The FutureMakers Coalition partnered with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to conduct a poll of Southwest Florida Human Resource departments in early summer 2020 in order to better understand the COVID-19 issues and challenges affecting their current workforce needs during relaunch or within the next six to 12 months.
Sixty-three businesses responded to the poll. According to the results:
- Approximately 76.2 percent of responding employers reported that it is very likely or likely that hiring new employees is a priority during relaunch or within the next six to 12 months.
- Just over 84 percent of responding businesses indicated that it is very likely or likely that training existing or new employees is part of their strategies during relaunch or within the next six to 12 months.
- Approximately 44.5 percent of responding organizations reported that they are very likely or likely to currently offer or are planning to offer incentives or accommodations to existing or new employees to finish or earn a credential. One-third of employers are neutral (neither likely or unlikely) to offering incentives or accommodations to finish or earn a credential.
- Almost half (49.3 percent) of responding employers reported that they are unlikely or very unlikely to adapt childcare offerings or to explore new ways to meet the childcare needs of employees to facilitate a return to work.
The Human Resource Departments were also asked an open-ended question to identify the current, biggest challenge(s) specific to their organization’s workforce or talent needs. Their replies were then sorted into several broad categories. Approximately 36.2 percent of the responding businesses indicated that finding, hiring, and training a qualified workforce is their biggest challenge.
“Even during the current economic uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 health crisis, the workforce needs of Southwest Florida businesses are very similar to their pre-crisis needs: gaining access to a skilled and sustainable talent pipeline,” said Tessa LeSage, director FutureMakers Coalition. “Unfortunately, unmet childcare needs faced by returning employees during relaunch or in the next six to 12 months may be introducing an additional hurdle to the region’s employers.”
The full report is available by visiting https://bit.ly/30J09NC.
The FutureMakers Coalition understands that employers must draw from the region’s talent pool and focuses on changes to the system to connect the untapped workforce with the education and training to fill in-demand jobs by removing attainment barriers and creating a culture of career exploration and aspiration from an early age.
The FutureMakers Coalition aims to transform Southwest Florida’s workforce by increasing the proportion of working age adults with college degrees, workforce certificates, industry certifications and other high-quality credentials to 55 percent. The coalition has grown to over 300 FutureMakers representing business, education, government, nonprofits, philanthropy, residents, and students across Glades, Hendry, Collier, Lee, and Charlotte counties. Southwest Florida has been designated a Talent Hub by the Lumina Foundation in partnership with The Kresge Foundation and received a $125,000 award to support local efforts to increase educational attainment.
The FutureMakers Coalition encourages businesses to join and contribute to sustaining this community-changing initiative by visiting https://www.futuremakerscoalition.com or emailing Tessa LeSage at [email protected].