Annual Education Luncheon to focus on workforce development

Aug 3rd, 2015

Keynote speaker is Celina Bussey

The Aug. 27 Membership Update Luncheon on Education will feature New Mexico Secretary of Workforce Solutions Celina Bussey as the keynote speaker.

Realizing that our workforce is one of the key areas that will facilitate controlled growth in southern New Mexico it seemed only natural that we ask our state’s expert in that area to share her thoughts on the current status of our workforce.

We also hope to hear her plans to improve that area to enable the attraction of companies that will bring the higher-paying jobs our state needs to offset the loss of some of the government jobs on which we have become so reliant.

In addition to Bussey, we are fortunate to have additional speakers in New Mexico State University President Dr. Garrey Carruthers, Doña Ana Community College President Dr. Renay Scott and Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent. It is the goal of these three individuals to produce graduates that are capable of fitting in to both the current jobs in our community and the jobs of tomorrow.

The Chamber’s partnership with DACC and LCPS has resulted in the roll out of our Skill Ready Doña Ana (SRDA) program which helps businesses hire better and faster, leading to better fits with employees who then tend to stay in their jobs for a longer period of time.

Chamber member Tresco, Inc., has utilized this program for several years and saw a 50 percent decrease in employee turnover after the first six months utilizing the process. SRDA focuses on testing prospective employee’s skills to determine if there is a good match for the job.

The one area that is still a work in progress is impacting the “soft skills” or “essential skills” of employees. Soft skills, as they are often referred to, include things like being on time for work, working well with others and handling criticism.

Many organizations throughout the country are working on this topic and the Chamber, through its Workforce Development Committee, is looking for the proper mechanism to address this issue locally.