Here’s to filling the labor pipeline

One result of an improving economy is an improving labor market that offers more opportunities to those looking for jobs, but also presents additional challenges to businesses looking for employees.

It’s heartening, then, to hear about the variety of efforts underway to fill the pipeline of qualified job applicants as well as the collaboration among the various entities involved in those efforts. A panel discussion at the latest Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce quarterly membership meeting featured administrators from Mesa County School District 51, Colorado Mesa University, the Mesa County Workforce Center and CareerWise Colorado youth apprenticeship program.

Work force development includes, of course, education in public schools and at CMU. But the Mesa County Workforce Center offers what was described as a menu of services to help not job seekers,  but also businesses filling job openings. The CareerWise program offers high school students opportunities to earn wages while gaining skills, industry credentials and college credit.

As is so often the case in Mesa County, collaboration makes the whole effort greater than the sum of the individual parts. Business owners worried about an increasingly shallow labor pool can rest at least a little easier.