To meet the business community’s workforce needs, the Chamber has launched a Workforce Development Division. The Division’s mission will be to retain talent in Columbia while helping to build a strong workforce of tomorrow. The Division will conduct its first meeting in early January 2021.
“We have heard from our business community, the City, and the County, that this is a need. The goal is not to duplicate what is being done already in workforce development, but to collaborate and capitalize on what is being accomplished,” says Chamber President and CEO Matt McCormick. “Columbia needs a convener to help push our community forward. We are proud to fill that role.”
The Division’s strategic initiatives and goals include convening strategic partners and organizations working on workforce development, collaborating with the business community, developing workforce development programming, and collaborating with state workforce programs.
The Division had its inception in late 2019 after the 2019 Leadership Visit to Tuscaloosa, AL. Originally, slated to start in March 2020, the Division was put on pause due to COVID-19.
“While the Division’s goals may have been adjusted to fit our business community’s changing needs, this is not a reaction to COVID-19,” says McCormick. “This is a Chamber initiative created to serve as a catalyst for Columbia, Boone County, and the central Missouri region as well as all strategic partners within.”
Dr. Jeff Lashley, President of Moberly Area Community College (MACC), will chair the Division’s steering committee. More than 12 individuals from various industries including healthcare, finance, education, manufacturing, and construction, have already joined the steering committee. The Chamber plans to hire a full-time employee who will focus on the implementation of the Workforce Development Division’s strategic initiatives and goals.
The Chamber is excited for this endeavor as it will grow the Chamber, Columbia, and the greater mid-Missouri community. We will release more information about our steering committee and community partners in January.