BUFFALO - Focusing on tourism and hospitality as priority economic sectors in the region, the Erie County Workforce Devel-opment Summit series continued recently with an event that drew dozens of representatives from hotels, restaurants and attractions to a morning conference at the Buffalo Niagara Con-vention Center.
Participants discussed the challenges they face in employment, including attracting and retaining good employees, recruitment and hiring processes and desirable attributes of potential employees. Stakeholders also had the opportunity to share best practices and resources with colleagues while exploring ideas on how to build a local workforce that meets the needs of both employers and prospective employees. Summit outcomes will be used in developing plans to address employers' concerns.
"The Summit Series is a vital tool in gauging the needs of employers who have positions available but may not have an appropriate pool of potential workers to draw from," said Deputy Erie County Executive Richard Tobe. "With each summit, we bring together key stakeholders from priority regional economic sectors to discuss workforce development and how to best build a local workforce that is well-trained, capable and ready to fill existing jobs now and new jobs in the future."
Executive Director of the Buffalo & Erie County Workforce Investment Board Heather Okoro added, "Our regional economy is changing and our workforce needs to change with it, developing the skills necessary to compete for jobs and build sustainable careers. The summit series allows employers to join with their colleagues to explore areas of concern and compare best practices. We will be using what we've learned today to meet the challenges in this priority sector of our economy."
The summit series is a collaborative effort between the Office of the Erie County Executive, the Buffalo & Erie County Workforce Investment Board, the Erie County Department of Social Services and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.