“State of Our Workforce: WNC” employer survey results released

“State of Our Workforce: WNC” employer survey results released
Headline news from the “State of Our Workforce: Western NC” employer survey – 721 local employers project adding between12,700 jobs – 26,700 jobs in the next three years. 67% of employers project they will hire more people in the next three years.
Small businesses dominate the responses with almost 75% of the responses from employers with less than 100 employees.
Industries with the largest hiring needs are the manufacturing sector (projected to add between 3,480 – 7,556 jobs) and the restaurant, lodging & hospitality sector (projected to add between 3,574 – 6,618 jobs). Three quarters of healthcare employers expect to grow creating up to 3,200 jobs.
Companies are most frequently looking for workers with a community college degree or professional certification. The top soft skills sought by employers are responsibility and self discipline, taking initiative, professionalism and critical thinking.
Employers most frequently source their talent from friends & networks, online job portals, social media and internal references. These results are a reminder of the importance of networking when searching for a job. Medium sized companies (50 – 500 employees) and large companies (500+ employees) rely more on online job portals.
On the job training tops the list of tools employers use to develop their existing workforce followed by continuing education through community colleges or universities, trade association provided courses and defined career progression.
Thanks to the NC Chamber, Asheville Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Coalition of Asheville Buncombe, and RTI International for making this survey possible.