Further evidence that Central Oregon is a job seeker’s market, WorkSource Oregon announced Monday that it has reorganized its services to help employers find labor.
Three staff members will serve as expert consultants for construction, information technology, manufacturing and health care employers in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties, said Stephanie Siebold, director of programs for East Cascades Works, the workforce investment board for Central Oregon. WorkSource is the network of service centers that tries to match people and jobs.
And WorkSource is trying to spread the word about a business services hotline: 541-548-HIRE (4473).
“There are still a lot of employers out there that really don’t know what WorkSource can do for them,” Siebold said. “So we’ve got one phone number now an employer can call and get connected with the right resources.”
The new industry focus is not an increase in staff, and there are still people available to help all employers, Siebold said. But the workforce investment board hopes that the dedicated staff members can develop expertise and become a better resource for the employers in high-priority industries, she said.
“Those are the highest-need industries with some of the best, sustainable wages,” Siebold said.
East Cascade Works has even contributed to a new video campaign that employers can use to recruit skilled labor from outside the region.
“Central Oregon is Hiring” is a general promotional video, while “Reboot in Bend” is about the local high-tech scene. The videos were created with support from Economic Development for Central Oregon and other partners.
Although Bend seems to have no trouble drawing newcomers, Siebold said the migration trend isn’t meeting employers’ needs. “Even if we employed everybody that is here in the area looking for a job, we wold still have job openings. That’s the demand right now.”
Monthly unemployment rates in Deschutes County have been below 5 percent since early 2017 and fell below 4 percent in spring and summer months.
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