Workforce Development Starts at the Top
Most employers we interact with agree, sustainability of the local workforce is a top priority for their ongoing success in Garland. As many Baby Boomers transition out of the workplace, the demand for qualified job candidates has only increased, driving the Chamber and local educators to take a proactive approach in helping students pursue career-readiness through programs like Job Shadowing Day and the Garland ISD Student Career Expo.
Student preparation is critical, as evidenced by the involvement and support of so many Garland employers, but it’s not the whole picture. As tenured employees retire, experience and industry knowledge is lost. These voids can rarely be filled by an entry-level hire. This is why efficient workforce development also requires attention to the people already working in your company. Consider this: If we as employers spend all our time focused on entry-level employees, what happens when the CEO retires? And if no one is ever given a chance to do more than the job they were hired to do, will we be able to keep them engaged for more than a few short years?
At the Chamber, we believe leadership development is a key component of workforce development and sustainability. That’s why we’ve offered the Leadership Garland program for 36 years. Garland Chamber member businesses have sponsored more than 1,000 employees to go through the nine-month program in the years since its inception, many of which have gone on to serve as City Council members, Garland ISD Board of Trustees members, Chairmen of the Chamber, or even as City Manager. LG graduates have been promoted in their own companies too, taking on new challenges and pursuing a higher level of excellence because of the skills they’ve learned through the program.
In case you aren’t familiar with Leadership Garland, its purpose is to motivate and encourage civic leaders; and to develop personal leadership characteristics and skills within individuals. Through engaging curriculum and interactive field trips, participants are introduced to state, county, and city officials, school board trustees, administrators, community leaders, and community boards and commissions. The expectation is that at the completion of the program, each participant should be equipped to “fill a hole” in their community. Whether participants serve through their employment, in their neighborhoods, or maybe at a local non-profit, the design of the program is that the experience never really ends. As the class saying goes, “You don’t graduate FROM Leadership Garland, you graduate INTO the leadership of Garland.” Time and time again, that statement has proven to be true.
The important thing to remember is that workforce development needs to be both conscious and constant to be effective. Recognize and reward emerging talent. Allow employees to see that opportunities for advancement are within their reach, and provide the access to training that will help them get there. Think seriously about who you’ll need on your team in the next year, the next five years, and begin a process now that allows your employees to rise to the occasion. Who better to groom for leadership than the people who are already invested in your company? This approach not only helps retain your top talent, but attracts top talent too.
As a community, Garland is working to ensure a sustainable, qualified workforce is available to the employers who choose to set up shop here. Part of our mission is to act as the catalyst for positive change in the greater Garland community and programs like Leadership Garland allow the Chamber to do just that by playing an active role in workforce development, retention and sustainability.
See What Past Participants Had to Say About Leadership Garland
Thank you to the employers participating in Leadership Garland Class 36
Alphastar Home Health Care
Atlas Copco Drilling Solutions
Baylor Scott & White Garland
City of Garland
Ebby Halliday Realtors
Garland Area Habitat for Humanity
Garland Behavioral Hospital
Garland Education Foundation
Garland Police Department
Garland Power & Light
Milano Hat Company
Morning Dew Massage
Mt. Hebron Baptist Church
Plastipak Packaging, Inc
Randall Reed's Prestige Ford
Resource One Credit Union
Richland College Garland Campus
The Salvation Army
Wisener Nunnally Roth
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