Chamber tip: workforce development.

Author:Handel, Greg
Position:Professional Development - Detroit Regional Chamber creates a Workforce Center to train employers on employee recruitment

With the economy still sluggish, thinking strategically is often the last thing on most employers' minds. It shouldn't be. Even with a slow economy, the unemployment rate is under 6 percent, a rate that was historically associated with much higher economic growth rates. Once the economy heats up employers are likely to be faced with long stretches of severe workforce shortages, similar to the situation prior to 2001, when unemployment hovered at about 2.5 percent.

This demographic situation is driven by an aging population. While the workforce is projected to grow slowly over the next 10 years, demand for workers is expected to grow more rapidly, resulting in serious workforce shortages. Whether it takes a few more months or another year, once the economy starts picking up steam, employers will quickly face serious competition for employees.

Rather than waiting for the mad scramble for workers, employers should be thinking strategically about what they can do to reduce turnover and create new recruitment channels. Many of the best employers develop career ladders within their organizations that offer training and advancement for those employees who have potential. It's a good time to explore options for upgrading the skills of your...

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