The Changing Workforce Landscape

January 27, 2022 

by Teresa Delicino, Senior Director of Business Solutions

Across every industry and every community, our economic landscape has been altered by workforce challenges and shortages. The aftermath of COVID-19 and subsequent variants have crippled supply chains, overtaxed our healthcare systems, reduced productivity, increased consumer prices, and on and on. It reminds us that we are still amid the storm and recovery is a process.

I’m sure you have heard the phrase “we’re in a job-seekers’ market.” But what does that really mean? There are more available jobs than people actively looking for one, which means amazing opportunities and choices for job seekers who can now be more selective about the work they choose to accept – and where they choose to work. It also means there is greater competition for talent. I recently heard the best talent is taken off the market, on average, within ten days of starting their job search.

We are also experiencing a major workforce shift. Workers are choosing to leave their employers at record-breaking numbers. Throw in vaccine mandates and the retirement of aging workers and we have constant churn. With so much turnover, human resources staff are facing significant stress and burnout.

Changing the way in which we recruit and retain employees is a must. Removing barriers to employment is critical. Criteria that once was considered a requirement for candidate selection may now prevent employers from attracting applicants. Investing in on-the-job training and worker upskilling can open the door to workers that may never have been considered before. Engaging with work experience and internship projects can help build a pipeline of future talent.

Recruitment is step one; retention is key. To combat loss, many employers are looking inward and asking: Are we investing in our workers by providing advancement and training opportunities? Are we committed to a work-life balance? Are we embracing diversity and a positive work culture? In this competitive market, is our unique value proposition clear and are our wages and benefits attractive? Does the saying, “it’s easier to keep a customer than to attract a new one” apply here too?

Candidates, even though this is a job seekers’ market, you still need to make yourself a standout applicant. Competition exists for well-paying jobs and career advancement. Know the employer and know the market you are going into. Hone your own unique value and be prepared to compete. If you need to sharpen your skills or up your credentials, now is a great time to invest in your future.

This is a “both/and” scenario. Businesses need workers, and workers need businesses. WorkForce Central’s Business Solutions team bridges the gap between local employers and job seekers. Whether through recruitment assistance, providing access to subsidized labor and employee training, or supporting employers through business downturns, we are here to support our community. And the best part – it’s at no cost to you.


WorkForce Central can promote your job opportunities by posting and publishing job announcements to public job boards and distributing job opportunities to community and career development partners who work with job seekers. Working with our Employment Security Department partners, these opportunities can be made available to individuals currently receiving unemployment benefits.

Work Experience, Internships, and On-the-Job Training

Wage subsidies and reimbursements are available to employers who choose to engage with work-based training.  In addition to providing mentoring for young adults, the programs aims to improve the overall workplace skills and competencies of trainees so that they can become successfully employed in the labor market.   We facilitate a work site agreement with employers and support recruitment and placement into these roles.  Participants gain occupation and industry knowledge while building their work experience and resume.

Labor Market and Wage Analysis

In a constantly changing workforce landscape and highly competitive environment for employers to find qualified candidates, we work in partnership with our in-house Director of Research & Data to provide industry and occupational information that assists employers to:

  • Understand occupational and sector trends
  • Review occupational wage information for competitive assessment
  • Understand occupational demand and available workforce

Hiring Events

Our multi-employer hiring events are designed to bring employers and job seekers together.  Currently they are being conducted virtually on a quarterly basis.  Utilizing a platform that mirrors a live event, we assist employers with customizing their booths to share information about their company and the opportunities available for job seekers.  Job seekers can upload a profile including a resume, view booths, chat with employers, connect via video, and apply for jobs.   Job Fair Interest Form

Workplace Training

We are in the process of implementing several initiatives that support worker training.  Incumbent Worker Training Grants, and Cohort Training designed to support in-demand skills and occupations which may impact your talent pipeline, upskill workers and increase the competitiveness of your company and your workers.

Layoff Assistance

Supporting employers and their workers through business downturns, informational sessions can be arranged for impacted employees to connect them to available resources and inform them of next steps. Presentations include information on applying for Unemployment Insurance, managing healthcare and retirement benefits, worker retraining (education and certification resources), job search, career counseling and other resources available to workers being separated from their employment.


If there are other workforce related needs your company has identified, we are happy to coordinate assistance with workforce system partners.  We have several resource partners to connect you to.

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