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Chaffee County employers are feeling the pain of a historic nationwide workforce shortage, resulting in suppressed company growth, limited operating capacity, and reduced economic activity. While we certainly aren’t alone in that reality, it is particularly pronounced here.

The Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has planned an Employer Workforce Discovery Roundtable to discuss the workforce shortage from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, 2022. The purpose of the roundtable is to identify the top pain points of Chaffee County employers, to inform future action by key collaborators including the Chaffee County EDC, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and  the Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments (UAA COG).

Housing is tight and materials costs are off the chart. Photo: Henry & Co./Unsplash

Presenting an overview of CDLE Programs for employers will be the Assistant Director, Pueblo & Upper Arkansas Workforce Regions, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Andrew Dalton.

The event will be held at the Salida SteamPlant located at 220 West Sackett Avenue in Salida. Follow this link to register.

Who Should Attend:

Executives or hiring-responsible parties from within Chaffee County employers, including EDC board and member companies, academic institutions and schools, local and county government are encouraged to participate. (Schools and Governments are themselves, large employers, in Chaffee County and are invited to attend in this context.)

To begin to address this employer need, the Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), in partnership with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and EMSI, commissioned a far-reaching new Economic Overview Report. This report highlights population growth trends, labor force participation, demographics, inbound and outbound migration, industry growth, and educational pipeline.

Some highlights: 

  • As of 2021, the region’s population increased by 10.1 percent since 2016, growing by 1,931.
  • The county population is expected to increase by 8.2 percent between 2021 and 2026, adding 1,728 additional residents. While this is below the growth rates expected in other central Colorado mountain counties, it is still a major influx for this county to absorb.
  • We are a county of working people. From 2016 to 2021, jobs increased by 8.3 percent in Chaffee County, from 9,006 to 9,750. This change outpaced the national growth rate. As the number of jobs increased, the labor force participation rate increased from 54.5 percent to 62.4 percent between 2016 and 2021.

With this and other insights, organizers are now seeking insight directly from hiring-responsible staff at local public, private, and nonprofit organizations at an in-person working session on April 19 to guide our strategy on this critical issue in coming years.

Follow this link to register.