On Nov. 7, the Colorado Mountain College (CMC) School of Business will host the 2022 State of the Labor Market Summit at Morgridge Commons in Glenwood Springs (815 Cooper Ave). A second summit will be held on Nov. 9 at CMC’s Leadville campus.
This free public event will highlight the dynamic workforce needs of CMC’s 11 mountain communities, and discuss how educational attainment can elevate businesses. Attendees will also have the chance to connect with local business and community leaders in a roundtable format.
Dr. Norma Guzmán Durán, dean of CMC’s School of Business, said the summit is a great opportunity for Roaring Fork Valley business owners to collaborate with other professionals and gain access to CMC’s extensive resources.
“This is to facilitate the economic engine and vitality for our communities,” she said. “It’s to facilitate knowledge sharing, connections and to help our businesses by aligning the workforce with the programs we offer at the college.”
The summit will begin with breakfast at 8:30 a.m., followed by presentations from the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) and Dr. Guzmán Durán.
Lee Wheeler-Berliner of the CWDC will present the annual 2022 Talent Pipeline Report, a comprehensive analysis of Colorado’s labor market. The report identifies areas of demand and opportunity, highlights features of the current workforce and suggests strategies that can balance the talent supply and demand. Colorado’s “Top Jobs,” with high annual openings, an above average projected growth rate and above average hourly wage, are also discussed.
After Wheeler-Berliner’s presentation, Dr. Guzmán Durán will share the results of the Business and Industry Needs survey conducted by CMC earlier this year. Based on responses from over 100 local employers, educators and government officials, the results provide a synopsis of the labor market needs specific to CMC’s rural communities.
“We want to find the trends that these employers are seeing,” said. Dr. Guzmán Durán, as well as gaps and needs in businesses. “One of those is technical skills and computer skills.”
As a solution-oriented summit, Dr. Guzmán Durán said the region’s educational attainment data will also be presented. Attendees will learn about CMC’s School of Business program and the certifications and courses that employers can utilize to enhance their businesses.
“We know that if we are educating our populace, that leads to credentialed and skilled workers who are workforce ready,” Dr. Guzmán Durán continued. “We’re providing them with information where they can see these are avenues to upskill, reskill, or next skill their current employees.”
Financial resources compiled by the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) will also be shared to help small business owners navigate grants and loans. An OEDIT representative will be available on-site for additional questions.
Once the data-driven information is presented, attendees will then participate in the experiential Career Pathways portion of the summit. Employers will form small groups based on industry to engage in a productive conversation about current needs, and ways that CMC can alleviate challenges. CMC deans and faculty members trained by Dr. Tony Smith of the CWDC will lead the groups.
Dr. Guzmán Durán said she is excited that more small businesses — especially those from the Latino community — are engaging with CMC, and that this summit is a great opportunity for Valley businesses.
“I have a huge heart for small businesses,” she said. “If anyone is on the fence about attending, I think they will be pleasantly surprised by the resources they may not have known about. This is an opportunity to showcase the programs that we have and the business courses that can help these businesses be successful.”
She continued, “We want to build industry partnerships with businesses, governments, nonprofits, school districts and all of the genres of our business sectors.”
Visit www.coloradomtn.edu/labormarket/ to register and learn more about the State of the Labor Market Summit. Dr. Guzmán Durán is also available at firstname.lastname@example.org to answer questions.
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