The St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) announced that Michael K. Holmes, SLATE Executive Director, served on a panel of workforce experts at the 2011 State of St. Louis Workforce: Moving Forward Seminar. Organized by the St. Louis Business Journal for its third year, the event took place on August 10, at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Holmes joined a panel of 13 regional leaders representing education, business and workforce development to discuss the findings of the 2011 State of St. Louis Workforce Report. The report was developed by St. Louis Community College in partnership with local Workforce Investment Boards, Missouri Career Centers, Southwestern Illinois WorkNet Centers, Go!Network, BounceBack St. Louis, Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, and the St. Louis Business Journal.
More than 400 attendees became part of a discussion on factors affecting the region's workforce. Similar to 2010, this year's report outlined misalignment issues between job seekers and hiring companies.
On one side, a survey of 1,218 employers in the region indicated that:
- Two-thirds of employers in the St. Louis area said it was difficult to find workers qualified to fill vacancies in their offices, shops and factories;
- Employers said more than half of the job seekers they encountered also lacked critical thinking and "soft skills";
- A third of the employers said they field inquiries from people unwilling to learn the nuances of a new job.
On the other side, 408 surveyed displaced workers reported that:
- More than half have been out of job for at least a year;
- The average St. Louis area employee is older now than 16 years ago. In 1995, 14-to 44-year-olds accounted for 70 percent of the area workforce. Today only 60 percent of the region's employees fit into that age group;
- The current ratio of unemployed workers to job openings in St. Louis is 6.9 to 1. (4.5 to 1 nationally, according to the Economic Policy Institute).
To download the Report or for more info, click here.
Additional resources on STLtoday.com.
St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment