Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Region – By the numbers …

“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”  Dalai Lama XIV

A recent survey released by the Siena Research Institute showed some real good news – and bad news for Region when it comes to optimism and workplace issues. The survey is conducted across New York State to gauge CEO confidence and optimism and to identify issues that are hurting business.

First – the good news

CEO’s in our Region were the most optimistic of any region in New York State as they looked forward and this is indeed encouraging and will lead to continued job growth, if history bears true. This is fueled by the economic development in the region from Nano tech and the supply chain that services this business as well as the growth of small and mid-sized businesses.

And the bad news

Regulations are killing business and NYS is deemed to be most difficult to operate a business within. In the survey, only 28% of CEO’s said that they would remain in NYS if that had to do it all over again. That means 72% would not have a business in the State. It looks like the campaign and advertising strategy that NY is Open For Business needs some work. Of course, taxes continue to be a major problem and this has been the same for years.

And now, the concerns

CEO’s, in addition to citing taxes and regulations, are deeply concerned over the quality and preparedness of today’s workforce. I have heard from many employers who tell me that they cannot find the people they need to fill open jobs and this is very concerning.

But it goes deeper as this survey reported. In the survey, it was reported that 68% of the region’s CEO’s found that recent job applicants have fair or poor writing skills, and this is one level shocking but on another, understandable how this has occurred. With the advent of digital communication and specifically Facebook and Twitter, quality of writing skills – and spelling for sure – has suffered.

Other concerns they cited about today’s workforce were:

  • Poor Work Ethic
  • Inability to conduct effective verbal communication
  • Difficulty in following directions
  • Difficulty in listening

As I have said, we are not SmallBany anymore and our region is on the world stage. It is clear that educators, parents and the business community must address these issues or the lights could go out on the world stage.

While we should be happy for the optimism in the region and I am for sure, we should also be saddened and concerned over the state of our workforce. Knowing these facts is just the beginning – now time to do something about it.

And thank you for reading this. - Dan

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