Tony Grijalva, G&A Partners’ chairman and CEO, recently spoke with the Houston Business Journal regarding the skills gap and its potential effect on the Houston business scene.
While Houston isn’t the only city facing a talent shortage, the impact of this period of low unemployment is hitting large cities’ mid-skill job market especially hard. (There are a projected 1.4 million mid-skilled jobs in the metro area, according to Grijalva.) An inability to fill these types of positions, which typically require some kind of postsecondary education or certification but not necessarily a four-year degree, will “be significant, and felt across all sectors including energy, information technology, professional services, health care, construction, transportation, and manufacturing.”
Houston employers do have a slight advantage over those in other metro areas thanks to the city’s relatively low cost of living and a large network of postsecondary institutions (colleges, universities, technical/trade schools), which continue to attract people from across the country. Companies looking to increase their talent pipelines can partner with these schools to “[develop] programs to attract new workers to mid-skill careers.”
Many employers are also starting to include attractive incentives to their employee benefits packages to attract younger workers who might not otherwise look at some of these mid-skill jobs. Grijalva has seen companies leverage a wide variety of perks for this purpose, including commuter expenses, onsite daycare, tuition reimbursement, and more.
Did you know partnering with a PEO can help small businesses offer better, affordable benefits to their workforces? Learn more.
Grijalva also sees employers struggling to keep up with changing workplace regulations. With the current state of regulatory compliance in flux, “… [business owners] are increasingly expected to be experts in employment law as well as their own core business and industry.”
Of particular concern to employers are potential new laws or changes to existing regulations regarding things like minimum wage and paid sick leave that are increasingly being passed on the local level that can make it difficult for companies with offices in multiple cities or states to streamline their employee policies.
To read more about Grijalva’s thoughts on how this mid-skills gap could affect Houston, as well as other cities and industries, read the article here. For more about the skills gap overall, check our recent blog on the skills gap and how it affects you.