March 15, 2011
Early Warning Network up and running
The Cincinnati USA Partnership and the Regional Business Retention Committee (RBRC) are working diligently to improve the business climate in Southwest Ohio. To that end, plans are full-speed ahead for the Early Warning Network Program.
The Partnership’s Early Warning Network identifies companies that are at risk for leaving the area or shutting down. The Cincinnati USA Partnership was recently awarded a grant from the State of Ohio’s Department of Development to enhance retention efforts in Southwest Ohio.
The Partnership is pleased to welcome new staff members Debbie Dutton Lambert and Catherine Hudson. Lambert and Hudson joined the team on March 2 to support business retention efforts, specifically in relation to the Early Warning Network.
Lambert, formerly with Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health and a current RBRC volunteer, will serve as the project coordinator responsible for the overall implementation of the program. Her specific tasks will include developing the master list, establishing a marketing and communications plan and coordinating outreach to employers.
Hudson, a 2010 University of Cincinnati graduate with a degree in Communications and PR, will input surveys into Executive Pulse, create content for the website and help with day-to-day needs as they arise. Both are crucial to the execution of the Early Warning Network Program and the Partnership team is excited to have them on board.
Debbie Dutton Lambert can be reached at (513) 579-3162 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Catherine Hudson can be reached at (513) 562-8461 or email@example.com.
On March 3 representatives of the Partnership were in attendance at the 2011 Employer Forum presented in partnership by Employers First Regional Workforce Consortium and the Greater Cincinnati Workforce Network.
More than 50 employers were present, along with the following workforce providers: SWORWIB, Workforce One, GCWN and the Northern Kentucky Chamber. Fifty percent of the audience were companies with 500 or more employees including GE, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Frisch’s Restaurants and Convergys Corp.
The employer summit was informative and consisted of lively discussion about the tri-state region’s readiness to develop the talent needed to fill current and future jobs. The program also provided an opportunity for dialogue on current regional workforce initiatives, as well as an ability to offer input via interactive polling technology.
Priorities and needs were made clear during the interactive polling portion. Regional stakeholders revealed a new sense of urgency and opportunity for talented workforce. The audience was asked “what is the #1 priority for your company in the upcoming year?” Two themes emerged; finding new markets for our products and services and acquiring capital.
The need for talented and retainable workforce was made clear during the interactive discussion. In the room, 50% of employers are expanding their current workforce and 45% are hiring replacement workers this year. In total, 95% of employers plan to hire in 2011.
Fifty percent of respondents in the room rated their understanding of services provided by the publicly-funded workforce providers (WIBs) to be less than good. Yet, of the employers who plan to hire a large pool of regional workers, 53% plan to utilize WIBs and the Chamber to seek help finding that workforce.
Overall, the audience made the need for regional strategy and local tactics apparent. They would like to know what public resources exist and be informed about new ways to find them. Employers stressed a need for better listening skills and more face-to-face interaction from chambers of commerce and workforce providers. In all, companies are eager to learn more about gaining a talented workforce and retaining them in this region.