Hannibal News

Large employers urged to participate in upcoming NEMO labor survey

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 9, 2019 12:01 am

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- The Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council is encouraging large employers to participate in a "labor demand" survey to be conducted in Northeast Missouri.

Corey Mehaffy, executive director, said he plans to send an electronic link for the survey to large employers in Marion and Ralls counties. Employers in about 15 other NEMO counties also will be surveyed.

Mehaffy said two surveys actually will be conducted -- one for large industrial employers and one for the health care industry. The separate surveys will result in two reports.

"The goal of the surveys is to evaluate the area's workforce from the employers' perspective," explained Carolyn Chrisman, treasurer of the Northeast Missouri Development Partnership, which is overseeing the surveys.

"The results will be used to identify and address workforce issues within the region and take steps to assure that the needs of the area employers are being met, both now and in the future," Chrisman said.

The Northeast Missouri Development Partnership has retained Growth Services Group to conduct the surveys. Member organizations that belong to the partnership, including the Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council, will share the cost for the surveys.

Chrisman said employers will be asked to provide information about their employee base, including wages, salaries, benefits, commuting distances, skill levels and their experiences when hiring new workers. The results will then be incorporated into an aggregate report. Individual responses will remain confidential.

Mehaffy said the surveys will provide "primary data" about some of the labor demand issues that large employers are facing in Northeast Missouri.

"It's data that you can't get in a public database," he said.

Information obtained through the surveys will help with workforce development efforts throughout Northeast Missouri. For example, Mehaffy said survey results can be used to develop training programs in local schools and community colleges "to help fill some of the skills gaps that we've identified."

The last labor demand survey in NEMO was conducted in 2016.

The Northeast Missouri Development Partnership also oversees the development of two other surveys. One involves labor supply by focusing on the "underemployed" in the region, and the other focuses on commuting patterns by workers.

Mehaffy receives copies of these survey reports as they are completed. He find them to be useful.

Mehaffy said one goal is to have the three labor-related surveys carried out separately on an annual rotation over a three-year period. That way, he said, none of the resulting reports would be more than three years old at any given time.

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