The Chamber has rolled out a new project – our 2017-2018 BizClimate Survey. The survey is envisioned as an annual effort to get feedback and insight from our members on their perspectives on the local economy, the regulatory environments they face and what support they need to ensure they have a qualified and productive workforce.
We asked a select group of business owners, CEOs, key executives and nonprofit leaders to complete a 24-question survey. The composite results provide excellent insight into the issues our business and community leaders are juggling.
Here are just a few of the findings:
- While 19 percent of respondents indicated they had subtracted jobs in 2016, one respondent noted that they would be subtracting jobs in 2017.
- The results confirmed that our workforce must be STEM-literate and highly skilled, with companies predicting nearly 300 openings for highly skilled workers in 2017-2018.
- While 70 percent of respondents indicated that Kern County has workforce development and educational programs that are aligned with their hiring needs, 40 percent noted that those programs do not have enough capacity to meet their needs.
- While the majority of respondents felt that state bureaucracies and the state legislature are on the wrong track, the local, pro-growth business climate was cited as one of the key reasons companies operate in Kern County.
We’re very excited to have this information and believe that it will allow the Chamber to better engage on public policy issues, substantively address our members’ collective view on the local economy and, over the long-term, drive solutions to the challenges our members face.