The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news.
Our office recently organized two receptions for technical and professional people who have recently moved to the Yakima Valley. The events proved popular and gave us an opportunity to introduce our region's newest residents to our community and its leaders.
Gilbert Cellars provided an excellent location for these receptions. We had 8-10 of our newcomer ambassadors on hand at each function to help host our guests. Each party included a half hour orientation that featured Yakima Mayor Micah Cawley and experts on schools, health care and other community topics. The feedback from our guests was very favorable. They appreciated our program on the Yakima Valley and several newcomers wished they had known more about our "talent attraction" resources when they first hit town.
These parties for talented people new to our Valley are important. Many local businesses face ongoing challenges in terms of filling skilled positions at their operations. Our local schools and universities are great but they cannot wholly address our employer community's demand for technical and professional workers. As a result many local companies must recruit people from outside the area to fill key jobs.
Attracting professional people to the community can be difficult. There are quite a few jobseekers who have not heard much about the Yakima Valley and plenty more who have serious questions about moving to the region for a job. Local human resource managers often have an easier time selling a job opportunity at their company than getting their priority candidate warmed up to moving here. Our www.liveyakimavalley.com website helps in these situations by giving new or prospective employees detailed information about our communities and our tremendous lifestyle.
The website is a good resource, but having trained ambassadors and organizing welcome receptions is also critical. Connecting new residents to resourceful local people and providing informative forums gets people purposely plugged into our Valley. Local employers do not succeed if the talented workers they attract do not stay in the area.
New Vision's talent attraction initiative is an important component of our broader efforts to help local business grow and stay competitive. If we can help attract, grow and retain a skilled workforce within the region it will it will translate into prosperity for local businesses and our community-at-large.