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Blog Home > Archive (June, 2017)

The U.S. unemployment rate is currently 4.7%, nearly the lowest we’ve experienced in the last 50 years. In addition, the U.S. labor participation rate peaked near the year 2000 and, as more baby boomers retire, has been falling ever since. Ultimately there are just fewer people looking for jobs. Locally, this challenge is even more acute as our unemployment rate hovers around 4%.

In addition, 76% of full-time employees are actively looking for a job or open to new opportunities. The average tenure of an employee is now 4.6 years and dropping. Millennials actually clock in at just 2 years on a given job.

This perfect storm has resulted in one of the most challenging workforce environments employers have ever experienced. And unfortunately, these aren’t the only employment issues facing us today.

The “gig economy” is changing the face of work in the U.S. Currently around one-third of workers are doing part or all of their work from home. This number is expected to rise, with many sources predicting that 40% of our workforce will be freelance in the coming years.

We are no longer just competing for employees with our neighbors. More and more talented individuals will have opportunities to work for companies and live where they want, including southeast Missouri. I know several people living in our community and working remotely for companies outside our region.

Many people also cite the changing generations as a challenge. There’s much information out there on millennials. For instance, it’s reported that this generation has three times the number of narcissistic personality disorder diagnoses as the baby boomer generation. Conversely though, this is the most educated and tech-savvy group of workers we’ve ever known. Bottom line is this, millennials now make up the largest portion of our workforce and the things they value in a workplace are different than those before them.  

None of this is easy. Shortage of available workers, increased competitiveness for talent, changing views of work…businesses are facing workforce challenges they never imagined they would face.

Moving Forward

I think there are really two ways to look at this. First, what can businesses do to better recruit and retain workers in today’s environment?

There are many examples of businesses being flexible and creative in response to workforce challenges. Here are just a few:

  • Companies are paying more attention to creating attractive work environments. This isn’t just happening on the coast. You can find many examples right here in our community. A quick internet search will give you tons of ideas, but a word of caution: putting a ping pong table in the corner doesn’t change your culture. It takes committed and consistent effort to build an attractive environment.
  • I’ve talked with several companies that are changing the way they hire. Where they once searched for skilled individuals, many are now seeking to hire unskilled and train internally.
  • Companies are being forced to review their HR policies. For instance, many companies out there are moving to more lenient policies regarding unexcused absences, simply because they aren’t able to fill the vacancies. 
  • Some businesses have had success hiring ex-offenders who are coming out of prison. In efforts to reduce recidivism, the State will play an active role with any business who is willing to hire these individuals, many of whom are happy to get another chance and eager to show up and work hard. Here’s some more info on Missouri’s DOJ re-entry program: http://doc.mo.gov/OD/DD/MRP.php

There are many, many more examples out there. Of course, not every approach will work for all businesses. It’s really about taking a deeper look at the things you are doing and truly questioning what is critical and what is not. Then experiment. Depending on your industry, this may not be a completely solvable challenge, but I will say that I’ve talked with companies in most industries in our region that are not having problems finding and retaining good people. It can be done.

Second, there are a number of things the community is doing to help better train and prepare individuals for the workforce.

Many of our local educational institutions are well aware of the workforce challenges and they are taking important steps to help solve the problem. We’ve been in constant communication with area school districts, technology centers, community colleges and universities among others. And I can say without question that they’ve heard the business community loud and clear when they scream “we need better soft skills!” They are all devoting more time focusing on ensuring their graduates are able to function properly as a part of today’s workforce.

Additionally, the Chamber and other partners are working on several programs such as becoming a Work Ready Community, job shadowing programs with University students, improving the public perception of manufacturing jobs, attracting talent to our region and a community-wide effort to improve soft skills. Some initiatives are well established. Others are still being developed. Perhaps one of the more exciting programs recently is LaunchCode, a 20-week training that teaches students computer programming. Put on by Codefi, there were 18 graduates in the first cohort, representing a 47% graduation rate, which is very high when compared to similar trainings. However, the best way to show the impact of this program is to share one of the real stories from the class.

One of the students was actually hired into a full-time coding position before the class ended. Prior to LaunchCode, he lost his job and decided to stay home with his young child. His wife supported the family making only $900 monthly. This young man is now making more than $40,000 a year. This along is an incredible story, but I think it goes much deeper.  A local business was able to find an employee, trained locally, in an in-demand field, that will help the company grow. And when the company grows, there may be openings for more skilled employees. This is exactly the kind of work that will help push our community forward.

