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Ann Silver: Rethinking how and why we work with the Workforce Consortium (Voices)

Ann Silver

Commerce Matters

Ann Silver is CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce.
Courtesy photo

RENO, Nev. — The Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce is pleased to co-chair the monthly Workforce Consortium, established in 2014 for the purpose of creating more collaboration and dialogue among educators, job trainers, social service agencies, government entities and employers.

This Consortium, free and open to anyone interested in our current and projected workforce, includes professionals who are willing to be ardent and honest about both the challenges and opportunities in our community — and to candidly discuss the need for high school graduates to gain in-demand skills and how training programs can produce numbers of ready-to-work individuals.

We already struggled with an insufficient number of workers prior to the pandemic; now, many companies may look for a different variety of skillsets, such as self-motivating employees and supervisors who know how to lead teams across a screen.

This pandemic has required many companies to reinvent how they will work with their staff, customers, suppliers and colleagues. Many will redeploy their workers, reduce the numbers of employees or explore new and innovative ways to provide meaningful assignments via conference calls. Rethinking how and why we work will add new dimensions to our quest for outcomes and productivity.

Some companies may be forced to find ways to continue with scarce resources while advancing their businesses, and employees will need to find a reservoir of commitment and dedication to their jobs that might be essential to job security.

Those with leadership ability will need to be more quickly identified and screened for ingenuity and agility, rather than institutional knowledge and longevity.

As we struggle with record unemployment, potential downsizing, outsourcing and new office designs, the Workforce Consortium will be elevated to a new level of importance as its participants respond to the new, not-so-normal workplaces in our community.

Its participants will have a greater need to collaborate, communicate and cooperate with one another and to share information that can best address how to educate future workers, train incumbent workers for new talents, and motivate those who may resist change and innovation.

Consortium members from DETR, UNR, TMCC, CSA, JOIN Inc., Ridge House, The Eddy House, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, NNLC, Rise Academy, Nevadaworks, and over 100 other organizations, educational institutions and training programs are talking and trying to prevent unnecessary unemployment at a time when workers are most urgently needed.

Please consider attending on the last Thursday of each month. Email director@nnlc.org to take part in this significant, voluntary effort to move our economy forward by teaching, training and placing our residents in an economy that will rise or fall on their shoulders.

“Commerce Matters” is a monthly Voices column in the NNBW authored by Ann Silver, CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce. Reach her for comment at asilver@thechambernv.org.


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