Last week Semper Tek was one of ten small businesses in Kentucky to be invited by the Kentucky District of the SBA to participate in a roundtable discussion during SBA Administrator Linda McMahon’s visit to the District. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin was also in attendance. The focus of the conversation was workforce development.
Administrator McMahon has been traveling the Country to visit many SBA district offices and to meet with small business owners. Her visit to Kentucky was the first time she has focused her discussions on workforce issues. During her time in the Kentucky District, the Administrator visited a Chef Incubator in west Louisville, in addition to speaking with the roundtable participants at Jeptha Creed Distillery in Simpsonville, KY.
Administrator McMahon expressed that she and the President are aware of the workforce shortages in our Country. She acknowledged that all industries are effected, but that some are experiencing more substantial shortages than others. During the discussion Tara Brinkmoeller, Business Development Manager for Semper Tek, shared about the construction workforce issues from a regional perspective. We discussed how there is a shortage in skilled workers both to supply our General Construction field crews, as well as the crews of our subcontractor base. We shared about how these shortages effect our ability to sufficiently bid projects at times and staff current projects to meet required schedules.
Others firms present represented the retail and restaurant industries, manufacturing, medical day spas, and engineering industries. The common theme from all small business owners was the issue with finding willing employees with the right skill sets and issues of turnover after significant investment in training.
Governor Bevin acknowledged these issues in Kentucky’s workforce and shared about initiatives of the Kentucky Workforce Development Cabinet, which include Work Ready Communities, training dollars for employees in specific fields, and more. He encouraged everyone to visit HelpWantedKY.com to learn more about what the state is already doing to address workforce issues.
On July 19, President Trump issued an Executive Order that established the National Council for the American Worker. The Council has been established in order to provide a coordinated process for developing a national strategy to ensure that America’s students and workers have access to affordable, relevant, and innovative education and job training that will equip them to compete and win in the global economy. As part of the Order, the President has created a Pledge that communities, states, and businesses can sign to support the Council and show where they will create opportunities for American workers. During the roundtable event, Governor Bevin signed the Pledge on behalf of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, as did many individual firms, including Semper Tek.
Semper Tek was excited to have the opportunity to participate in the event and speak about workforce issues on behalf of our industry. Click here to read one of the articles from the many media outlets that covered the event.