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Economic Outlook

Jeff Rea’s Blog Post (Episode 1506)

November 12, 2019 (Updated: 4:13 PM)
Author Jeff Rea

About Jeff

Jeff Rea is currently the President & CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce. Jeff has over 20 years of executive leadership experience in our region while working in areas such as Economic Development, Business Development, City Planning, Marketing, and Local Government. Jeff has a degree from Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC and executive management continuing education work at the University of Notre Dame.

Welcome to my blog post related to our taping on our show about finding quality workers in a tight economy. I sure appreciate your support of WNIT, Public Television (PBS), and our show!

If you are not familiar with the show, we hope you’ll make plans to join us each week as we bring you stories about the people, companies and communitiesdriving economic growth in our region! If you want to take a look at some of our previous shows, their available at www.wnit.org/economicoutlook.

I know you’re wondering, are they talking workforce AGAIN. Yep, we are, we believe the topic is that important. Companies tell us it’s their chief challenge and the thing that holds them back the most. In fact, the problem is getting worse, or better, depending how you look at it. For example, last month unemployment reached a 50-year low. That’s right, the last time unemployment was this low was the year I was born. That was a long time ago. 

To help me better understand the current challenges and to take a look at what’s on the horizon, I tapped a long time friend, Greg Vollmer, the President & CEO of WorkOne to come visit and help us get some insight. Greg sits in a unique spot, he helps companies find the workers they need, and he helps workers find companies. His group is kind of like match.com, but for workforce, playing a key role connecting the dots. WorkOne serves St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall, Kosciusko, and Fulton Counties in Indiana.

We covered a lot of territory on the show, and I hope gave you some insight into the important work they do preparing young people for work, in attracting veterans, in skilling up workers, in helping professionals and unemployed new opportunities, in helping our older population re-enter the workforce. No matter what stage you are in the workforce spectrum, they probably have a program to help. And no matter your need as an employer, they have resources to help connect you to talent.

Work will change in the coming years. Greg shared some great data to help us better understand what work might look like and how automation might impact things. I enjoyed the conversation and hope you found it informative and helpful. I encourage you to look further into what they do. Each day they make a difference in the lives of many workers and the companies in our region.

Your feedback is valuable, feel free to reach out anytime (jrea@sbrchamber.com)  with comments, compliments, criticisms, story ideas. I’ll do my best to get back you as soon as possible. Also, follow-us on facebook, Twitter (Jeff_Rea), or at WWW.WNIT.org/economicoutlook for all the latest info on the show. 

Enjoy the show!