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State of the Workforce Survey Results for Southwest Missouri Released

Michele Skalicky

The Ozark Workforce Development Board has released results from its latest State of the Workforce Survey.

The survey targets for profit and not-for-profit companies ranging from one to 40,000 employees in seven southwest Missouri counties:  Greene, Dallas, Christian, Webster, Taney, Polk and Stone.

It asks questions about things like the impact of governmental regulations concerns on hiring, hiring plans and how much employee improvement is needed.

And it looked at areas of growth.

"The survey showed that the industries with the most growth include healthcare, business services and IT.  Specific occupations in demand include business management; sales, service and marketing and healthcare in IT-related occupations," said Mary Ann Rojas, executive director of the Workforce Development Board.

About 60 percent of respondents reported having difficulty filling positions over the past 12 months, according to Rojas.

"There just aren't enough applicants in the pool to choose from.  Lack of work experience--50 percent of employers noted a lack of technical or occupational skills for open positions," she said.

The top three strategies that organizations use to recruit employees are to offer good working conditions, competitive pay and training.

More than 80 percent of respondents indicated that “most” or “some” of their current employees needed improvement in things like time management, leadership and problem solving.

According to the survey, 63 percent of organizations had recently hired graduates from one or more area colleges/universities and 89 percent rated the overall level of preparation of those graduates as satisfactory.

And 42 percent of those who responded expect their organization to increase employment over the next six to twelve months.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.