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Finding Skilled Workers Is Focus of Chamber Lunch ‘n’ Learn

SPRINGFIELD — According to a Commonwealth Corp. report, significant gaps exist between the skills and education of the Massachusetts workforce and the labor-market demands of employers. While Massachusetts may have the most highly educated workforce of any state in the country, its labor market is aging out, and the emerging workforce is neither large enough nor well-educated enough to replace the retiring talent. As a result, employers are struggling to find skilled workers to meet their growing demands.

David Cruise, president and CEO of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County (REB), will discuss this issue and new federal and state policies aimed at creating a demand-driven workforce-development system at the Springfield Regional Chamber Lunch ‘n’ Learn on Wednesday, Feb. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at La Quinta Inn & Suites, 100 Congress St., Springfield.

“We hear all the time from our members that they need skilled workers specific to their industries, and the REB is at the forefront of this issue, working with state and federal leaders to create a demand-driven focus of workforce development,” said Springfield Regional Chamber President Jeffrey Ciuffreda.

Cruise will also discuss the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board created by Gov. Charlie Baker last year and its role in building a strong workforce system which responds to the labor needs of the region’s economy. The board is tasked with developing plans and policies with an eye towards investing in a skilled workforce, closing the gap that exists between available jobs and the skills of workers, and meeting the labor demands of the 21st century, all while recognizing and developing strategies specific to the state’s various regions.

Reservations for the Lunch ‘n’ Learn are $25 for members, $35 for general admission, which includes networking, lunch, presentation, and question-and-answer session. Reservations may be made online at www.springfieldregionalchamber.com or by e-mailing Sarah Mazzaferro at [email protected].

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