CEO Kevin Perkey highlights impact of workforce development as keynote speaker.
Hosted by the Adams County Education Foundation and Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce, nearly 40 areas business leaders and educators gathered at HACC’s Gettysburg campus on Tuesday to share innovative ideas on how to best invest in our current and future workforce in order to contribute to continued economic growth.
Joined by Carrie S. Stuart, president of the Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce and superintendents from each of Adams County’s six school districts, SCPa Works CEO Kevin Perkey provided an overview of the regional labor force and economy.
“Our mission is to unlock talent to drive development of individuals and business,” Perkey said. “The South Central region is growing, so we need to invest in our workforce.”
As part of SCPa Works larger strategy to invest in workers of all backgrounds and educational attainment, Perkey emphasized “college may not be for everybody, everybody may not be ready for college at the same time.” Statistics show that 55 percent of employees in the South Central region are considered “middle skills” workers – that is, they have more than a high school diploma (such as on-the-job training, apprenticeships, or an Associate’s degree) but less than a four-year degree.
In addition, regional employers have to adjust to new technologies and the needs of workers. “More and more younger workers don’t want to work overtime hours,” Perkey said. “So employers are cutting back on hours and increasing the number of employees. They’re looking for more people with soft skills, like the ability to show up on time and learn quickly.”
As Perkey provided a backdrop of the regional labor market, business leaders and educators developed a series of possible solutions for the community to pursue. Ideas such as developing a comprehensive communications strategy for careers in manufacturing are just one of many potential strategies that Adams County business leaders and educators may pursue to develop a well-trained workforce of the future.
Read the full Gettysburg Times article.