The Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Development Division exists to meet the needs of current workforce challenges while also planning and preparing for future workforce opportunities for Columbia, Boone County and the region.
State of the Workforce Employer Survey
If you’ve had a ‘now hiring’ sign in your window or on your website in the past year, you are no stranger to the workforce issues that our community is facing right now. In order to better understand these issues and potential solutions, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce invites you to take part in an important workforce survey.
Your feedback will help us identify the types of positions that employers need to fill and the corresponding skill sets of successful applicants. It may also provide local education organizations with information about skill sets that are lacking in current applicants so that education and training programs can be developed to make qualified applicants available sooner.
The Show-Me Careers program is designed to expose students to great career opportunities by bringing influential middle school and high school educators, counselors and administrators into advanced manufacturing, technology, health care and other targeted job sites where employers have identified worker shortages and a need to develop a career pipeline for area youth. The initiative assists educators in producing lesson plans that expose youth to career opportunities in the Columbia area.
The inaugural cohort will be approximately 25 Columbia Public School education leaders and will take place over the course of one week, June 6-10.
For more information or to find out how your business can become involved in Show-Me Careers, please contact Vice President of Workforce Development Mark Bauer at (573) 817-9115.
Business Champion Sponsors
Community Supporter Sponsors
The Bank of Missouri, Central Bank of Boone County, Emery Sapp & Sons, Shelter Insurance Companies, SOA Architecture
Workforce Development Division Origin
The Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Development Division had its inception in late 2019 after the 2019 Leadership Visit to Tuscaloosa, AL. During the trip, the visiting delegation was exposed to an impactful workforce development program which has served as an inspiration for the Chamber’s Workforce Development division.
The division conducted its first committee meeting in January 2021. In May 2021, a full-time staff person joined the Chamber team to assist the division’s mission.
Workforce Development Divison Goals
- Determine current and future work needs from the business community
- Research workforce data and numbers by industry and individuals
- Grow a skilled workforce driven by local business and industry needs.
- Connect the dots between education, training and what employers need.
- Determine the scope of current programs and organizations in the area that prepare the individual to meet local workforce needs.
- Convene and collaborate with workforce organizations, education, government agencies and others to build a workforce coalition
- Develop a holistic approach that will include strategic initiatives and tactics under each initiative.
- Work on state initiatives around the structure of our workforce development region.
- Develop responsive workforce development programs
- Assess opportunities for application of funding or grants for workforce-based initiatives benefiting the mid-Missouri area
- Advocate for policy solutions which impact effective workforce development.
How does the Workforce Development Division benefit Columbia?
The Chamber’s Workforce Development division identifies and creates solutions to the growing need for qualified human capital in the mid-Missouri region, thus strengthening the entire business community. It also assists in business retention and attraction, grows the impact of the education system in the area, and develops a path to prosperity for individuals.
How does the Workforce Development Division work?
The Workforce Development division fosters creative collaboration and convenes strategic partners in the community. The division seeks not to duplicate any program, but to unite workforce development efforts across community entities to create a robust and integrated workforce development system. The division meets regularly with federal, state, and local partners.
If you have questions about workforce development or would like to become involved, please contact Mark Bauer, Vice President of Workforce Development, at [email protected]
Workforce Development Divison Steering Committee
Chair – Dr. Jeff Lashley, President, Moberly Area Community College
Beth Alpers, Chief Human Resources Officer, MU Health Care
Brian Murphy, President & CEO, American Outdoor Brands
Cole Knudsen, Plant Director, PepsiCo Quaker Oats
Dan Soliday, CEO, Woodhaven
David Nichols, Senior Project Manager, Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc.
David Nivens, CEO, Midwest Computech
Ed Scavone, CEO, Central Bank of Boone County
Eric Morrison, Regional Community Bank President, First Mid Bank & Trust
Erica Pefferman, President, COMO Magazine & Columbia Marketing Group
Jeff Hayes, Human Resources Business Partner/EEOC Officer, Capital
Lisa Driskel Hawxby, Business Development Specialist, REDI
Susan Hart, Vice President, Reinhardt Construction LLC
Teresa Maledy, Board Chair, Cradle to Career Alliance
Rob Russell, Director of Labor and Workforce Development, University of Missouri Extension