Workforce—ensuring the company and community are successful

By Kelly J. Brough | Aug 20, 2013

Workforce—ensuring the company and community are successful

By Kelly J. Brough

When companies from outside Colorado come knocking at our door, they typically are interested in just a few things about Colorado : What’s the business climate like, how are businesses impacted by taxes, and of course, how good is the workforce?

Some of these questions are really easy to answer, but a few of those can be a little more complex. For example, not only do we have one of the best educated, young, and healthiest workforces in the country, but it is also one of the most entrepreneurial and innovative group of workers employers will find.

Every CEO knows that their team makes the difference. And, by team we mean every worker in that organization. And, while we know that’s true, we also know getting the right team members on board and the right mix of a team is real work. Our best teams are very diverse: their backgrounds, their world views, their skill-set, their gender and race, their experiences (including those of us, well let’s say a little more experience J), all matters to the overall success of the organization.

And, most workers come from the community or the region in which the company is doing business. When a company is looking to relocate, they want to know that the workforce in the community they are considering can offer them the full range of employees. In the metro region we are:

1. A top region for 25-34 year olds who are considering a move

2. In the top three states for supporting innovation[ii]

3. The third most educated workforce in the country.

4. The leanest workforce in the country—with 21% of our adults being considered obese.

Colorado is very competitive in today’s market when it comes to selling our workforce. But we can’t accept these numbers and believe this is the best we can do. We know Colorado won’t maintain its competitive position if we don’t improve the number of kids graduating from Colorado’s high schools. That’s why the Chamber has supported significant changes and improvements to our K-12 education system. We also know that our current obesity rate in adults would have placed Colorado in LAST place in the country 17 years ago. We are gaining weight and it affects productivity, absenteeism and health care costs. We have to make changes if we want the next generation to be the workforce we know employers are looking for.

Our healthy, smart, innovative workforce is one of our strongest economic development tools. Each of us must do more to ensure it stays that way. Contact us if you are interested in working on either the Chamber’s education or healthy initiatives.

Numerous sources including Forbes, Sperling and Kiplingers

[ii] US Chamber of Commerce, Enterprising States, April, 2013

Colorado Health Foundation, 2013 report card