County. The group was not at our meeting last week but the example is something any community could do and is a great success story. A group of employers got together to provide some pre-employment training. They all recognized the need for certain skills from the applicants applying for their jobs. The employers created a training program that would fit their needs and provide the applicants with some skills and expectations of the jobs. The return on investment for this group was a better skilled, more productive workforce who knew the expectations before they actually started. CALMC worked with one of the employers and there was a definite difference between the employees who went through the pre-employment training and those who did not.
This week in a class I’ve been teaching for a local community college, we were discussing employee training, financial resources for training and the return on investment. The industry in which the class comes under is going through some very significant technology changes so the need for training is very important and will continue for some time. Many of the employers within the industry also recognize the need and also realize the return that comes with keeping employees trained on the latest technology.
Demands on employers are constantly increasing and having employees to help meet demands is essential. Training does take some time and it does have a cost but the outcome can be so beneficial. Money from local governments could be available to help. In addition, training is part of that essential management function, planning. Looking to the future and addressing the needs of the future are part of the planning. Once those needs are addressed, training can be identified. Maybe it’s partnering with other employers or maybe it’s obtaining training dollars but workplace training can help and it does provide a return on investment. That’s been proven.