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Ignore at your own risk

Posted by: Bernie Dagenais on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 4:00:00 pm

               Companies and chambers of commerce at the 2018 Talent Forward conference in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 30 made it clear that business as usual doesn’t work. The program subtitled “Workforce Challenges: Employer-Led Solutions” wasn’t focused on what governments can do, although there is considerable innovation taking place when it comes to employer-connected workforce programs at the state level.

                Research shows that employers will continue to face the loss of workers at the pace of 10,000 per day through 2029. What does that mean for McDonald’s, Amazon and Bank of America, all of which made presentations about their initiatives?

                McDonald’s is embracing its role as a place that hires people for their first job and provides training and tuition assistance as workers pass through on their way to a career. Not only is Amazon paying a minimum of $15 an hour, but the company trains hourly employees for in-demand careers with other companies as an added incentive. Bank of America works locally with innovative programs such as Year Up Philadelphia to hire students who have received a year of training for a specific job but lack a college degree that employers too often require.

                What was clear at the conference, which was hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Center for Education and Workforce, is that thriving companies need to invest in talent acquisition and training of existing employees to succeed.

                These are the reasons that The Main Line Chamber of Commerce has expanded its leadership programs and professional development programs in recent years.  It’s why a dozen employers participated through our Talent and Education Network last month when we made a special effort to attract diverse and nontraditional candidates from throughout the region to a Student-Employer Meetup held at St. Joseph’s University.

                Companies have to be proactive in attracting talent, particularly if they want to hire diverse employees who are reflective of our changing society. Employers will also benefit if they train the people they have for the jobs they need filled and because employees want to work in an environment in which they invest and learn.

                Main Line Chamber of Commerce member companies face advantages that others don’t in that we are now recruiting for the 2019 class of Leadership Main Line, which teaches leadership through a lens of community awareness and nonprofit involvement. Our Society of Professional Women, which recently announced its 2019 programming, offers valuable professional development while the TEN program is looking for more companies to get involved in training and interacting with future employees. Find our more at,, and or contact Bernie Dagenais directly.

                Together, we can make a difference for our region, our companies and our most valuable asset, our people.

               To read the entire November issue of the Main Line Business Monthly please click here


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