The big discussion in business circles is finding qualified talent to fill open positions. The key word here is ‘qualified’. Many businesses in the Conroe/Lake Conroe area have openings for a wide variety of positions, but few capable and well-trained candidates to fill them. Adding to the challenge is the current generational change out that is occurring each and every day. As more and more Baby Boomers leave the workforce, more and more Millennials and Gen-Z workers are entering.

With the exponential growth of career training programs at the high school level, workforce training programs at the community college level and a plethora of degree programs at universities across the US, we end up with a highly trained workforce, but not necessarily trained for the positions that are open right now. The Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce together with the Conroe Economic Development Council, Lone Star College-Montgomery, Conroe I.S.D., Willis I.S.D. and multiple business partners are working together to help identify, hire, train and build the future workforce for our area with a Skills Gap Analysis study. The Problem: Boomers, Gen-X’ers and Millennials have been trained in different era; the ways of doing business that have been considered ‘tried and true’ when it comes to getting processes done are being questioned at multiple levels. The Solution? By understanding what businesses need today to analyzing trends in the marketplace, this study will help Conroe and Lake Conroe area businesses not only fill their current openings but look ahead and being able to anticipate future growth areas.

This influx of fresh eyes and hands means fresh, energetic talent is coming into the workplace and bringing a new perspective on getting things done! On the other hand, this is also presenting an interesting challenge. Some of these innovations and evolutions are in management and communication styles and some factor in technology advancements. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however – and can mean quite the contrary. For the veterans of business, these new faces are opening up dialogues about skills’ needs, training options, training methods and much more –  if management and ownership are willing to listen and adapt. Experimenting with new technologies and ideas doesn’t always mean passing the torch and being put out to pasture; with humility and courage, it can mean a whole new future for your company and a generous new demographic you perhaps haven’t reached. It could mean a whole new proverbial spark for your company’s fire.

And, whether its Gen-X, Millennials, Gen-Z or the upcoming generation of workers, by partnering together in Conroe, we’re creating a better environment for employers and those potential employers looking at relocating to our community.  We would love to hear how YOU and your organization are handling this change in the workforce…and how the Chamber can help!  Drop us a line!

By: Brian Bondy, President, Conroe Chamber