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On Air Staff and WPM Interns
Thu May 31, 2007
Businesspeople Get to Work on Workfoce Shortage
By Rebecca Huntington
Jackson Hole, WY – The Governor's Summit on Workforce Solutions convened in Jackson on Thursday to look for answers to the state's worker shortage. Now in its third year, the summit has a new name and a new mission: "Workforce Solutions." While past summits have focused on outlining problems, this year participants are tasked with coming up with answers. Among the problems they're trying to solve is a shortage of housing for wokers. The state has a proven track record of creating jobs and recruiting workers to fill those jobs. But once workers arrive in this state, they often have trouble finding a place to live, according to officials with the Wyoming Workforce Development Council. In fact, a lack of housing has even hampered efforts to build more homes. Construction companies are having trouble maintaining construction crews, making it harder for Wyoming contractors to bid on building projects including housing. At the two-day summit, participants divided into six groups based on geographic regions to propose solutions to problems from worker housing to immigration. The state has committed a hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars to run the groups for the next six months. Workforce officials say they are optimistic this new emphasis on regional problem solving will begin to turn the tide on the state's worker shortage.