In order for our existing companies to grow and new companies to choose our region, we must keep improving our workforce. In fact, in a recent meeting with several site selectors who represent major companies in their search for new locations, they unanimously said that workforce is the biggest issue facing their companies.

All this being said, I’m extremely optimistic about our prospects moving forward. We in southeast Missouri are a hard-working people. We want to make our own way, carve our own path and we are anxious to learn and grow. With renewed focus on workforce and a better story to tell about our community, the future is very bright.   

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Taylor Laws has joined the Cape Chamber as the Marketing and Communications Specialist. Laws graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in May 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in public relations. During her final undergraduate semester, Laws served as the marketing intern with the Cape Chamber.

With the launch of fresh branding and the implementation of Laws’ new role, the Cape Chamber will share consistent messages with improvements in both clarity and brevity.

"We couldn't be more thrilled to have Taylor join our team," said Shad Burner, Vice President of Business Development. "Through her internship, we found Taylor to be an effective communicator who has already added tremendous value to our team. We are eager to see what she brings to the Cape Chamber moving forward." 

Laws said: “I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to join the Cape Chamber team full-time. As the intern, I witnessed first-hand the dedication the Chamber has for the development of our region, and in seeing this, I am certain there is nowhere else I would rather start my career.”

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From Pain of Poverty to Purpose and Prosperity: Self-Made Entrepreneur’s New Book Reveals 10 Hacks To transform Your Life

Malcolm McCrae, A.K.A. Airbrush Assassin, is an established artist, author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. Malcolm travels the world sharing his message of living, creating and inspiring with teachers, artists and students as well as entrepreneurs, institutions and corporations. His latest book, The Art of Success: 10 Steps To transform Your Life, is a “survival guide” for readers to create their personal path to success. The Art of Success is available through amazon.com beginning June 13, 2013.

In his book readers are guided by Malcolm’s unique perspective as well as those of his mentors and role models. The 10 Steps to Transform Your Life - Passion, Vision, Successful Mindset, Value, Mentorship, Courage, Goals, Consistency, Entrepreneurship, Leadership - includes the tools or “hacks” to incorporate them into one’s life. Readers of The Art of Success are encouraged to use this book to ignite their passion, create their success and transform their lives.

In 2013, Malcolm published his memoir “To Live, To Create, To Inspire; How Art Saved My Life”, taking readers on a journey with his inspiring and empowering story. He describes his ordeal from sleeping in abandoned buildings in the unforgiving Ohio winters to creating a six figure income. The book provides a portrait of who he is as an artist, entrepreneur and visionary, as well as an intimate view of him as a person.

McCrae says, “I made a conscious effort to commit myself to create resources that would help instruct and inspire the next generation of dreamers, creatives and entrepreneurs and the book is the latest installment”. See Malcolm’s art, books, seminars, training, and other work at www.malcolmmccrae.com.

For more information contact Brian Noto, 951-757-1038, bln@briannoto.com.

Author Malcolm McCrae Announces Book Signing, “Live” Art Creation and Auction to Benefit Young Life Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau

Join Malcolm McCrae, A.K.A. Airbrush Assassin, established artist, author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker as he kicks off the release of his latest book, The Art of Success: 10 Steps to Transform Your Life, with a book signing, “Live” art creation and auction to benefit Young Life Southeast Missouri. The event will take place at Codefi, 338 Broadway, 6th Floor, Cape Girardeau, MO on Thursday, June 22, 2017 from 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Malcolm will share his compelling journey from pain and poverty to purpose and prosperity that informed his writing of The Art of Success. In this book readers are guided by Malcolm’s unique perspective as well as that of his mentors and role models. The 10 Steps to Transform Your Life - Passion, Vision, Successful Mindset, Value, Mentorship, Courage, Goals, Consistency, Entrepreneurship, Leadership - includes the tools or “hacks” to incorporate them into one’s life. Readers of The Art of Success are encouraged to use this book to ignite their passion, create their success and transform their lives.

Malcolm has also agreed to produce a one-of-a-kind piece of art “live” as part of the book signing event. The completed work will be auctioned off at the conclusion of the program with all proceeds benefitting Young Life Southeast Missouri.

