I get most of my news via the Internet but this week I have been watching a lot of news on CNN and other news networks, and I am baffled by the events in Baltimore. I really have a difficult time understanding the lack of respect and utter stupidity demonstrated in our society, on what seems like an alarmingly consistent basis. But this is not going to be a soapbox for me to stand on. It’s a thanks giving.
I watched as representatives from the Baltimore Chamber of Commerce and their tourism advocates tried to convince a national audience the violence and mayhem being shown should not deter people from moving to or visiting their beautiful city.
And I thought, that is one tough sales job.
Then the screen showed citizens, young and old, rioting and burning the only drug store in their neighborhood where people could get prescriptions filled. The rioters inflicted pain and hardship on business owners, their neighbors, on themselves and their entire community by staining the image of a beautiful and very interesting city.
And I thought, thank God I live in Port Lavaca.
Location, location, location. It used to be the most important factor in locating a business but those days are behind us. The more appropriate phrase in the 21st century might be "workforce, workforce, workforce". The cost of not hiring the right people and having to go through the process time after time is both frustrating and costly.
The Port Lavaca Chamber of Commerce business retention and expansion program has highlighted a major concern of local businesses and that is attracting and developing a skilled, stable work force. Several factors have been cited including education, lack of public transportation, lack of housing options, and a generally poor work ethic have been mentioned repeatedly. The good news is the problem has been identified. The bad news is there is no quick fix.
The journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. Maybe that first step occurred during the Chamber's recent community breakfast featuring the director of the regional Small Business Development Center. Many business owners and leaders listened as the center's director described programs and resources available to attract and train employees.
Another step occurred this week as representatives from our regional workforce development partners accepted the Chamber's invitation to visit Port Lavaca. There was an informative meeting on resources to assist our citizens find jobs, regional training in a variety of careers, and ways to partner with our education and community leaders.
It's worth noting that in this meeting, the Port Lavaca contingency consisted of the City of Port Lavaca's Director of Economic Development, the Community and Tourism Director, the Calhoun County Independent School District Superintendent, and the Executive Director of the Port Lavaca Chamber of Commerce. Each of us has been in our post no more than four months and each of us recognize the importance of working together and partnering with regional stakeholders to provide this area with the workforce necessary for the businesses, organizations, and the Port Lavaca area to flourish.
People need quality jobs and employers need a solid and stable workforce. Bringing the two together is the purpose of the Chamber's job fair. We encourage anyone in the area seeking employment or career options to join us on May 12th at the Bauer Community Center from 10am-3pm. A group of local and regional employers will be attending and they are eager to seize this opportunity to meet, interview, and possibly hire their next great employees.
This event is free and open to all job seekers. The Chamber is offering this chance for area citizens to meet businesses and organizations who have a variety of positions to fill, so please, if you or someone you know is looking for work or to improve their situation, come join us.