The Center for Business Excellence has joined forces with Team Volusia Economic Development Corp. and Enterprise Flagler to study the composition of the workforce in Volusia and Flagler counties.
“The unemployment rate in both our counties is high … What benefits one county certainly spills over into the other,” said Helen Cauthen, president and chief executive officer of Team Volusia.
The cooperative study will assess the number of currently underemployed workers in both counties — along with data on the pay rate, skills, experience, education and commuting patterns of those workers — in an effort to measure the availability of qualified workers for potential companies’ operations.
The study will also gather opinions of existing local employers in each location regarding productivity, reliability and overall quality of each respective workforce.
Conducted by The Pathfinders — a Texas-based company with 30 years of workforce study experience — the research data will be compiled through independent contact with residents.
“The main reason to contract with Pathfinders is the credibility they bring to the table,” said Rick Fraser, CBE president. “In addition, we have conducted this study three or four times in the past, and we wanted to stay consistent with the data collection.”
Fraser believes the collaboration will yield the tools needed to attract new industry.
“CBE is a resource for these organizations,” he said. “We want to provide … accurate data to market to companies that are looking for the skills we will be able to quantify in the study.”
Both Team Volusia and Enterprise Flagler, the economic development organizations for their respective counties, will use the study to provide workforce data to companies and site selectors considering locating to Flagler and Volusia.
“There is a new spirit of regional collaboration with Team Volusia, which is so important in economic development,” said Greg Rawls, executive director of Enterprise Flagler. “Companies evaluate the local region when choosing a site. Rarely does a single community meet the workforce and amenities needs a company is looking for.”
Rawls said Enterprise Flagler expects to continue working with Team Volusia in the future.
The Center for Business Excellence expects study results by the end of July.