In 2013, Malcolm published his memoir “To Live, To Create, To Inspire; How Art Saved My Life”, taking readers on a journey with his inspiring and empowering story. The book provides a portrait of who he is as an artist, entrepreneur and visionary, as well as an intimate view of him as a person. See Malcolm’s art, books, seminars, training, and other work at www.malcolmmccrae.com.

For more information contact Brian Noto, 951-757-1038, bln@briannoto.com.

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United Way Relocates

The United Way of Southeast Missouri has recently relocated. They are now operating out of their new office: 1417 D N. Mount Auburn Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

 

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Event

2017 Family Weekend and Homecoming dates

Date

Family WeekendSeptember 29 – October 1

HomecomingOctober 14

Time

7:00 pm

Location

Southeast Missouri State University

For more information

http://semo.edu

Event Sponsor

Southeast Missouri State University

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Tim Hawkins

Event

Tim Hawkins

Date

September 10, 2017

Time

7:00 pm

Location

Show Me Center

Event Description

Family friendly comedian

For more information

http://www.showmecenter.biz//Content/EventDetails-5.aspx?EventID=2084

Event Sponsor

Show Me Center

 

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Event

The Best Years Active Living Expo presented by Chateau Girardeau

Date

September 20

Time

9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Location

Isle Casino

Event Description

The Best Years Active Living Expo presented by The Chateau Girardeau will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, September 20 at the Isle Casino in Downtown Cape Girardeau. Admission is free and open to the public. This lifestyle, health & active aging Expo will be a fun, informative and engaging day designed specifically for Baby Boomers, seniors, caregivers, friends, and family. Attendees will have an opportunity to shop at the vendor expo, interact with other seniors and attend sessions to learn new skills. There will also be live entertainment, free health screenings, and samples and the chance to win exciting door prizes. For more information on booth rental and advertising opportunities, call Donna Denson at 573-388-2751. For more information on the event, visit expo.semissourian.com.

For more information

expo.semissourian.com

Event Sponsor

Chateau Girardeau

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Event

6th Annual Blood Drive

Date

June 16

Time

12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Location

1 S. Plaza Way

Cape Girardeau, MO

Event Description

Banner Finance will be having their 6th annual blood drive at their office on Friday, June 16 from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

To set up an appointment, call Kathy or Amy at 573-332-0383.

For more information, contact

573-332-0383

Event Sponsor

Banner Finance

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Bow Wow Luau 2017

Event

Bow Wow Luau 2017

Date

July 15

Time

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Location

2039 Cape LaCroix Rd

Cape Girardeau, MO

Event Description

Busch Pet Products & Deer Creek Doggie Day Camp will be hosting their annual Bow Wow Luau at Deer Creek on Saturday, July 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be pup snow cones (and icy people treats), splash pools, doggie games, a pet and owner Tropical costume contest, and pet portraits with Elaine Rohde Photography.

For more information, contact

info@deercreekdoggie.com

Event Sponsor

Busch Pet Products & Deer Creek Doggie Day Camp

 

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Event

New York City Trip Presentation

Date

June 16, 2017

Time

4:00 pm

Location

Southeast HealthPoint 2126 Independence Cape Girardeau

Event Description

You're Invited! Experience the best of the "Big Apple” in this spectacular 5-day tour. From Rockefeller Center to Greenwich Village, New York City is a destination even the most seasoned traveler can enjoy. Spend four nights in the heart of Midtown, close to Central Park and Times Square. Take your seat and watch the curtain rise for two exciting Broadway shows. Ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. See the Empire State Building and Central Park. Enjoy plenty of free time to shop and explore this fabulous city on your own. Get ready to “start spreading the news!” Tour leaves April 5th for 5 nights. Southeast Health Auxiliary and 1st Class Travel will host a FREE TRAVEL SHOW about the trip: Friday, June 16th at 4:00 pm Southeast HealthPoint at 2126 Independence Cape Girardeau, MO The Travel Show will include detailed information about the trip itinerary, accommodations, inclusions and costs. 

For more information

To R.S.V.P. for the Travel Show or for more information about the trip, contact Shari Elfrink or Leigh Segraves at 1st Class Travel, 573-651-0088 or email leigh@gofirstclasstravel.com. Visit this site for more info: https://gateway.gocollette.com/link/817579

Event Sponsor

1st Class Travel & SoutheastHEALTH Auxilary

 

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