Financial Center First Credit Union free wealth builder seminars

Financial Center First Credit Union will have free Wealth Builder Seminars in November and December. The seminars are open to the public and are listed below:

The Basics of Budgeting: Establishing Short- and Long-Term Financial Goals is Saturday November 16, at 10:30 a.m. Join James Davidson, FCFCU director of financial literacy, as he discusses the basics around establishing a budget and how to stay true to your short-term and long-term financial goals.

The Keys to Saving and Borrowing is Friday, November 22, at 11:30 a.m. FCFCU discusses achieving success through smart saving and smarter borrowing.

Credit 101: What’s in Your Report is on Tuesday, December 3, at 3 p.m. The seminar discusses the importance of your credit score, how to build and maintain credit and how to rebuild credit.

When to File for Social Security is Saturday December 7, at 10:30 a.m. FCFCU discusses the intricacies of the Social Security system and how to best maximize your Social Security during your retirement.

“We’re all about financial empowerment and we believe that starts with education,” said Financial Center President and CEO, J. Kevin Ryan.

All seminars are free and held at the Financial Center First Credit Union new branch office Education Center at 1935 S. Dixon in Kokomo. Attend three seminars before December 31 and earn $50 in your new Financial Center account.

You can register online at fcfcu.com/seminar-calendar or at the new branch in Kokomo.

Indiana Chamber: Companies adjust to continuing worker hortages

INDIANAPOLIS — While nearly half of employers are still leaving jobs unfilled, dramatically fewer are listing workforce/talent needs as among their biggest challenges. Instead, they are adapting to the ongoing shortage of qualified applicants in several different ways.

These findings and more are part of the 12th annual employer workforce survey from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and its Institute for Workforce Excellence. There were 1,005 responses from 89 of Indiana’s 92 counties during the August 5-27 survey period. Skillful Indiana was the lead partner, with additional support from Amatrol and WGU Indiana.

One distinct trend of the last five years remained largely intact. Forty-nine percent of respondents left jobs unfilled in the past year due to underqualified applicants; that compared to 51% a year ago and 47% in 2017.

Those citing filling workforce/talent needs as their biggest challenge, however, decreased dramatically – from 33% a year ago to 12% in 2019. Add in those who cite talent as one of their biggest challenges and the number declined from 80% to 45%. These percentages had been increasing each year since 2014.

“A slowing national economy, tariffs and ongoing trade disputes are some of the potential concerns for employers today compared to recent years,” says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “But, given the survey responses, another strategy seems to be accepting that the talent shortage is not going to change anytime soon and simply finding alternative methods for dealing with it.”

Employers are assigning more responsibilities internally (25% in 2019; 18% in 2017) and hiring underqualified applicants (23% in 2019 compared to 11% two years earlier). In addition, 71% confirm they are willing to hire an individual with less education/skills than desired and allow them to work while completing on-the-job training.

There is less optimism among employers in the growth of their own organization, with 45% expecting to increase the size of the workforce in the next one to two years. That is a significant decline from the 56% who anticipated growth in 2018 and the 53% of a year earlier.

The number of employers using internal staff as the largest trainer of current workers decreased from 67% in 2018 to 55% this time. But there remain many additional opportunities not being taken advantage of to team with K-12 schools, colleges, workforce training programs and other partners:

● 58% do not work with others to develop work-based learning programs

● 54% fail to partner on support of work-based learning programs

● 50% do not team with K-12 schools for career awareness/exploration activities

● 40% use none of these talent development strategies – student site visits, job shadowing, internships and apprenticeships

Also adding to the benefits of working with others in meeting the skills shortage: 66% of organizations planning to add high-wage jobs (paying more than $50,000 a year) are already partnering to develop talent, and 65% that have more qualified applicants than they need are participating in the state’s Next Level Jobs training programs.

“It’s essential that companies look to take advantage of some of the many workforce resources that are available,” Brinegar states. “A ‘going it alone’ strategy typically will not lead to the desired outcomes.”

Additional survey results include:

● Employers cite bigger challenges with attracting (53%) employees than developing or retaining them (30% each)

● Forty-four percent say they are measuring skills rather than education level/credentials in recruitment and retention processes with another 13% interested in learning more

● Forty-five percent of employers believe applicants are not attracted to the community where their companies and jobs are located

● Only 20% note federal or state regulatory/state burdens as impeding company growth in the past two years

● With the 2018 introduction of Indiana Workforce Recovery and many other education efforts, employers terminating employees as the result of a first failed drug test declined from 52% in 2018 to 30%

Full survey results are available at www.indianachamber.com/education.

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