Quality of labor results released, Region scores well

August 21, 2012 09:15 AM
The city of Galesburg and GREDA's recent collaboration with the Workforce Investment Board of Western Illinois and AMEREN has resulted in the release of the final documents from the Western Illinois Region Quality of Labor Survey. The survey's finding provides information on the region's workforce quality, skill level, availability and cost - based on current employers' perceptions and experiences.
Overall the region scored a 3.85 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being high. Gary Camarano, with the city of Galesburg's Economic Development Department commented, "I am pleased with the overall survey score, especially when you look at other regions of the country. I think it places us in a very competitive position."
Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza agreed, stating, "The overall quality of our workforce, our affordability and central location with good logistics makes our region a very attractive one to do business in. This is a plus for our existing businesses, and something we can accentuate to attract other businesses to the region. Creating awareness is one of challenges we face, but with good news like this it makes it easier to do so."
GREDA President Tom Schmidt added, "The information from the survey highlights the positives, but alerts us to areas where we need to take action. It also validates some of the actions the region has taken in the past, like establishing the welding program at Carl Sandburg's Center for Manufacturing Excellence. That program has been putting out qualified job candidates and could serve as a model for other training programs."
The survey covered 14 Illinois counties in West Central Illinois and was funded by the Western Illinois Corridor Council and AMEREN Corp. in partnership with the Workforce Investment Board of Western Illinois (WIBWI). Blanche Shoup of WIBWI said, "I have a good deal of confidence in the survey findings. Our overall response rate of 24% was high and adds to the validity of the survey. I want to thank all those involved for their hard work in making the survey a success."
Mark Blackburn, chairman of GREDA said, "I am pleased that the city of Galesburg and GREDA were able to work together on this survey - collecting the information for Galesburg and Knox County. I look forward to establishing additional collaborations with the city for economic development of the region."
The final survey document will be provided to all survey respondents prior to the end of August. For additional information regarding the Western Illinois Region Quality of Labor Survey or economic development programs in the West Central Illinois Region please contact Gary Camarano.


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