Rising to the Workforce Challenges in the Chino Valley
It’s no secret that Chino Valley businesses are struggling to find employees. A simple drive around Chino and Chino Hills, and you can see the “Help Wanted” signs posted in front of a large percentage of our businesses.
Tay Ho Restaurant in Chino Hills and Tom’s in Chino, opened months after they anticipated because they could not find staff to work. Cannataros and Take Ur Seat made the difficult decision to shut down certain days of the week due to the staffing shortage.
Foothill Psychological Services said, “before the pandemic, we would get super overflooded with candidates and now it’s just crickets.”
Not only that, but even the employees businesses do find, are leaving quickly.
“People are not willing to commit to positions anymore,” Kehe Distributors said.
Vortex Plumbing finally secured an employee in their front office after having employee after employee show up for a few days only to quit without notice.
To keep employees, some employers, like Foothill Psychological Services, have had to substantially increase hourly wages to remain competitive and some, like Tay Ho Restaurant, have offered significant hiring bonuses.
FedEx Ground Chino is currently hiring for more than 100 open positions.
Even Chino Valley Fire is having a difficult time finding employees. Chino Valley Fire Chief David Williams shared that when he applied to be a firefighter about 20 years ago there were thousands of people that would apply for one or two spots. The last hiring opportunity was for approximately 8 positions and they received 150 applications and more than half of those didn’t show up to continue the selection process. Some positions have gone unfilled.
These challenges are impacting communities across the country by stunting the growth of these businesses and limiting the potential of our local economy.
To support our businesses, the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce implemented our Upskill Chino Valley program to solve these impending workforce challenges in our community.
It is critical that our community recognize these issues will be posing new and unprecedented challenges to communities for the next decade, and it is more important now than ever to confront these issues head on.
Through our Upskill Chino Valley program, we have received funding from San Bernardino County Workforce Development, Chino Valley Unified School District, and San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman to create opportunities for people to find job and career opportunities with local businesses to develop a strong local economy.
The US Chamber of Commerce recently shared there were “more than 6.3 million job openings and almost 40% of employers indicat(ed they were) unable to take on new business due to this talent shortage.”
Due to our Upskill Chino Valley work, I was chosen to participate in the US Chamber of Commerce’s Business Leads Fellowship Program.
The Business Leads Fellowship Program is a national program designed to help Chambers make sure their communities can navigate the workforce challenges which will plague communities over the next decade.
We also hired Renay Mehta as our Workforce Development Director to help businesses find skilled workers to continue to grow their businesses.
Since hiring Renay, the Chamber has posted 64 job openings on the Chino Valley Chamber Job Board (the Job Board can be accessed here), receiving more than 10,000 unique views. The Chamber has posted job openings to our community via our emails and social media. We have hosted 5 job fairs bringing in more than 1,000 job seekers to fill opportunities in Chino Valley businesses. We have helped close to 100 people find new jobs and careers in the Chino Valley and helped local businesses hire local employees approving close to $50,000 in funds to train and onboard new employees through San Bernardino County’s On-the-Job Training Funds.
Why are businesses having a tough time finding employees?
The Business Leads Fellowship Program shared that we entered the pandemic with a challenging labor market which only got more difficult through the pandemic. The contributing factors of long-term slowdown in population growth, Boomers exiting the labor market earlier than expected, and over 1.8 million women dropping out of the workforce to stay home to care for children have all exacerbated the problem.
In short, prior to the pandemic the U.S. economy was expecting a workforce shortage, and the pandemic sped that process up exponentially.
In addition to the workforce shortage, the pandemic reshaped how our economy functions. The workplace is no longer a fixed location: we are now in a work-at-home paradigm. Increase in online purchasing and spending has shifted consumers from the brick-and-mortar marketplace to online retailers. A more individualized service industry, specializing in niche offerings, has boomed. Automation and digital transformation continue to reshape manufacturing and associated industries.
According to the US Chamber, 65% of children entering primary school today will end up working in completely new job types that do not exist today.
To address these challenges, we must do a better job at connecting our businesses with our educational institutions. Our Upskill Chino Valley program is working to connect job seekers and students with businesses to develop their skills and competencies in real world applications.
Whether you are a business needing to find employees, interested in supporting our Upskill Chino Valley, or are looking for a job, please contact our team at ZWelborn@ChinoValleyChamber.com or RSMehta@ChinoValleyChamber.com.
The Chamber continues to evolve to meet our community’s needs and is here to help our local economy thrive.