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Publisher's Note: Working Through Personnel Changes

SBJ Economic Growth Survey: The New Workforce

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Just a few short months ago we were talking about workforce development and the gross shortage of skilled labor, and it seemed to be an unending conversation. Workforce remains the front burner issue for many local businesses today, though the conversation has taken on a new tone. In the advent of COVID-19, it seems fewer businesses have the same urgency to hire in great numbers but are more determined than ever to retain the very best and to nurture a culture that will take them beyond the crisis.

This section and our third broad discussion of data collected by H2R Market Research, in conjunction with Springfield Business Journal’s 2020 Economic Growth Survey, focuses on a new workforce. In this edition, we are taking a closer look at how some business leaders in this community are prioritizing organizational culture and fit above training and experience when determining who they most want to represent their company and brand. You’ll read about key strategies for managing workflow with a leaner staff that also may be all or partially remote. One local leader shares best practices for staff recruitment and another explores the impact of affordable housing on talent attraction. Finally, you’ll hear from some of those most active in encouraging and supporting a more diverse workforce and creating a path for upward mobility among minorities in business.

Regardless of your industry sector or growth trajectory, Springfield businesses are all impacted by the change that surrounds us. It is our hope that this special Economic Growth Survey edition of SBJ will arm you with current data and leave you with a better understanding of some of the most timely and relevant workforce issues Springfieldians face in the post-COVID workplace.

*Wave 1 (collected Feb. 15-March 1) sample size 492, with a +/- 4.4% margin of error and 95% confidence interval; wave 2 (collected April 9-19) sample size 696, with a +/- 3.7% margin of error and 95% confidence interval

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