If you think workforce development is just something big companies get behind, it’s time to rethink your stance. Here’s why:

Many small and medium-sized business owners think workforce development isn’t their concern. But are large businesses the only ones thinking about the types of employees they need for the future? Unless you are a business of one and plan on remaining that way, workforce development should be a concern.

Here’s why you should make it a priority:

Why Small Companies Should Embrace Workforce Development in Alameda

Don’t let the term “workforce development” deter you. Yes, it’s a big undertaking. But it’s one that we want every business involved in. Here are several compelling reasons why you should actively engage in these initiatives:

  • Access to a Skilled Workforce: By participating in workforce development activities with the Alameda Chamber and beyond, small businesses can play a pivotal role in shaping the skills and competencies of the future workforce. This provides them with a pool of well-prepared candidates who can contribute to their growth and success. At the Chamber, we want our workforce development initiatives to consider and incorporate the needs of all employers. We can’t do that unless you get involved.
  • Enhanced Competitiveness: A highly skilled workforce gives small companies a competitive edge in the marketplace. By investing in employee development, businesses can improve productivity, innovate more effectively, and adapt to industry changes with greater agility. While your company may not have the budget to fund employee development, a workforce development initiative might. Working with leaders in workforce development can help you contribute your voice to the initiative while also benefitting from their programs.
  • Talent Retention and Attraction: Workforce development initiatives signal to existing and potential employees that the company (and our area) values employee growth and development. This fosters a positive work environment, boosts employee morale, and increases retention rates. Moreover, small businesses that actively participate in these initiatives become more attractive to job seekers who prioritize professional growth and development. And may help get the small company’s name out there in the job market.
  • Building Stronger Networks: Engaging in workforce development activities (like our Workforce Development Committee) provides small companies with opportunities to build relationships with educational institutions, industry peers, and other stakeholders. These connections can lead to collaborations, partnerships, and access to valuable resources and knowledge.

Small businesses may have limited resources compared to larger corporations. But they have a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on workforce development. By engaging with the Chamber, local educational institutions, industry associations, and larger companies in the Bay Area, a small business owner can provide valuable insights into what’s needed in the years ahead. Workforce development is not only crucial for individual companies but also for the overall economic growth and sustainability of our community. 

Many small business owners think that with fewer employees their insights aren’t critical to our community’s plans. However, small business often comprises the largest employment segment in the area. Hearing from businesses under 200 employees is just as important as hearing from the largest employer on the Island. If small business owners don’t step forward to share their needs, the only ones who will be heard are big businesses. Unless you think their employment needs and yours are the same, it’s time to speak up. 

Contact the Alameda Chamber & Economic Alliance today.

Author: Diksha