Chamber backs economy-boosting programs for 2016
Pam Ridler has lived in Castle Rock since the late 1990s when the population was 18,000 residents. Today, the population is around 60,000, and town officials predict that number will reach 100,000 sometime in the future.
As a result of this growth, more industries, restaurants and retail stores are moving into the community to meet the needs of residents.
“For example, a major retail development called Promenade at Castle Rock is currently under construction, and several IT companies settled here in the last couple of years,” says Ridler, president/CEO of the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce. “Also, a great deal of our employment is focused in the health-care industry, thanks to two hospitals and other medical facilities.”
Ridler points out that with continued growth comes the need to fill employment vacancies, and several local business leaders have told the chamber that they need good people now and in the foreseeable future to fill multiple career positions.
“Therefore, a key initiative for the chamber in 2016 is looking into ways to help employers with their hiring needs,” she says. “We actually launched a couple of programs in 2015 that met with good results.”
Many Sectors Need More Employees
One successful program is a Douglas County Job Fair that debuted in 2016. The chamber expected 10-12 companies to participate at that inaugural event, but Ridler was pleasantly surprised when 46 companies took part. In fact, several of the companies offered job positions to some of the applicants in attendance, and the chamber is planning to host another job fair in the fall.
“Another major chamber initiative in 2016 is establishing a Worksite Wellness program in partnership with CO Health Links, which creates small-business champions for health and wellness,” Ridler says. “Our focus is on our workers’ wellbeing and safety, which translates into a healthy bottom line for our local businesses. Being able to attract and retain the best workers in our community is definitely our goal.”
Ridler says local economic sectors in need of more employees these days include construction, health care, hospitality, retirement services and technology.
“Companies are looking for employees who have a variety of skill sets, including computer proficiencies, communication and customer service skills,” she says. “Castle Rock’s growing population means there will continue to be plenty of excellent job opportunities for people who want to earn a good living and enjoy a great quality of life in our beautiful community.”